Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stop Smiling

Several months ago I wrote an article for a cool magazine called Stop Smiling. It was the Chicago Issue and I was asked to write a piece about the history of Chicago comedy.


Here's the article:


Click on the pages and it should take you to a bigger version so you can actually read it.
If that doesn't work,
Here's the article in text:

MORT SAHL
“Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen.” – Mort Sahl
Comedy was safe.


Bob Hope, Milton Berle and Henny Youngman recited their vaudeville influenced acts to packed theaters around the country. With a steady stream of quips about the President’s golf game and self-deprecating jokes about middle age infirmities, they were the standard young comedians imitated. Fibber McGee and Molly and Amos ’n’ Andy broadcast their weekly radio programs from the studios of WMAQ in Chicago. Abbott and Costello were kings of the box office.
So, where the hell did Mort Sahl come from?

He prowled the stage in a red cardigan, a newspaper rolled up under his arm. Mort Sahl was into ideas and talked about what was on his mind, including biting social and political commentary. Other comedians of the era mainly told a lot of one-liners about their mothers-in-law and jokes that were just jokes that didn't have much to say about anything, certainly not about American life. Mort Sahl was the man who began the comedy revolution that swept through Chicago in the ’50s and ’60s.

Mister Kelly’s, on the corner of Rush and Bellevue Place, was Sahl’s primary home in Chicago. He’d settle in for weeks at a time, ripping apart the normal conventions of stand-up comedy. Small and tight – it seated less than 200 people – Mister Kelly’s proved ideal for Sahl’s rapier wit. The audiences were mostly made up of North Side college students and educated professionals. They were entranced by this new style of comedy.

Woody Allen said about Mort Sahl: “He was the best thing I ever saw. He was like Charlie Parker in jazz. There was a need for a revolution, everybody was ready for a revolution, but some guy had to come along who could perform the revolution and be great. Mort was the one.”

SHELLEY BERMAN
“A hotel is a place that keeps the manufacturers of 25-watt bulbs in business.” – Shelley Berman

At the Argo Off Beat Room, a proletarian theater company named the Compass Players was pushing comedic boundaries with improvisation. The group was made up of mostly University of Chicago students who were experts at taking an audience suggestion and creating dazzling, captivating theater on the spot.

One of the brightest stars to come from the Compass was Shelley Berman. A struggling actor who had no intention of becoming a comedian, Shelley got into comedy to get cast in serious plays. He became the first “sit-down” comedian. Seated on a stool at Mister Kelly’s, cigarette in one hand and an imaginary receiver in the other, Shelley specialized in “telephone” monologues. While initially his act was rough on the edges, audiences adored his agonized, neurotic persona.

At the recommendation of Mort Sahl, Verve Records signed Shelley Berman to a recording contract. Inside Shelley Berman would become the first spoken word album to reach number one on Billboard’s album charts. It would stay on Billboard’s Top Forty charts for two and a half years. Within the year, Shelley had three gold comedy albums in stores simultaneously. He won the first Grammy for a nonmusical recording and became the first stand-up comedian to appear at Carnegie Hall. Struggling no more, Shelley was a million dollar comic and the most sought after entertainer in America.

MIKE NICHOLS + ELAINE MAY
“We work at least one and a half hours a night on respecting the rights of others.” – Elaine May as an over-attentive mother talking to her child’s teacher.
“Louise, where were you? I’ve been going out of mind. Darling, to be doing this terrible thing….and to be late on top of it!” – Mike Nichols as man about to commit adultery with his best friends wife.

Shortly after Shelley Berman’s success, another groundbreaking act from the Compass Players skyrocketed to fame. The comedy pairing of Mike Nichols and Elaine May established themselves as the foremost social satirists of their time. It wasn’t stand-up. It wasn’t a nightclub act. It wasn’t even theater. It was completely new.

Nichols and May used improvisation to create sketches that ridiculed the new intellectual, cultural and social order emerging at the time. They taunted and mocked the very people who were dolling out the big bucks to watch the comic duo perform. Masochists all, the American public ate it up. Biting and sharp, Nichols and May subtly captured the absurdity of how people behave in relationships. When Nichols as a surgeon whimpered, “Is it badgering you to tell you I love you?” and May as his nurse bemoaned, “Please don’t tell me over and over in the cafeteria and during operations”, it resonated with audiences who recognized their own behavior being satirized.
Steve Martin said about Nichols and May: “They were like music – less a comedy duo than a wry duet, verbal comic musicians jamming with each other: challenging, each tearing off a new lick and topping the other…”

Robert Brustein of The New Republic described them as “the voice of outraged intelligence in a world given over to false piety, cloying sentiment and institutionalized stupidity.”

