Tuesday, December 23, 2014

NYC...

Once I got off the ship, my flight wasn't until the next day, so I spent the afternoon and evening in New York City.

I checked into my hotel in the Flat Iron District and walked around the neighborhood.


From there, I walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Now, I know very well that was a very long walk, but I'd been on the cruise ship 9 out of 11 days so I was eager to spend some time outside getting some exercise. Also, Jeannie and I had spent a lot of time in New York the past several years, so I've got a decent familiarization with Manhattan.

I walked around SoHo and did some Christmas shopping.

I walked through Chinatown and curved over to the Bridge.

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is something I've always wanted to do.  To New Yorkers, that probably seems silly, but I thought it was really cool.




After that I took the train back to the neighborhood where I was staying.  I'd read about a place that did Deep Fried pizza, so I made my way over to try it.

It was interesting.  It was like eating amazingly fresh and tasty pizza ingredients on a sweet, big, fat, flat donut.

Later on in the evening, I went to the McKittrick Hotel to watch Sleep No More.  I can't really explain what the show is, so if you want to know more, read this.

It was a warm, foggy night and I really enjoyed walking through the Chelsea neighborhoods.  It's home to the UCB and Magnet Theaters and I've performed at both of those, so it was nice walking around through and area I was fairly familiar with.

I made it to my hotel and the misty skies were cool.



The next day I went to breakfast at the Donut Plant.







Delicious.

It was a great little trip.  I wish Jeannie had been there, but it was really great to wander around and see some fun stuff.

Gem

Last week I helped install a new cast for Second City on the NCL Gem.

I made one of the dumbest mistakes I have ever made. I brought the wrong passport. I brought my expired one.

I mean, are you kidding me!

For the past 12 years I have traveled extensively for several different companies . This year alone I have flown round-up 16 times. At the most, I once racked up 32 rountrip flights. There's no way I should ever make a mistake like that.

Well, not having a passport made things difficult my entire trip. So dumb of me.

On the bright side, it was a very fun cast to work with and it was joy working with Jen Ellison, who was the director for the show we brought on board.



We went to several ports in the Caribbean that I've visited on multiple occasions. However, we did go to Puerto Rico, which is a city I've never been in.

It was really beautiful.



























I'd like to go back again sometime with Jeannie because I think it's a place she would really like.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 5

Thursday, December 11, 2014

San Antonio..

Jeannie and I went to San Antonio last Friday.

We were there to run our 2nd marathon. It was the San Antonio Marathon, which is a part of the Rock and Roll Marathon series.

We got in Friday night and Jeannie's folks took us straight to get some BBQ.

We haven't had Texas BBQ in awhile and it was super delicious. How delicious? Well, I concentrated so much on the food that I didn't take any pictures of it or Jeannie's parents.

On Saturday, we went downtown to the Expo.


After the Expo, we went back to Jeannie's parents house and relaxed and ate our carb heavy meal. Then we went to bed early.

The next morning we got up early and showered. I put on my tracking temporary tattoo.


After that Jeannie's parents drove us to the starting line.


Jeannie wore her Spurs running shirt.


We had a really great race. The first 12 miles we ran through several cool neighborhoods I've never seen before.

As far as fan support goes, it was pretty sporadic. There were a good number of people at the Alamo and Trinity College and by the old brewery and a decent number at the downtown spots.

Once the half-marathon split away from the full marathon, all the fan support disappeared. The last 14 miles we ran with virtually no one anywhere. Thankfully Jeannie's parents were at several spots throughout the course. Seeing them really pumped us up.





Also, once we split from the half-marathon the roads were running on became highways.

The race was much more hilly than we expected. We knew three were going to be hills, but it felt like we were constantly going up and down. There was a solid chunk where we were gradually going downhill, but then for the last 6 miles the hills started rolling again.

For the first 22 miles we were averaging 9:30 miles. Then when we started hitting the rolling hills, we dropped down to 10:45 and 11:00 minute miles.

