Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weeks 17 & 18 - Scott Olson

WEEKS 17 & 18 – “Shows You Would Never See If You Didn’t Know Someone In The Cast”

Director Scott Olson. Scott is a faculty member in the theater department at Columbia College as well as an active participant in the Chicago theater scene as an actor. I really got to know Scott well the first time I participated in the Columbia College 24 Hour Play Festival. I was one of the actors and he was the director. I was really impressed by Scott's energy, enthusiasm and ability to make you feel good about what you are doing while moving you toward a better performance. He was also the first director to jump on a block of scenes. Before the project was even close to wrapping up, he laid claim to this two weeks because he loves Time Beavers and Romeo Pizza. This block also contains some other favs of mine, such as the title piece and two Hopper-related scenes - Nighthawks (A Bladerunner riff) and Summer Evening. Both of those can presently be seen in the Wednesday night Nighthawk Sandwich show at the DCA Storefront theater. (7:30pm, 5 bucks, just 3 shows left!).













The Hitchhiker.5.24.09


Thursday, January 28, 2010

26 Shows, 26 Directors

Weeks 15 & 16 - "Weenus" - Saturday, June 5th, Midnight

Director Derek Van Tassel - Derek is a former student of mine at Columbia College. I had him in both my improv class and comedy workshop class. Smart guy with a sardonic wit. He also has an artistic entreprenuerial streak which had him producing and directing his own shows outside of what was required of him for a degree. Not one to flock to a midnight show, I'm glad Derek is in charge of this. I know he'll bring a lot of energy and creativity to it and keep this old guy awake past his bedtime. This was a particularly good block of scenes for me. Some of them have already been produced; Weenus (Sketchfest), Bullet Flu (Sketchfest), Two on the Aisle (The (edward) Hopper Project), Wishes (Playing in Peoria) and Brace Beer (Playing in Peoria podcast).

Here are the scenes that will be in that show...















Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Believe...

...that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. And monsters. Monsters are very frightening.

...that politicians are doing their best to put on a great show so they can keep their jobs. They owe more to P. T. Barnum than Abraham Lincoln, except Barnum was more trustworthy.

...that throwing one's heart and soul and total devotion into any organized religion is a lousy idea. The fact religions - Christianity, included - tend to lead to and foster war is pretty good evidence against them being a good idea.

...that work can be fun. We drudge through life as if "work sucks" is henna tattooed to our foreheads. You have to make a buck, sure, but it doesn't have to be a soul-sucking experience. And, if it is, get to work to change it. Either change how you are at work, or change the work. I used to wait tables. Didn't like it, but had a lot of fun and used what I didn't like to fuel my creativity and search for a better job. I don't make a ton of money, but I laugh a lot and have conversations about penguins, vampires, sand castles, unicorns with STDs and all things ridiculous.

...that you should hop on the Brown Line tonight, get off at Randolph, or on the Red Line and get off at Lake, and catch WNEP's Nighthawk Sandwich at the Storefront Theater, 66 East Randolph. 7:30PM - five bucks(!) - see some Hopper scenes that aren't in the main show but are incredibly fun and entertaining nonetheless... It also includes three 365 scenes. 40 actors, nine scenes, buttloads of talent on display and only FIVE BUCKS! Best theater deal in the city!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Did and Doing

Things are coming along. Production-wise, we have the venue and a few corporate sponsors providing some kibbles and bits for the audience and actors. Presently, I'm working with directors who expressed interest last June to see if they are still available and which show they'd like to direct.

It feels odd for "365 Sketches" to shift from "doing" to "did." There's something about being in the process that lends itself to momentum and enthusiasm. Not that I have lost any enthusiasm, but there is something about the excitement and immediacy of talking to people about this thing I'm doing versus that thing I did. It's left me to shift my focus from the project no longer being about writing a year's worth of scenes to now presenting a year's worth of scenes. Hey, we're putting up 365 scenes in ten days!

We have some really great directors lined up and are talking to a few more. As directors commit to specific slots, I'll post it here. Here's one.

WEEKS 3 & 4 – “Diversity Chicken” - Thursday, June 3rd, 10pm

Director Jason Fleece - Jason directed a piece I wrote called Cheddar Moon for a Chicago Dramatists and Second City 10-Minute Play showcase. He did a great job. I'm very excited to be working with him, again. This block has a few of my favorite scenes - Diversity Chicken (which was in Robot vs Dinosaur's fall show - Hey, Jason, we already have the chicken suit!), Hemlock, Katjitsu, Single White Friendster (which went over really well at Sketchfest) and The Spy Who Dated Me.