DICK GREGORY
“I never believed in Santa Claus, because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.
” – Dick Gregory

The world was waiting for Dick Gregory. Comedy just got to experience him first.
Tired of the minstrel tradition, African-American comedians on the South Side of Chicago like Nipsy Russel, Godfrey Cambridge and Redd Foxx forged a new brand of comedy. Dick Gregory was the man who introduced it to mainstream white audiences.

Gregory got national attention when he became the first black comedian to perform at the Playboy Club in Chicago. A one-night booking at Hugh Hefner’s penthouse turned into a three-year contract. Gregory was able to ingratiate himself with white audiences because he provocatively explored the racial inequities of the civil rights era in a nonconfrontational, unthreatening way. Sitting on a bar stool, smoking a cigarette and blinking his sleepy eyes, he dissected sensitive, delicate issues with compassion, acute insight and blunt, direct humor. “There’s no difference between the North and South,” Gregory told the all white audiences who paid big money to see him. “In the South they don’t mind how close I get so long as I don’t get too big; in the North they don’t mind how big I get so long as I don’t get too close.”

His autobiography, Nigger, became the top-selling book in America. His choice for the title was explained in the dedication. Gregory wrote, “Dear Mama: Wherever you are, if you ever hear the word nigger again, remember they are advertising my book.”

As the civil rights movement heated up, Gregory began spending more time on social issues and less on performing. He understood the power of celebrity: his presence at a march or a rally was sure to attract newspaper and television coverage. Gregory would make the marches, speak to reporters, get arrested, post bail, then slip into a nightclub to do his act.

At the height of his career, Gregory stopped going to the nightclubs altogether. His heart just wasn’t in it anymore. He devoted himself full-time to being an activist. Eventually, his extreme beliefs and eccentricities caused even some of his ardent fans to dismiss him.

Gregory protested the Vietnam War by fasting for two years, subsisting on nothing but fruit juice. Gregory and his wife, Lillian Smith, raised their 10 children as “fruitarians.” They eat only fruit and none has ever tasted, or has expressed any desire to taste, cooked food. He’s also a practicing “breatharian.” Breatharians believe that they are sustained by “light energy” alone, and follow a diet in which no food and possibly no water is consumed. Gregory undertook a 70-day “water only” fast in the mid 80’s. On many occasions, he’s gone as long as a week without consuming water or food on an “air only” diet.

***
Dick Gregory’s descent is eerily similar to those of his peers in the comedy revolution. Their reign was short and their plunge rapid.

Shelley Berman’s fall from the top is mystifying. During a crucial moment in a performance that was being filmed for a television documentary, a phone rang offstage twice, destroying the mood of the vignette he was doing. Cameras followed him backstage, where he tore the phone off the wall. When he returned to Mr. Kelly’s, the staff avoided him. Clubs subsequently wouldn’t book him because he had the reputation for being difficult to deal with. Lately Berman’s career has enjoyed a rebirth: He plays Larry David’s father on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

The breakup of Nichols and May was a blow to their fans. Battles over material were what eventually did them in. Explosive personalities both, they found it too difficult to continue working together. After they went their separate ways, Mike Nichols focused his considerable talents on directing. He won an Academy Award for best director for The Graduate (1968), an Emmy for Angels in America (2004) and nine Tony Awards, including Spamalot (2005). Elaine May won got an Oscar nomination for her screenplay for Heaven Can Wait (1978), but she was critically crucified for her work as the director and writer of Ishtar (1987). The spark that existed in 1961 was briefly relit when May penned screenplays for two of Nichols’s movies (The Birdcage and Primary Colors).

Following President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Mort Sahl volunteered to assist in the investigation being conducted by New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison. Sahl became a deputized member of Garrison’s investigative team, which eventually concluded that the CIA sanctioned the assassination. The American public labeled him as “paranoid” once Sahl began reading The Warren Report as part of his act. The jobs dried up overnight.