Also the last 8 miles were on what the called the Mission Trail. We thought it would be a historic trail where you saw all kinds of historic missions and things like that. Well, that wasn't the case. We ran on sidewalks by a stream. It was in a ravine surrounded by concrete so there wasn't a lot to see.

We hit the finish line and the volunteers and staff were really wonderful. There were tons of people handing out medals and were so kind and nice in saying congratulations and asking if we needed assistance.

There were lots of snacks and I grabbed up anything salty I could find.



When we got back to Jeannie's parent's house we each took an ice bath and ate some food.

My post race meal was a Big Red, Doritos and a slice of homemade buttermilk pecan pie.


Jeannie's mom made the pie and it was one if the best pecan pies I've ever eaten.

30 minutes later we headed to the airport. Jeannie was able to stay in Texas a day longer to relax, but I had to fly back to Chicago so I could teach my class at Columbia College.

It was a great trip and we really were proud of finishing our 2nd marathon. More importantly, we really enjoyed spending time with Jeannie's folks. Great trip.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 5

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Our Red, White and Blaine Show...

Our Red, White and Blaine show has gone fantastically well.

We've sold out each of our shows so far and even have had to add seats to accommodate everyone.








We've gotten rave reviews from audience members.  We've also received some great attention in the press.  From the Sun-Times.  And from Theater Mania in NYC.

We've been dinged a little bit by reviewers who have commented that the show is difficult to understand if you aren't familiar with Waiting For Guffman (um...duh!) and that the show is lacking 3 dimensional characters.

And, both of those things are true.  Very true.

You see, we're not doing Waiting For Guffman.  We're parodying the show that the actors from Waiting for Guffman performed during the movie.  We've added scenes and songs and extra pieces to round out Red, White and Blaine since the musical in the movie is only 13 minutes long.  We're parodying 2D characters playing 1D roles.

The best thing that was said in a review was by the reader when they said, "fans of (Christopher) Guest and Waiting for Guffman will be rewarded".  That was our goal.  To take the roles and performances that avid fans love and put it on stage.

It's been super fun and we've had a great time doing the show.

If you haven't seen the show yet, come and watch it.  You'll have a great time.  People in the audience have been yelling the lines and singing the songs along with the actors.  It's. Just. Too. Fun.

The show runs until Jan. 3rd.  So, come and see while you can!  Here's where you can buy tickets.


***Tip.  If you're a performer or student at IO, you can get in free to the show.  The past few weeks have been really busy because of opening night and because of the holiday.  This week and next week will be your best bet to see the show.  So, come this Saturday and December 13th and I'm pretty certain we'll be able to get you in.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Coronado...

For Thanksgiving, Jeannie and I were fortunate to be her parent's guests at the Del Coronado Hotel.
It's a historical resort hotel on Coronado Island, just off of San Diego.


This was the view from the window when we left our rooms.
Jeannie and I were especially excited to be there because it's the hotel where they filmed Some Like It Hot with Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe.
The weather was absolutely amazing and we were able to get in some running, pool time and beach time.

Jeannie was especially happy to see green grass.
After an incredible Thanksgiving Dinner in the Crown room...

We went to the beach so Jeannie and her mom could go ice skating.  That's right, ice skate on the beach.
To our surprise, we ran into Chicago friends.


We saw Piero, Joe and Adam skating around.

They're in town because Second City is doing a holiday show at La Jolla Playhouse.
If you look to the right of the photo, you'll see the foot of a skate just about to enter the picture.  It's Piero.  He was trying to photo bomb the picture.  Well, he raced a little too fast and he ended up splattered on the ice.
It was really hilarious.


The next day after a full day of sun and relaxation, we drove over and watched the Second City Show.  Our good old friend Jo had arranged for us to have tickets.

It was great watching her on stage a thousand miles from where I normally see her play.
On our last night, Jeannie and I treated everyone to smores on the beach.


It was a cool California night, but the fire kept us nice and warm.

It was such a good trip and we had so much fun!

We really took advantage of the warm weather and spent a lot of time outside running outside and relaxing.




We have another trip to warmer weather this weekend, but it won't be quite as relaxing.  You'll see.