Friday, April 28, 2006

I am someone's improv crush. And it is cracking me up. I took a Men in Shirts workshop Sunday, and was really happy with my scenework. Talked with Clif afterwards, and he had some really nice things to say about me. Including the fact that he was going to start stalking me, but only until he could see me perform again. He had some great things to say about Hagrid, too. That's what put the idea in my head to do a two person show with him. But I've never done anything like this before, so I wanted to talk with him about formats and stuff. With crazy busy schedules, we can't talk until next week. Here is an excerpt from an email:

"Talk to you next week! I should have your home completely bugged by then, so just start aksing your walls questions and i will respond."

I never look in the mirror. So I have no idea how long I've been walking around all day with white out on my forehead. The last time I used white out was early this morning.

1. Why did no one bother to tell me?
2. How on EARTH did I get white out on my FOREHEAD?!

In other news, Michael Cosand is offcially my favorite person. So, you know how I don't have Season 7? Well, he got it for me!!! *squeals*

My flowers completely opened up, and I forgot to bring them home. Boo. They will be dried up by Monday. But my love for my friend will not.

I am the luckiest of all.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


I was super sleepy, but still awake, when my phone buzzed. Miss Artiste (michelle) was calling from Chicago. At one point, I was going to go, then Coachella trumped that hand. Anyway, she was drunk. And not expecting me to pick up. So I surprised her into a conversation.
"Jack McBrayer is here."
"Ahh!!! Tell him I said hi!!!"
"I will. I'll try. It's loud and crowded."
Then we hung up. Just knowing that my friend was in the same room was enough. Then Molly came home. Then my phone buzzed again. It was Miss Artiste. And my heart of hearts knew. No Big Reveal necessary. Jack McBrayer called! I got to talk to him on the phone!!
Him in his voice: "Hi, I hear you like comedy improv. I do, too."
Me in my Jack McBrayer voice: "Yeah. That's swell of you to say."
He laughed. We chatted for a sec, then I let him get back to the crazy party. But not before telling him he was my improv crush and the whole reason I wanted to be a Den Mom.
"I'm sorry I couldn't come to PIF this year. But I'll be there next year!"
Yeah you will.

Poor guy. He's going to have a restraining order against me before we even meet.

I effing talked to Jack McBrayer!!!

Oh, Binary Code
I love your 1s and 0s
You are fun to add

I used to work with Cassy at Star. A couple of weeks ago she started here at AGIA. I now have her hooked on Sudoku puzzles. We no longer speak at lunch. We furiously fill in numbers.

It's great.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Last night was kinda hard b/c a friend is going through some stuff and I just want to make it all better all the time and I can't. And the thought of what *might* have happened really scared me.

I've shared with a few people that I'm rethinking the move to L.A. Because different things are important to me now, and I don't have to do it to prove something to myself. I want to study more improv, that's for dang sure. But that doesn't mean I have to move there forever.

Maybe my job allowing me to telecommute isn't so that I can work from another state. Maybe it's sos that I can stay here and do improv full time. Either way, I'm in no rush to figure it all out. I'm just going to allow the scene to develop, and not force circumstances or relationships.

Today I got flowers at work for the first time in I think my whole life. Because last night was hard and the next while will be, as well, as I try to figure my life out. Bill Binder, I love you with all my heart and soul. *raises glass*

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I needed to be in bed an hour ago.

I have to work overtime this week...which means being up before 5 everyday.

Things keep changing.

I had two HUGE cathartic moments this weekend. One involving L.A.

I think Hagrid and I are going to do a two person show.

I am FIERCELY protective of my friends, and two of them are going through some stuff that sucks right now.

I cried really hard today because I feel so helpless sometimes. And I was scared at the possibility that something might have happened. Luckily, it didn't and he's getting to a safe place.

I want things to be perfect in the lives of people I love, but I have no control over that.

If I could marry improv, I would.