Nichols and May, Berman, Gregory and Sahl reinvented the world of humor. Thanks to them, comedy’s no longer safe.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Vote

Went to the polls this morning and voted.

It was strange. I looked everywhere for Barack Obama and couldn't find his name anywhere. I thought he was running for everything.

Last night, Zipcar hosted a free screening of the Oscar winning movie, "An Inconvenient Truth". It was at the Music Box Theater and since I live in the same building as the Music Box, I walked downstairs and watched it. As I sat there with my popcorn and Diet Coke, I realized I was part of a club. An environmental club at that! I felt so green.

I love the fact that I live in the same building as a movie theater. Especially, since it's the Music Box. The theater is so old and beautiful. It feels like a church whenever I go in it.

Someday, I'd like to make a movie and have the premiere take place in that theater. Hopefully that will happen very soon.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Worst Oscars ever!

The awards were fine. I agreed with all of them.

However, the actual show was awful. Ellen was bad. The dancers behind the scrim was ridiculous. The short films between the awards were long and boring. The worst part of the show was the "trivia tidbits" supplied by the announcers whenever someone won an award. Sooooo bad.

Will Ferrill, Jack Black and John C. Reilly's song was great. Jerry Seinfeld was fun. Will Smith's kid presenting with the "Little Miss Sunshine" girl was adorable and funny.

The rest of the show....blech.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscars tonight

Oscars are tonight.


Of the movies that are nominated, the only ones I haven't seen are "Volver", "Notes on a Scandal", and "Half Nelson". Aside from those, I've pretty much seen all the rest.


Here are my predictions:


Best Picture: Babel

Best Director: Martin Scorsese

Best Actor: Forest Whitaker

Best Actess: Helen Mirren

Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin

Best Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza

Foreign-Language Film: Pans Labrinth

Adapted Screenplay: Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat"

Original Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga, "Babel"

Animated Feature: Cars

Documentary: An Inconvienant Truth

Costumes: Marie Antionette


We'll see if the Academy agrees with me.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Chicago

The presentations in Fond du Lac and Green Bay went well. I laughed in the middle a couple of times because this is the way Tim looks at me when we're on stage. He's supposed to have his eyes closed, but he peeks at me and it makes me laugh.
It's kind of gross.

I flew back from Green Bay and landed just in time for the Project Writing Reader's Theater. Last night was Karen Louis' and it was very, very cool.


Every Saturday the Project Writing class meets to rehearse the following weeks scripts. Today, we gathered at the home of Trey Chambers since his will be presented next week.


Several weeks ago I read on the internet that it was impossible to eat a tablespoon of cinnamon. I told Louie Saunders about it and he immediately wanted to try it. Today, was the day of reckoning.


During the scheduled intermission of Trey's script, we attempted the Cinnamon Challenge.


The contestants were Louie Saunders, Brian Finley and Greg Cross. Jeannie played the role as the host. The peanut gallery was made up of the rest of the class, Molly Wilbanks, Michael Barin, Chris Bell, Trey Chambers, Karen Louis and Curt Foxworth as the Beaver.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Green Bay cont.

They do love their Packers here.

Tim said it seems like a college town and I have to agree with him. On every block there's some sort of decoration honoring the football team. It's odd.

The Casino? Ah, well. I looked around for a Pai Gow table, but there wasn't any. Same goes for Caribbean Stud. I waited for a seat at the $5 blackjack tables, but it didn't look like anything was going to open up until after midnight.

So then, I broke one of the new rules that I set up for myself. I played Craps.

However, I played very tight and safe. I followed the strategy that I had learned from a Craps dealer and I never strayed from it. Because of that, I ended up tripling my money.

Yep. For the first time in a year and a half, I won at Craps. Still, it's not a game that I should be playing.

1 more day in Cheese Head land.

Green Bay

While we were in Fond du Lac, Tim and I stopped at an awesome drive-through and grabbed a snack. I had a Custard Raspberry Shake and Tim had a malt. It was amazing!We drove on until we arrived at our destination.

Green bay. Home to the hated Packers.


Yikes.

We didn't realize until we arrived that we are staying in a Casino/Bingo resort.

Double Yikes!!

I could be in trouble.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Long, long day.


Meetings about my writing assignment this morning and then drove up to Fond du Lac with Tim and my boss Lisa.