Another One of Those Blackouts.2.7.09

Tit for Tat.2.3.09

Diversity Chicken.2.4.09




Single White Friendster.2.5.09

Gravy Boat.2.11.09

Spy Who Dated Me.2.15.09

Looking Great.2.10.09





Thursday, January 21, 2010

365 Show Schedule at Strawdog Theater

“365 SHOW SCHEDULE” – Strawdog Theater – June 3 – June 13, 2010

One show = 2 weeks of scenes

THU 6/3

8PM – 1 & 2

10PM – 3 & 4

FRI 6/4

8PM – 5 & 6

10PM – 7 & 8

Midnight – 9 & 10

SAT 6/5

8PM – 11 & 12

10PM – 13 & 14

Midnight – 15 & 16

SUN 6/6

7PM – 17 & 18 (director - Scott Olson)

9PM – 19 & 20

MON 6/7

8PM – 21 & 22

23 & 24

TUE 6/8

8PM – 25 & 26

27 & 28

WED 6/9

8PM – 29 & 30

31 & 32 (director - Chris Othic)

THU 6/10

8PM – 33 & 34

10PM – 35 & 36

FRI 6/11

8PM – 37 & 38

10PM – 39 & 40

Midnight - 41 & 42

SAT 6/12

8PM – 43 & 44

10PM - 45 & 46

Midnight – 47 & 48

SUN 6/13

7PM – 49 & 50

9PM – 51 & 52

All 365

Here's the final list of all 365 scenes sent out to the directors for them to look at and consider. Withing their one-week section, they are not in chronological order, but alphabetical. The dates are included at the end of the title. The cast size is in parenthesis.

“365 Sketches” – Breakdown by week (updated 1/21/10)

WEEKS 1 & 2 – “Dancing with the Devil” – minimum cast size: 7

(4)Babies Are Assholes.1.25.09”

(7) SPINCYCLE.1.24.09

(7) Cernik on the bus.1.22.09

(2) laid on.1.19.09


(2) Made in China.1.20.09.doc

(6) single slices.1.23.09

(5) Dancing with the Devil.1.29.09

(5) Chet Later.1.30.09

(1) Pushing The Envelope.1.26.09

(3) Better Than Money.1.27.09


(6) Chet At Lunch.1.31.09

(3) Neighbors.1.28.09

WEEKS 3 & 4 – “Diversity Chicken” – minimum cast size: 7

(7) “Another One of Those Blackouts.2.7.09”

(4) “Tit for Tat.2.3.09”

(3) “Diversity Chicken.2.4.09”

(2) “Hemlock.2.6.09”

(3) “KATJITSU.2.2.09”

(3) “Medusa.2.8.09”

(2) “Single White Friendster.2.5.09”

(4) “Gravy Boat.2.11.09”

(3) “Spy Who Dated Me.2.15.09”

(2) “Looking Great.2.10.09”

(3) “Macbeth.2.9.09”

(3) “NPRpart1.2.12.09” – could be done live or prerecorded

(2) “NPRpart2.2.13.09” - could be done live or prerecorded

(3) “NPRpart3.2.14.09” - could be done live or prerecorded

WEEKS 5 & 6 – “Zombie Space Aliens” – minimum cast size: 7

(4) “Bad News.2.18.09”

(2) “Termination.2.17.09”

(4) LOUD SUNSHINE.2.22.09”

(3) “Mercury Poisoning.2.19.09”

(3) “Once Upon A Time in the Church Basement.2.21.09”

(3) “Public Hair.2.16.09”

(3) “Suess Club.2.20.09”

(7) “Mr. Mysterium.3.1.09”

(4) “Zombie Space Aliens.2.23.09”

(5) “That’s Just Jay.2.25.09”

(3) “TheC-E-Yos(a rap song).2.24.09

(2) “The Third One.2.26.09”

(7) “The Wretched Refuse2.27.09”

(1) “This Is My Art.2.28.09”

WEEKS 7 & 8 – “Dried and Cured Meats” – minimum cast size: 6

(3) “Exit, Pursued By A Bear.3.6.09”

(1) “TheTwittysburgAddress.3.5.09”

(3) “HealthNut.3.7.09”

(2) “PaulinaStop.3.8.09”

(3) “PuzzleNight,Part1.3.2.09”

(3) “PuzzleNight,Part2.3.3.09”

(3) “PuzzleNight,Part3.3.4.09”

(4) “DriedAndCuredMeats.3.12.09”

(2) “WeReachWithRadio.3.15.09”

(1) “HappyEnding.3.14.09”

(6) “IciclesofEvil.3.11.09”

(2) “SelfStorage.3.13.09”

(5) “SomethingRotten.3.9.09”

(2) “TheDayTheEarthStoodByWaiting.3.10.09”

WEEKS 9 & 10 – “The End of the World” – minimum cast size: 7

(2) “BigFatLies.3.17.09”

(2) “WE REACH WITH RADIO II.3.22.09”

(4) “Blogger.3.21.09”

(3) “Bully.3.16.09”

(3) “CoffinMax.3.20.09”

(6) “OpenCasket.3.19.09”

(3) “RecollectionsOfACountryLife.3.18.09”

(4) “”

(2) “WorksBetterOnChildren.3.25.09”

(7) “AGoodMan.3.23.09”

(2) “MattNeedsYourHelp.3.24.09”

(2) “TheEndOfTheWorld.3.26.09”

(4) “TheMachineAlsoRises.3.27.09”