Hmmm...someone is reading my archives. I'm curious.

I look like a piece of poo today. Brown sweater, tan pants, brown boots that are my favorite and wearing out but I refuse to throw away, tan long sweater (b/c although i live in the desert, they keep it at about 43 degrees in my office).

I think it's time for a new hair color. I really want to cut it off (for a while now), but I'm too cheap to get new headshots. A change of hair color is more forgivable than a whole new cut in photos.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Oh, and I put up a few more pics. Some of the thumbnails aren't working, but if you click on the pic, the full shot comes up. Dunno why.

Wow. OK. Yeah!

The next few posts will be actually one big long post, but broken down for your ADD enjoyment (michelle) and my need for sleep.

This is the miscellaneous portion.

I will start by saying that today I returned to work after sleeping 9 hours from Thursday to this morning. Needless to say, I was a little punchy at work (read: zombie-like.) I want to be in bed right now, but it is still too light outside for my body to cooperate. Stupid melatonin. Anyway, the first thing I did at work today while I was waiting for my computer to warm up was check my messages. The first thing I heard:

"Hi, Ashley. This is Mr. Smith*. You have been helping our family with my father's life insurance. I just wanted to call you and thank you so much for being so wonderful to us. People don't usually"

Then the time ran out and the message ended. But it just warmed my heart that I was able to affect someone in such a positive way. Cassy came over and asked if I listened to my love message.

"How did you know?"
"Kristi and I took the call. We told him you were off for the week and he wanted to leave a message saying how much he appreciated you."

Rock on!

Also, I decided today to go to Vegas in June to see more Cirque!!! Because of my nerdiness (being a member of the Cirque Club), Bill Binder and I are going to watch Love. They have a special preview night where you get to see the show for a reduced price, then give notes afterwards to the performers, musicians, and creative team!! (imagine my soul making the noise of popcorn in an air popper) Again, I go back to the whole, why am I not doing the things I want to do. I can take a day off work. heck, Brian left today at noon to have Direct TV installed.

Nanna...you must come!!! It's the Beatles plus the Circus. pleasePleasePLEASE! I will buy you that hot red and white dress if you can come with us. Seriously. I'm not kidding.

And lastly:
Improv Crush (noun): An infatuation with an improvisor based soley on his or her talent.

* not his real name. but i would be breaking the law if i released it.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Note to self:

Next time take the day after Festival off as well for recovery.

I'm so exhausted that it's hard to focus my eyes.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Red Paperclip Guy

My body is programmed to wake up when there's light. So, no matter how tired I am, I can't sleep past 7 or 8 am. If I had curtains, that would help. But I'm moving in a few weeks, so it doesn't really matter.

Last night was great! The local troupes performed, including the teen troupes. I didn't have anything like this when I was in school, so it was really nice to see kids having this opportunity. The Remainders show was great! The only problem was the time restriction. Our shows usually last around 40 minutes, but we only had 27. So, we weren't used to the time. We always have a "wrap up" song at the end, and last night the lights went out before we could do that. But it was still a fine show. There was one moment that reminded me of this. Except that it didn't happen. What I mean is, Jeff and I had a scene and he turned to the audience and said something like, "when we were kids." I forget the exact line, but whatever it was, I was thinking it but didn't say it out loud. Grr. I need to trust myself more. Because one of the most beautiful things in improv (in my humble opinion) is when two characters say the same thing at the same time. Because it's such a surprise and not scripted. Even though I wasn't there for this rehearsal, several people told me about a scene with Mack and David. They both sang the same chorus at the same time, and it was unplanned. Everyone was blown away by that.

Anyway, everything went really well last night. We made a lot of money, but we still have a ways to go to break even. Oh!!! We did get a grant for next year!! One of Bill's goals was to have X amount of money by September. We have X + 40. Yea!! And there's another grant we applied for that we will find out about by June at the latest. So things for next year are looking terrific!