Did you know the population of Fond du Lac is 40,000 people. I did not.


We ate dinner at a place called Pier 15. It was a block away from our hotel.


For decoration, they have boats hanging upside down from the ceiling.They also have this special deal in the menu.

Maybe you didn't see the last line.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chicago

It felt like Spring today. In my neighborhood this afternoon, everyone was running around with their coats off. It was nice.

Haven't blogged much because I've been worried that I'll spend too much time working on the blog and not enough time working on my projects.


My apartment feels like a cave. I only venture out for neccissities and improv. The rest of the time I'm here writing. Actually, I did go to the movies this weekend. I saw Babel. It changed how I feel about the upcoming Oscars. It swayed my vote in a couple categories.


On Sunday I went to IO and performed with Aphasia and Deep Schwa. I was extremely happy with the Aphasia show. It was the best one we've had since we started doing our run at 10:15 on Sunday nights.


Deep Schwa is my IO Harold team. I've been performing with them for over 10 years. 10 YEARS! That's a really long time. I love performing with them. They're great, wonderful, supportive, fun, nice people.


Here they are:The only ones I'm missing is Joe Canale. I'll get his pictures soon.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Boring week.

I've done nothing but write...write...write...write...and write.


In the middle of the week I received a writing assignment so I've been working on that at night. So it's been:

9am - 2 pm : write new manuscript project
2pm - 5pm : leave the apartment for food or go to a movie
5pm - 8pm : shift gears and work on new writing assignment
8pm -11pm : hang out with Jeannie or coach an improv rehearsal
11pm- ??? : watch season 3 of the tv show 24 until I fall asleep.


Then I wake up and start over again. I'm a busy, busy boy.


Next week I travel so everything will change. I'm pretty deep into the manuscript project, so I should be able to get it finished by the first or second week of March.


On a separate note


I don't usually talk about celebrity gossip, but man-o-man, Crazytown has a new permanent resident.
Yikes!

Oh, Britney. How did we go from here..
to here..

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

DSI notes part II

Saturday night Jeannie, Brett and I were invited to participate in the DSI All Star Bat. For those who don't know, it's an improv show with the lights off.


Before we did the show, we stopped at a place called Elmo's and grabbed something to eat. I'm a slow eater, so while I finished, Brett played with his new camera. Brett bought a new camera with the money he bought from his poker winnings.

Side note: Brett told a bunch of people that he bought the camera mainly with the money he won from me in poker. Well, I've only lost $60 in the past two weeks, so Brett must have bought himself a really crappy camera.



While Brett was taking pictures of Jeannie, he zoomed in and took a close up picture of her eye. We marveled at how clear the picture of her eye was. Joking around, Brett held the picture up to his face as if he were looking through her eye. It was then that all three of us recognized Jeannie's ultimate nightmare.


One more photo of her eye with another camera Elmo's Labyrinth was created.

Monday, February 12, 2007

DSIF notes

On Saturday I had difficulty finding the location for my meeting place. I tried to stop 2 girls to ask them if they could point me to the art center, but they wouldn't stop. "Michael Jordan's at Mama Dip's. Come with us, we'll drive," they yelled as they raced past me.



I didn't know either of the girls, but I was tempted to go. It would have been an adventure and I'm always up for an adventure.



I didn't go because:
  1. Those girls may have been serial killers. Tempting me with Michael Jordon is like tempting children with candy.
  2. I had an obligation to teach an improv class and even though I'm being tempted with an adventure, I always fulfill my obligations.

  3. I don't like Mama Dip's.

That third statement, I'm sure, caused quite a few people to gasp.

Mama Dip's is an institution in Chapel Hill. It's also the type of food that I love.

  • Fried chicken
  • pork chops
  • corn bread
  • sliced beef

It's good food. But it's all...well...kind of bland. Maybe they season food a little differently here in Chicago because Brett, Jeannie and I also didn't like Time Out. That's another place that people always rave about. We just, didn't like it all. We got it after our show on Friday and none of us finished what we ordered.

We did however like the Ice Cream Sandwich's that they sold at Time Out. Two gigantic cookies, filled with scoops of ice cream. They were as big as Jeannie's head.For some reason, Jeannie decided she wanted to do a series of pictures of her getting caught eating the ice cream sandwich's. Here they are:

And my favorite: Caught eating in the shower!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

DSIF

Aphasia did a show at the Dirty South Improv Festival. It went well.