WEEKS 11 & 12 – “An Affair to Whatever” – minimum cast size: 8

(4) “AGhostsStory.4.1.09”

(8) “WhatAmericaRunsOn.4.2.09”

(2) “AnAmericanMugging.4.3.09”

(3) “Cannibal78.3.31.09”

(3) “CauldronFresh.3.30.09”

(5) “HowSweet.4.4.09”

(2) “TheCustomerIsAlwaysRight.4.5.09”

(2) “AnAffairtoWhatever.4.11.09”

(2) “TheTip.4.12.09”

(3) “AprilShowers.4.7.09”

(7) “ChickenMagnet.4.6.09”

(3) “EasterEggHuntingwithBubWinkerman.4.9.09”

(2) “ILikeYouBetterWhenYou’reNude.4.8.09”

(4) “PitchBleak.4.10.09”

WEEKS 13 & 14 – “While On My Way To Hell” – minimum cast size: 6

(6) “AFriendintheEnd.4.19.09”

(6) “WhileOnMyWayToHell.4.18.09”

(2) “DuallyNoted.4.14.09”

(3) “OfficerArsenty.4.15.09”

(3) “StellaonTuesdays.4.17.09”

(5) “Stripperer.4.16.09”

(3) “WarIsHardWork.4.13.09”

(3) “Bonus.4.26.09”

(2) “WalterGoldstein.4.25.09”

(3) “CreptOut.4.23.09”

(2) “OffTheGrid.4.21.09”

(2) “QueenofBees.4.22.09”

(6) “SearchingforJossWhedon.4.20.09”

(2) “UPSSucks.4.24.09”

WEEKS 15 & 16 – “Weenus” – minimum cast size:

(3) “BackgroundCheck.5.1.09”

(3) “Weenus.5.2.09”

(8) “DeathToTyrants.4.28.09”

(2) “DumDums.4.29.09”

(5) “JohnIrvingness.4.27.09”

(2) “Truckin.4.30.09”

(4) “TwoOnTheAisle.5.3.09”

(4) “BraceBeer.5.6.09”

(3) “Wishes.5.4.09”

(3) “BulletFlu.5.7.09”

(8) “HippyBathday.5.5.09”

(2) “SeaWatchers.5.10.09”

(3) “ThrowingChonos.5.8.09”

(4) “WhyIHateFrenchCinema.5.9.09” – English version, for reference

(4) “WhyIHateFrenchCinema.5.9.09A” – French-ish version, for performance

WEEKS 17 & 18 – “Shows You Would Never See If You Didn’t Know Someone In The Cast” – minimum cast size: 7 (Director: Scott Olson)

(2) “AKissAnyway.5.16.09”

(6) “Untucked.5.14.09”

(4) “Nighthawks.5.13.09”

(4) “ProblemSolved.5.15.09”

(4) “PromNight.5.11.09”

(6) “Smile.5.12.09”

(6) “SummerEvening.5.17.09”

(2) “CasadeNed.5.21.09”

(7) “TimeBeavers.5.23.09”

(2) “PawnBroken.5.18.09”

(2) “RomeoPizza.5.22.09”

(3) “ShowsYouWouldNeverSee.5.20.09”

(3) “The Hitchhiker.5.24.09”

(1) “TheDeafofTheater.5.19.09”

WEEKS 19 & 20 – Chekhov in the Trailer Park”- minimum cast size: 7

(6) “BookClub.5.26.09”

(5) “WideWithPride.5.25.09”

(2) “CarryingAPorch.5.28.09”

(4) “ChekhovInTheTrailerPark.5.31.09”

(2) “LangleyandPratt5.27.09”

(2) “Listening.5.30.09”

(7) “StretchLimousine.5.29.09”

(3) “AnOnLineEducation.6.6.09”

(3) “WhereTheresSmokeTheresSmoke.6.2.09”

(4) “FascinationStreetBakery.6.5.09”

(1) “HowToWriteAComedySketch.6.4.09 – this is an already produced video

(5) “IDoHoldOn.6.1.09”

(2) “SwimmingforNonSwimmers.6.7.09”

(4) “TheLifeandstrangeSurprizingAdventuresofRobinsonCrusoe.6.3.09”

WEEKS 21 & 22 – “Jerk Sandwich”- minimum cast size: 8

(7) “TheInternationalComedyWritingInstituteofAmerica.6.8.09”

(2) “TheConstantPresent.6.12.09”

(8) “RocknRollTrouble!.6.14.09”

(4) “KennySpicerman.6.11.09”

(2) “IfIWereYou.6.9.09”

(3) “FunkandWagnall.6.13.09”

(2) “ExtractionNumber2.6.10.09”

(2) “ChryslerOnAStick.6.16.09”

(4) “Don’t Ask, Don’tShout.6.19.09”

(2) “FarmersfromHell.6.21.09”

(2) “JerkSandwich.6.20.09”

(7) “MyFathersBeret.6.17.09”

(2) “Tracer.6.15.09”

