Friday, March 13, 2015


I was in New York City to do an improv facilitating gig.

I've taught the theories and fundamentals of improvisation to businesses for several years. The core principals of Yes, And as well as the other executions of what we do onstage, really translate tremendously to the business world. In fact, Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton just recently published their book Yes, And about that exact topic and it's really quite good. I read a lot of books about improv and (I'm not sucking up when I say this) this book took me by surprise. It was fresh and smart (Seriously, I'm not sucking up) and very funny and informative. I'm not kidding. I liked this book. I wasn't going to write anything about it because there's no way to discuss it without people thinking I'm sucking up, but I really liked it and wanted to be honest about it. It's good, okay. Get off my back.

So, anyway. I did this gig in NYC.

We stayed at the W Hotel, near Battery Park.

It was a very modern, trendy hotel. I never take photos of the room I stay in, but this one felt like I was in A Clockwork Orange.

Our meeting actually took place in the new World Trade Center.

Here was the view from our meeting room.

Our second night there, we had dinner with our clients in Brooklyn. The restaurant was on the river, beneath the Brooklyn Bridge so we had an amazing view of the skyline and bridge.

John Loos and Kat Barker were with me for the 3 days we did the gig.

The memorials around the World Trade Center site were very touching and beautiful.

It was 3 very, very full days and we were exhausted by the end. I commented that I was so tired that all I wanted was a slice of people.

It worked. Kat and John found a pizza place for me and I was rejuvenated. Sometimes that's all it takes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 6, 2015


Travel is ramping up.

I'm starting to do a lot of gigs outside Chicago.

What does that mean? Well, for one, it means more blog posts.


I'm in Houston.

On my first day it was 78 degrees, which was a nice break from the freezing temperatures in Chicago.

While we're still within the city limits of Houston, we're pretty far from downtown and pretty far from anything around us.

It's a good location for a run though so I was able to log in some pretty good miles through the nearby forest preserve.

On Thursday, a storm blew and and dropped the temps to 40 degrees.

Last night we ate at a restaurant called Cyclone Taco. After the meal was over, we found out the restaurant was owned by the family of a famous professional wrestler.

I got to do the gig with Rob and Will from LA.

And, Lisa Kueng. Here she is with a new book that she just wrote. Picture Your Prosperity. Buy it here.

Back at the airport, I got to partake in a couple Texas standby's. Whataburger!

And, Shipley's Donuts.

Back to Chicago today where the weather is warming up. We made it to Spring!

Lots of travel coming up. Talk to you real soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Red, White and Blaine is plugging along.

We've sold out every show so far.

The interesting aspect of our sellouts is that very few improvisors or improv students have seen the show.  Students and performers get in free, but we're routinely too full of paying customers to fit any free tickets in.

Now that we're heading into January and getting out of the holiday season, I'm confident the big numbers will subside and more students and performers will get in.  So, if you're a student or performer, come see the show for free!

In fact, you have more time to see it.  We're extended through the month of January.  We won't extend past that though because too many of our cast will be gone or moving onto other projects in February.

We've had some amazing publicity for the show.  Aside from a press release that IO sent out two weeks before the show opened to a few local outlets, the publicity has come to us.

The Sun-Times put out a great article on their website.

From there, the Daily Herald and a few others picked it up.  Time Out Chicago, Gaper's Block. Things To Do In Chicago This Week.

We got a nice review from The Reader.  And, a mediocre one from the Tribune.

Then, I got a call from Theater Mania website.  This article was passed around over a thousand times on social media.

Then, a couple of big name publications picked up the story.  Playbill. Broadway World.

That led to a phone call from the New York Times.  They came to the theater to interview me then watched the show and talked to the cast.

We had a gigantic spread on their website and in their print paper.

How crazy!  The New York Times came to see our show.  There's so much irony, it's ludicrous.

Both the New York Times and TheaterMania asked if there's any way we could bring the show to New York for a short run.  We haven't had any official requests from any theaters in New York, but we have had some requests to take the show on the road to some other theaters in other towns.  There just hasn't been a request that would work out for us.  

It's been a fun, magnificent ride doing this show.  The cast is super smart, funny and fun.  The audiences that have come to the shows have been wonderfully rowdy and fun.

It'll be hard to top this.