Jeannie and Brett were super funny.



It was a very good time and a nice little vacation.



The weather was quite a bit warmer than it was in Chicago, so that was nice.



Tons of stories, but too tired to tell them.


Instead, here are tons of pictures. Jeannie and I before the show.




Brett and I before the show.






Kennedy Gates, Brett and Dave Reis after our show.




Jeannie was excited to walk around without her coat.


On Saturday, Kennedy, Brett and Jeannie went to a record store while I taught an improv workshop.





Saturday night, we performed in the DSIF All Star Bat.


Jeannie and Yesand.com's Asaf Ronen.


After the Bat, Jeannie entered a coloring contest.







Brett's having a laugh. He's having a laugh!





Thursday, February 8, 2007

Haircut

I took a break from writing yesterday and went and got a haircut.

I hate getting my hair cut for a multitude of reasons.

  • They always screw it up.
  • Touching my head so much seems personal and intimate.
  • I don't like to chit chat with the stylist.
  • Something always seems to happen.
  • The stylists are strange.

Let's deal with this case by case.

They always screw it up.

There's a hair salon at the base of my building. I always go there and they always screw it up. People always ask me why I go there if they always screw it up and the answer's pretty simple. It's at the base of the building that I live in! If I had to travel for these hair cuts, I'd never have it done. The last thing I want to do is make this more difficult than it already is.

Touching my head seems personal and intimate.

I don't like to be touched anyway, so spending a half hour touching my head is a nightmare.

I don't like to chit chat with the stylist.

I am a lot of things, but a chit chatter I am not. If we were to speak about something of substance, I could talk all day. But, a 30 minute conversation about the weather or the stylist's latest tattoo renders me incompetent.

Something always seems to happen.

Yesterday, Bascha the Hungarian stylist was assigned to cut my hair. I set my coat down on a chair in the waiting area, but she insisted I bring it with me. I saw hooks on the wall at the back of the salon and walked with my coat in that direction. She stopped me and pointed at the empty cutting station next to hers.

"Novody iz dere. Your coat vill go dere," she said to me.

I really didn't want to put my coat there, but I reluctantly draped it over the empty seat. As soon as she pulled out the hair dryer I knew I was in trouble. She blew every single hair that she cut off my head right on top of my coat. There was hair all over it. It looks like I just shaved a long haired cat. There's even hair in my coat pockets.

The stylists are strange.

Bascha's Hungarian accent was very thick, but for the most part I was able to decipher everything she was saying without any difficulties. The problem was that every time she talked to me, she would bend down and whisper into my ear.

"Vich cleeber vould you like?" she would purr in my ear.

"I'm sorry, what?" I would say.

"Vich cleeber?" Bascha would answer.

"Cleeber? What's a cleeber?" I asked.

"Cleeber, cleeber," she answered. Every time she spoke, her lips moved closer and closer to my ears.

That made it worse. She was repeating a misunderstood word at a closer proximity without altering her volume. Eventually she moved her lips so close that she was touching them against my ear.

After that, I just nodded my head to everything she said.

Her accent was very lovely, it just unnerved me to feel all the syllables of it against my ear.

It wasn't until I got home that I realized that she was asking what size clipper blade I wanted.

I hate getting my hair cut.

Sequestered

I'm in hardcore writing mode.

I've had a few small projects I've worked on the past couple months, but it's been awhile since I've tackled a big project.



At the beginning of the year I looked at my calender and pinpointed this period in February as "light traveling days". It would be the perfect time to start something new.



Sooo, for the past four days, I've chained myself to my desk and have been pounding away at the keyboards. The only times I've left the apartment was to go to the grocery store, to the gym and to play poker on Tuesday night.



It's not always like this when I write. It's not this hardcore all the time. It's only like this in the beginning and the end of a project. The middle is cake.



The beginning is always tough. That's why I push myself to concentrate all my time on getting it done. If I can push myself to accumulate a substantial portion of the manuscript, I'm less likely to abandon it in the future.



At this point, I'm happy with my progress. The outline is done (It's 140 pages) and I've written the first 20,000 words. This hardcore stage will end when I reach 30,000 words. I try to write 3,000 words a day, so I'll hopefully move into the "cake" stage by next Wednesday. (I won't be writing this weekend because I'll be in North Carolina.)