(6) “ZombiePizzaParty.6.18.09”

WEEKS 23 & 24 – “Red, White and Beer”- minimum cast size: 9

(3) “EverybodyPoops,EvenNeil.6.23.09”

(3) “JensMomNancy.6.26.09”

(4) “PeopleWhoLiveInCandyHousesShouldn’tThrowVegetables.6.22.09”

(7) “PhilliptheFriendlyDinosaur.6.24.09”

(3) “TheAmazingMaxwells.6.25.09”

(9) “TheSemiHardTruthAboutViagra.6.28.09”

(1) “ThingsIPutInMyMouth.6.27.09”

(6) “GronkGoesBonk.6.30.09”

(3) “HowBadsTheCoffee.7.4.09”

(4) “KidzNewz.7.1.09”

(2) “NewBlood.7.5.09”

(3) “Red, White and Beer.7.3.09”

(3) “TheCarpetCave.6.29.09”

(3) “TheDeathofMe.7.2.09”

WEEKS 25 & 26 – “Twi-Lite “ – minimum cast size: 7

(7) “YouHavePlacedAChillInMyHeart.7.10.09”

(4) “WildIsTheWind.7.11.09”

(4) “Twi-Lite.7.6.09”

(2) “ThoseWhoCan't.7.12.09”

(5) “TheHIPPENING.7.9.09”

(7) “DownontheFarm.7.8.09”

(3) “BedtimeStories.7.7.09”

(2) TheLastWord.7.19.09

(3) AlienationofAffection.7.14.09

(2) AngryCow.7.17.09

(5) BigBother.7.15.09

(4) GiantLeap.7.18.09

(3) NeverBeenRuffied.7.16.09

(5) Sunburn.7.13.09

WEEKS 27 & 28 – “Disco Heaven“ – minimum cast size: 6

(2) “WTF.7.25.09”

(5) “VioletsinGarlicSauce.7.26.09”

(5) “TurkeyFingers.7.22.09”

(4) “DryDock.7.20.09”

(2) “DiscoHeaven.7.21.09”

(5) “BuenosAires.7.23.09”

(2) “ALittlePsycho.7.24.09”

(2) “WithorWithout.7.28.09””

(6) “DearPenthouse.7.27.09

(6) “DingDongSchool – HeWhoSitsInTheShadowOfHisTail.7.29.09”

(4) “FrenchIsEasy.8.2.09”

(5) “MercenaryAir.7.30.09”

(2) “NewYorkNewYork.8.1.09”

(2) “Weepy.7.31.09”

WEEKS 29 & 30 – “Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Treadmill“ – minimum cast size: 6

(3) “ThoughtsOfADyingAtheist.8.6.09”

(6) “FoolsRushInWhereAngelsFearToTreadmill.8.8.09”

(2) “AfterWorkBeforeBed.8.3.09”

(2) “BlackCoffee.8.7.09”

(3) “MandingoRex.8.9.09”

(2) “PeopleLetMeTellYa.8.5.09”

(1) “TheDingDongSong.8.4.09”

(2) “Simplifying.8.13.09”

(3) “ACupo Joe.8.16.09”

(1) “AnOperatorTriesToHelpJimCroce.8.12.09”

(6) FreeSoda.8.11.09

(6) “GrekkortheAlien.8.15.09”

(5) “OnAStick.8.10.09”

(4) “Pepper.8.14.09”

WEEKS 31 & 32 – “A Thing I Wrote“ – minimum cast size: 6 (Director: Chris Othic)

(3) AMemberoftheChurchofGod.8.22.09

(4) ArtAndAboutWithRandyCarson.8.23.09

(6) HadThisBeenAnActualEmergency.8.19.09

(6) StopSHOUTING.8.20.09

(4) TheCaseoftheSpeckledBullet.8.17.09

(4) TheUnicornAndTheVengeance.8.21.09

(4) WhatPriceGory.8.18.09

(6) AGospelSongforAtheists.8.24.09

(6) AThingIWROTE.8.30.09

(4) BodyFallingDownstairsSlowly.8.28.09

(2) InterestDue.8.26.09

(3) StillLife.8.25.09

(6) TheEighthWonderoftheWorld.8.29.09

(2) Wasp.8.27.09

WEEKS 33 & 34 – “Boris vs. Nature“ – minimum cast size: 6

(3) ACivilWar.9.6.09

(3) AFlyOnTheWall.9.4.09

(6) BorisvsNature.9.1.09

(3) Bouncer.9.3.09

(2) ByAnyOtherName.9.5.09

(3) EnoughRope.8.31.09

(5) ILove2Boogie.9.2.09

(2) AHitForWeddingsorFunerals.9.8.09

(5) APennySaved.9.11.09

(2) Gary’sGotAProblem.9.12.09

(2) GuntherLandorsHouseoHealing.9.13.09

(2) IHateCleaning.9.7.09

(4) INeedLunch.9.10.09

(2) WartsandAll.9.9.09

WEEKS 35 & 36 – “Oblique Oblige“ – minimum cast size: 6

(1) Ain’tThatLove.9.16.09

(3) EtTude.9.18.09

(6) Late.9.19.09

(2) LikeABaby.9.14.09

(5) Pinocchio.9.20.09

(2) Pullover.9.17.09

(5) TheFilmofMyLove.9.15.09

(4) ClimateChange.9.22.09

(4) Detained.9.25.09

(4) ObliqueOblige.9.23.09

(2) Runaway.9.21.09

(2) TheAwakening.9.26.09

(6) ThreeBagsFull.9.27.09

(3) TypewriterRepair.9.24.09

WEEKS 37 & 38 – “What If They Held A Peace Rally And Nobody Came?” – minimum cast size: 6