So, that's just a little insight in to how I write.



On the lighter side, I found this picture of Jeannie and I from last summer. We went to Six Flags in St. Louis and stopped by the "old timey" photo booth to take a picture.
My brother Jacob and my sisters Amy, Melissa, Pam and Jenny were with us and we had a picture done of all of us. Unfortunately, I don't know where I put that picture.



On a side note. If you see Brett Lyons, tell him to get a hair cut. It's way too long.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Chicago

It's been two weeks now since I've traveled anywhere. After traveling so much at the beginning of the year it feels odd to be spending so much time in one place.


And of course, of all the times to be in Chicago, I'm here when the wind chill is -28 degrees.


I'm not complaining though. Being in one place has helped me finally get over that nagging cold. It's also allowed me to sneak back into my regular routine of going to the gym. Unfortunately, when I'm on the road, working out is the first think sacrificed.


As everyone who lives here in Chicago knows, it's still cold. My eyelashes keep freezing together. Here's a weird picture of it.



I stuck to my normal routine on Superbowl Sunday. Jeannie and her friend Ella took my camera and went out to a few parties. I got to experience the Wrigleyville craziness through their pictures.






Sunday, February 4, 2007

Congratulations Indy

If only the game had ended after the first quarter.

Tough game.

Bad defense.

Bad, bad, bad offense.

Bad, bad, dreadful quarterback.

Terrible commercials.

Football's over. Time to get back to life.

God's a Bear fan.

It's raining in Miami. There's a 60% chance of rain during the game with winds at 10-15 mph. It's not Bear weather, but it's as close as you're going to get in Miami. You can tell God wants the Bears to win.

Here in Chicago it's -1 degrees with a windchill of -24. By tonight, it's supposed to be -11 and the windchill could hit -30.

Last night I had a scarf wrapped around my face as I walked home from IO. My warm breath against the scarf helped warm up my face. Unfortunately, it caused perspiration to form all across my cheeks and eyes. It immediately froze and my scarf stuck to my face. Amazingly enough, the same thing happened to my eyelashes. I was only a block and a half away from my house, but I had to step into the Jewel to warm up because I couldn't open my right eye. My eyelashes had frozen together.

Luckily, the we only have a few more weeks of cold weather left. The groundhog didn't see his shadow, so spring is right around the corner. That's good news.

My mother called me on Friday with a message about the groundhog from my little brother, Jacob. Jacob says that the last time the groundhog didn't see his shadow was 1986....the year the Bears won the SuperBowl. So apparently the Groundhog is a Bears fan as well.

At the time I'm writing this, the game is 6 and a half hours away. That's a lot of pregame to watch, but I'm going to watch every minute of it.

I hope it's a great game. However, if it's a bad game and the Bears blow them out, I'll be pretty happy.

Whatever happens, it's been a great, fun season and it's been fun to see everyone in Chicago get behind the Bears. Baseball divides the city, but the Bears unite it. It's fun for everyone to be rooting together instead of against each other.

I'm also going to to be happy for the head coaches of the Bears and Colts. What a great two weeks for them. I really respect Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy. Two soft-spoken, mild mannered, even tempered, Christian men. Great leaders and great men. It's also great that they're coaching the biggest game of their lives against their best friend. How awesome is that!

Go Bears!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

He ruined it!

So, it appears Brett Favre is coming back for another season.




Nice job, jerk! Thanks for ruining a beautiful moment.



***
Louie's reading went very well last night. He and his girlfriend Crissy even sang a couple songs.
This Project Writing class has been my favorite so far. So much fun that we're going to start a new class in March. On Sundays from noon to 3:00, beginning March 4th, we'll start a new round of the Project Writing Class. Anyone who wants to take the class can sign up with the iO training center. It should be fun.

How much fun?

Look at the photos from last nights reading and judge for yourself.
Jeannie's friends Gina and Ella came to the reading. Jeannie's in the middle. Ella's the one trying to seduce the camera. Gina's the one holding the doughnut.



Brian, Mel and Kara, posing for a sitcom publicity photo.



Greg, Tres, and Molly.
Tres enjoyed the reading.
Molly eats a candy bar.
Greg's scarf has eaten his neck and is beginning to eat his face.



Curt...deranged from the cold.