(3) ComeAgain.10.2.09

(6) ComeAgainAgain.10.3.09

(1) DesMoines.10.1.09

(6) Elaborate.9.28.09

(5) GiveALittle.10.4.09

(2) LighthouseHill.9.30.09

(4) TheLastUnicorn.9.29.09

(2) BabyMilosh.10.06.09

(4) HappyAlzheimer’s.10.10.09

(2) JustInCase.10.5.09

(3) MeatSubstitute.10.8.09

(4) PopsicleStick.10.9.09

(4) Spuhllujah.10.7.09

(6) WhatIfTheyHeldAPeaceRallyAndNobodyCame.10.11.09

WEEKS 39 & 40 – “St. Drunken’s Day” – minimum cast size: 8

(5) BoxingDay.10.18.09

(2) Chicago.10.15.09

(3) HowToHaveSexWithWomen.10.17.09

(4) SlowDownLifesTooShort.10.16.09

(2) SomethingsDifferent.10.14.09

(6) TheWeepingLlama.10.13.09

(1) ToWake.10.12.09

(2) Clump.10.19.09

(2) Dayhawks.10.22.09

(5) GoodSeats.10.23.09

(2) MrJones.10.25.09

(8) PositiveLoitering.10.20.09

(2) RoominNewYork.10.21.09

(3) St.DrunkensDay.10.24.09

WEEKS 41 & 42 – “Dear Cancer” – minimum cast size: 7

(2) AMothToAFlame.10.29.09

(3) Christopher.10.27.09

(2) HotelRoom.10.31.09

(1) LifesTooShortTo.10.30.09

(7) LittleDrummerBoy.10.28.09

(2) Procrastination.11.1.09

(7) TheGoInTheGo.10.26.09

(2) 911.11.2.09

(5) DearCancer.11.6.09

(2) ExcursionIntoPhilosophy.11.5.09

(3) LakeRood.11.7.09

(2) SocialIssues.11.4.09

(6) ThisWillBeOurYear.11.3.09

(2) ThreeWishes.11.08.09

WEEKS 43 & 44 – “You Know – Like The End of the World” – minimum cast size: 6

(5) AFistfulofYarn.11.15.09

(2) Retard.11.10.09.

(6) Séance.11.11.09

(2) StayingUpLate.11.12.09

(3) TeachAManToFish.11.9.09

(5) Thief.11.13.09

(2) WinningTheLottery.11.14.09

(2) FutureElectric.11.19.09

(3) GrandOpening.11.20.09

(2) KickTheCan.11.22.09

(3) NotAllDogsGoToHeaven.11.18.09

(2) PlanB.11.17.09

(2) ToTheImpossible.11.16.09

(3) YouKnowLikeTheEndoftheWorld.11.21.09

WEEKS 45 & 46 – “Who’s Afraid of Virginia, Wolf?” – minimum cast size: 6

(3) TheLibrary.11.25.09

(6) CatMenOnTheMoon.11.29.09

(4) Digger.11.27.09

(3) HeldUp.11.28.09

(4) NoThanks.11.26.09

(5) SomethingToBelieveIn.11.24.09

(2+) TheFirstTeaPartiers.11.23.09

(5) WhosAfraidofVirginiaWolf.12.6.09

(3) ChristmasComesEarlyMaybeLate.12.5.09

(6) FirstFlight.12.3.09

(4) ForcedSmile.11.30.09

(4) OnFire.12.4.09

(2) RacistInABox.12.1.09

(2) TheFoodChain.12.2.09

WEEKS 47 & 48 – “Barflies At The Beach” – minimum cast size: 6

(4) WindowShopper.12.10.09

(3) BarfliesAtTheBeach.12.9.09

(3) Bunny.12.11.09

(2) Grosseries.12.13.09

(2) OBGYN.12.8.09.doc

(2) Settling…Up.12.12.09

(1) SlowWalkWithLimpInEcho.12.7.09

(5) AChristmasStory.12.16.09

(5) AnyoneforTennis.12.18.09

(3) ASigningFromGod.12.19.09

(6) AtTheStarbucks.12.17.09

(4) Free Hugs.12.16.09

(2) JockItch.12.20.09

(3) SoHelpMeGod.12.14.09

WEEKS 49 & 50 – “Farewell To Monster Island” – minimum cast size: 5

(3) AmericanGuitarHero.12.22.09

(3) GodHatesFags.12.26.09

(3) ItsForTheBest.12.24.09

(3) LoveBirdsAndCatThieves.12.23.09

(2) PhantomBooger.12.27.09

(2) TheFiveDollarMystery.12.21.09

(4) TheThoughtsThatCount.12.25.09

(2) MuchToDo.1.2.10

(2) Blockbusted.1.3.10

(3) DiningInHell.12.31.09

(4) FarewellToMonsterIsland.1.1.10

(5) FuckYou, Harry Chapin.12.30.09

(3) iMiranda.12.29.09

(1) Listless.12.28.09

WEEKS 51 & 52 – “” – minimum cast size: (7)

(4) SmoothSailing.1.10.10

(3) Anna.

(2) Footprints.1.8.10

(2) Hi.1.5.10

(6) OurManInAccounting.1.7.10

(5) PolkaDotsandMoonbeams.1.4.10

(2) RateofDecay.1.9.10

(3) BornAgain.1.15.10

(6) CurtainCall.1.17.10

(3) One Night.1.13.10

(3) PayItSideways.1.16.10

(7 or 11)Pigeon.1.12.10

(4) TurkeyInTheStraw.1.11.10

(5) WhiteChocolate.1.18.10

(1) YourNewImprovCoach.1.14.10

365 - Phase Two

Okay. Two days out from completing the last scene.

On Tuesday, I did laundry and watched Bullitt starring Steve McQueen on instant Netflix. Great cop movie from the late sixties that looks like it was a great influence on many great cop films from the seventies - French Connection and Dirty Harry, for example. It's a smart movie, deliberately paced, with one of the best car chases ever filmed. What I liked best about the chase is that it clock in around ten minutes and there's no dialogue or music. No thumpy soundtrack, no witty quips. Just intense driving. And I went to Goose Island to celebrate completing the project with friends. Special thanks to Robot vs Dinosaur who gave me a trophy and declared me "Undisputed Sketch King." That was nice. So, I'm a king, now.

On Wednesday, I had one of those days I dreaded during the 365 project. I had to be at Columbia College by 9am, was there to late afternoon, had to run errands for the Nighthawk Sandwich open and stay through the reception to clean up. There would have been no time during the day to write which means I would have written a scene at 11 o'clock at night, exhausted. Not fun. It was a relief not to have that pressure.

What is next? Well, now the work begins on putting the work up in June at the Strawdog Theater. For me, that means slotting 26 directors to head up 26 shows and doing rewrites. For the rewrites, I will be going through every scene, one at a time, in order, with the intention of making them better.

The only thing that felt odd was when I came up with a good line last night at the reception that could be developed into a scene. Of course, I could still do that, but I seriously thought, "Maybe I could twitter it." And this morning while doing dishes I came up with an idea for a scene. Those scenes will get written. Just not today or tomorrow.

It's hard to say how the project has affected me. I look forward to nurturing ideas and working on a larger project. I will say that my confidence to deliver a stageable scene in a short amount of time is pretty darn high. The most enjoyable part of the project is seeing my work produced - Mrs. Gruber's Ding Dong School, 365 at Sketchfest, The (edward) Hopper Project, Nighthawk Sandwich, Run, Palindrome, Nur, Columbia College's 24 Play Festival. By my flawed math skills, that's 20 different scenes. That's not including the high school in Florida that performed a handful of them or the few that showed up as YouTube videos. A record for me, for sure. It's especially satisfying to see actors having fun with what I wrought and building on it in such brilliant and nuanced ways.

So, stay tuned...

Monday, January 18, 2010

DAY 365 - "White Chocolate"

Thank you everyone who has supported me on this yearlong creative journey. People have told me they have found it inspirational which alone has made it worth it.

Tomorrow night, I'll be at Goose Island in Wrigleyville tipping back a pale ale around 7pm. Stop by and say howdy if you can.

The next step in the project is to start rewriting and prepping 26 shows that will present all 365 sketches over ten days in June at the Strawdog Theater. But I won't start that until Wednesday. Tomorrow is my first day off in a year from sketch writing. I will keep people posted on the progress on this blog. We'll keep the "365 Sketches" name for a while longer.

Big thanks to Don Hall who, aside from inspiring a few scenes, has been very empowering in keeping me looking forward and is producing the Strawdog shows. I don't know if there's anyone who has read all 365, but if anyone has come close, it's my brother Don and fellow Robot vs. Dinosaur, Chris Othic. Alisa Hauser, Mark Krause and Kayla Branch have probably read the majority of them. Their support has been invaluable. (If there is someone who has read them all that I missed, let me know. I'd like to thank you.) The people who have given me shout outs from time-to-time or asked me how it was going are too numerous to try to list and I'm sure I would fail in trying to remember them all. Your encouragement was also appreciated.

I also received tremendous support through my participation in Robot vs. Dinosaur ("Run, Palindrome, Nur" and "Mrs. Gruber's Ding Dong School") and WNEP ("The (edward) Hopper Project" and "Nighthawk Sandwich"). They gave me projects to write for which helped keep me going. My Tuesday night men's goals group (Mike, Matt, Brian, Doug, Tony, Brad, Tom and Ed) also kept me accountable.

Chris warned against doing the 365 project. His reasoning was sound. It might suck and, in turn, do damage to my reputation as a writer and a teacher. But once I embarked on it, he became one of my staunchest supporters and never backed off on tough criticism or high praise when giving feedback on scenes.

This is for Chris who requested a scene on a spaceship with aliens and women in mini-skirts.

“White Chocolate”

Written by Joe Janes


365 of 365


Capt. Bob Dingle, 40s

Carlo, 20s

Cassandra, 20s

Duche, ???

Chak Bluker, ???

(Lights up on Captain Bob Dingle quarters on the spaceship U.S.S. Amaretto. We hear a COM whistle. The captain walks out shirtless, in tight black pants, drying his hair with a space towel. He presses a button on his communication console.)


Captain Bob Dingle, here.


Yes, captain. I know.


What is it, Carlo?


We just entered the Vagon quadrant and are on a steady course to Alpha 3. We should be there in six hours.


Thank you, Carlo. Is Yeoman Cassandra on her way?

CARLO (VO - sighs)

Yes, Sir. She’s bringing you the reports you asked for.


Excellent. We are not to be disturbed. Is that clear?


As usual with new female crew members.


Have the galley send up some Parnassian Champagne and some of those toasted coconut scallop thingies from Enyothic 4. I think this meeting could last hours. Hours upon hours. We’ll need sustenance.


They should already be in your quarters, sir.


Ah, yes. I see. Thank you, Ensign. (There is an old-timey doorbell sound.) I have to go. Wish me luck.




It’s something sailor’s do.


Good luck, Sir.


I won’t need it.

(He presses a button. Sits seductively in his chair.)

DINGLE (continuing)

Come in.

(Yeoman Cassandra comes in. Her uniform is a one-piece short skirt and boots. She carries space clipboards with her.)


I have the supply reports, Captain.


Go ahead and set them down over there. (She does.) Oh, that’s good.


You look like you just got out of the shower. I can come back.


Nonsense. We’re a military outfit on the USS Amaretto. Close quarters. In the trenches. Space trenches. There are going to be times when we’ll see one another in various states of undress. We have to get used to it. (He traces one of his nipples.) Do you find it distracting?


I’m a little uncomfortable.


I’ll go ahead and change. (He walks off.) How is your first interstellar space mission going, Yeoman? Is it everything you expected?


It’s very exciting. Going to worlds most humans can only imagine. I look forward to learning about alien cultures first hand.


I can take you places no woman has ever been.

(Dingle reenters wearing a smoking jacket over his bare chest.)

DINGLE (continuing)

There. That’s better. I was just going to have a sip of champagne and a toasted scallop or two. Would you like to join me?


Captain. I have a husband.


Oh. You haven’t heard.


Heard what?


What happens the Vagon quadrant stays in the Vagon quadrant.

(We hear the COM whistle, again. Dingle pushes a button.)


Captain Bob Dingle, here.


Yes, Sir. There is an important message from space command. It’s on a secured channel.


Right on schedule, Carlo. Pump it into my cabin.

CARLO (VO –sighs)

Yes, Sir.

(We hear Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” start playing in the captain’s quarters. He starts dancing “seductively” at Cassandra.)


Ooh. That sounds like a very important message, Yeoman.


It sounds like an old rhythm and blues song from the mid-20th century.


That’s because it’s in code. I’ll decipher it for you. “Attention. Codename: White Chocolate…That’s me…”


That’s not the lyrics.


It’s embedded in the thumping, throbbing rhythms, Cassandra. To read it properly, I need to put my hips into it. If you move your hips, you might be able hear it, too. (He listens, again.) “…Your mission in space may last another year without returning home to loved ones. A long, cold, lonely 365 earth days. Recommend to fend off space madness, that crewmembers have conjugal visitations with one another. As captain, you should be taken care of first.” And then it repeats. Well, there you go, Yeoman Cassandra. We have to protect Captain White Chocolate from space madness.

(Cassandra goes over to the console and turns the music off.)


You’re the captain of the most powerful spaceship in the galaxy and you have to resort to tactics like this to try to get laid?



(We hear a loud crash. Lights flicker and go dim. Cassandra and Dingle get knocked into each other and around the cabin. Warning alarms go off. Carlo breaks in on the COM.)


Captain! Captain! We’re under attack.

(The shaking stops. Cassandra pushes Dingle off her.)


Who is it, Carlo?


Haggian Chak Blukers, Sir!


Chak Blukers! Damn, them! They always know when I’m about to get some.


You weren’t-


Fire everything you’ve got at them!


It’s too late. They boarded us, already. (We hear sounds of fighting and lasers being shot.) Captain, they got…me. (We hear the sound of a phone go dead and then a dial tone. Dingle pushes a button and turns it off.)


I have a bad feeling about this.


You should. We’re in trouble.

(There is the sound of a blast and Duche Bog, a large smelly Haggian Chalk Bluker, bursts in with another similarly large and smelly Chalk Bluker. Duche points his weapon at Dingle. The other Bluker grabs Cassandra.)


Duche Bog! I should have known.


Captain Bob Dingle. Aka, White Chocolate.


You broke our code!


Oh, please. You’ve been trying to spread that nickname in three galaxies.


It fits, don’t you think?


I have no idea what it refers to in your world, but I don’t think it will replace what everyone already calls you.


And what’s that?


Jackass. We have unfinished business. You gallivant across the universe and try to screw any race that has a hole you can stick your weenie in.


You call it a weenie on your planet?


“Weenie” and “jackass” are universal. Unfortunately, your captain doesn’t do his research. He killed a friend of mine, a Dolphinium, by plugging up the blowhole with his weenie.




I thought the squeals meant she was enjoying it.


You mean “he.”




You. Earth woman. (He takes off his belt and walks up to her.) Leave.


What will happen to her?


We will put her on our slave ship where we will make her wear a metal bikini and take anti-gravity bubble baths in a glass enclosure. She will also read us bedtime stories. (He shrugs.) We have trouble sleeping.




Don’t worry. I will rescue you.


You can try. (He signals for her to be taken off and the other Chak Bluker does so.) If you can still walk.

(Duche sets his weapon down and presses a button on the console. We hear “Let’s Get It On.” He starts dancing at a terrified Dingle as lights fade.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week 52, Day 364 - "Curtain Call"

“Curtain Call”

Written by Joe Janes


364 of 365


Andrew, 20s

Amanda, 20s

Paul, 40s

Judy, 40s

Top Half, 20s

Bottom Half, 20s

(Lights up on Amanda sitting on a park bench. Andrew shyly walks over. They exchange cute glances. He sits. He is very nervous and doesn’t look at her. She is nervous, too. )


I don’t know what to say…


I don’t either.


Maybe we don’t have to say anything.


Maybe we don’t.

(Still without look at one another, they slowly creep their hands towards one another on the seat of the bench until their pinkies intertwine. They are excited and somewhat relieved to be doing this. Paul and Judy, a couple in the second or third row of the theater get up and start moving down the row towards the aisle. They are very polite about this, but clearly being loud and obvious enough to be a distraction.)

ANDREW (To Paul and Judy)

What are you doing?

AMANDA (To Andrew)

What are you doing?


I’m talking to them.


Stay in character. Ignore them.


I can’t. Everyone in the theater is watching them. (He stands.) Hey! Hey you!





(Judy points to the stage. Paul sees that Andrew is staring at them.)


Is there a problem?


We were just leaving. We really didn’t mean to disturb you. Sorry.


The play’s almost over.


I could tell. It looked like you were winding things up.


We have a babysitter.


We wanted to get a jump on the traffic. (Judy hits him.) Because our babysitter is expensive. She charges by the minute.


Look, if you don’t like the show. That’s fine.


That’s not fine. I want you to like the show.


But if they don’t, there’s not much we can do about it.


It might get better.


You said it was almost over.


We declare our love for one another.


You just now finally spoke. How could you possibly be in love?


Because my character has butterflies when she sees him.


Mine, too.


Jesus, who wrote this? A twelve-year-old girl? Do you ride off into the sunset on a unicorn that farts rainbows?



He doesn’t fart rainbows.


We’re going. Look. I’m sorry folks. We always leave early. Sporting events, funerals, plays. There. The secret’s out. We know where this is going. You get together. Hooray. We’re not going to miss anything avoiding the crowd.


You don’t know that for sure. It hasn’t happened, yet.




Oh, Paul. I love you. There. I said it. I can’t fight my feelings.


Judy. I love you, too. Even though we just met.


My life was horrible and lonely until you came into my life today.


I never knew how happy I could be until this very moment. No. Wait. I know how I could be happier.


What is it? I would do anything.


Marry me.


I will!


Then we ride off on the rainbow farting unicorn.


He doesn’t fart rainbows.


Thanks for ruining the ending for everyone.


And then the lights go to black and pop back up and we see this! (Paul and Judy to an over-the-top version of smiling and bowing and being out of breath.)


And it goes on forever. Especially if some jackasses stand up and clap.


Which also makes it harder to get out of the row.


Thank you making a complete mockery of my profession.


You’re getting paid?


I meant that figuratively. Hey, why’d you even come to the theater? You don’t seem to like it. You were already planning to cut out early. You could have done everyone a favor and leave after the first scene.


We know somebody in the cast.


We’ll text them how good they were, because right now, we’re getting the hell out of here.



(They exit.)



(Andrew and Amanda look at each other and aren’t sure what to do. A unicorn - two men in a makeshift horse costume – comes bursting out.)


Did we miss our cue?

(Bottom Half separates and looks out into the audience.)


Dammit. My parents left early, again.

(Andrew and Amanda give him a dirty look. Blackout.)