Day Three begins.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The 5th Annual Phoenix Improv Festival

I remember Brandey handing me her cell last year.

"What's this for?"
"We're all ordering tickets for the festival."
"What festival?"
"Improv. Just get tickets."

So I bought the weekend pass. I didn't even know there were workshops. I remember that was the first time I spoke to Bill Binder.

"Hey, Bill, it's Ashley. I need to get tickets." I remember feeling a little weird because I realized I was speaking to him as though we were old friends, when, in fact, I just thought he was a box office guy, and we had never spoken before that moment. I had no idea this was his baby. That I was talking to the Great and Powerful Oz. And now, a year later, we are old friends.

I remember sitting in the audience last year, watching the L4 people in a show, wanting so badly to be up there the next year. And now, a year later, I'm with The Remainders, and we go on tonight at 9:15.

But what fills me with awe the most, is the fact that this year I'm a part of it. I've been going to the meetings since last September. A few weeks ago I helped put the entertainment packets together. I'm Cog's Den Mom. Yesterday Bill, Jacque and I loaded our cars up with the snacks we're selling and the booze for the parties, and took it over to the Viad. I got to stand on the stage before the set went up.

Last night at the Paper Heart, I was just so excited. To be there. To be with my friends. To see this amazing thing that we've been planning for months finally kick off. To just freaking be alive. There are so many people in this world who aren't doing what they want. They're too afraid to follow their dreams. Or too pessimistic. Or too lazy. Or WHATEVER! But they aren't doing what their hearts are begging them to do. I am. And there is absolutely no way to explain that feeling.

I am so proud of the incredible hours everyone put in for this. The time and the dedication of all involved. And I'm humbled by the experience. I hardly did anything, but I got to watch this entity grow and develop.

Day Two begins.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

In case you need proof of how much of a nerd I am, here are the two things I got excited over today:

It arrived today!! I have spent the last hour steam cleaning anything that won't melt.

Although Jose's campaign to keep me from my beloved McBrayer has succeeded (I'm not responsible if Jose's body parts start showing up in various locations of Phoenix), a member of Cog (I'm their Den Mom for the Festival) said he'd tell Jack I said hi.

Just so you know: battery acid will burn your skin.

Other than that, my car is running again!

Monday, April 17, 2006

I left rehearsal early tonight knowing that it would run late and I have to be up early and I didn't sleep well last night and I'm pooped. On the way home I stopped at a QT to fill up. (I'd been running on fumes for a while) After putting $33 worth of gas in my little 12 gallon tank (which was almost physically painful), I tried to leave. But no. My battery died. And I don't just mean a little bit. I couldn't even turn the lights on. Several very helpful guys came to my aid, but to no avail. After quite a while with jumper cables and revving engines, the farthest I got was being able to turn my headlights on. So we pushed it into a space and Bill came to get me. (p.s. again--thank you for that!!!) In the morning I will borrow Faith's car (she doesn't know this yet) and go get a battery. Which I will then change on my own. So, wish me luck with that.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I had a dream last night that I was at the house where I grew up. I went upstairs to see if anyone was home. My dad was taking a nap on their bed. Only, he wasn't taking a nap. I realized he had died in his sleep. My mom would be home soon, and I didn't want to call a coroner or anyone until she saw him. I went downstairs, but became incredibly creeped out that there was a dead body upstairs. So I called my friend to come over and keep me company. I opened the door, and instead of the person I had called, it was John Marovich.

"It's okay. I know what you're going through."

I immediately woke up.

The most disturbing part of the dream was the fact that the last time I dreamt about John Marovich, his father had died. That was years ago.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I am sick. This sucks. But at least I can get my taxes done today.

The most annoying part is the fact that I just washed my sheets two days ago, and now I have to wash them again as soon as I'm better. I don't mind the extra work, but it's really hard to make a bed that's 5.5 feet off the ground.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I havent had a strange dream to post in a while, so here goes:

Although I have only watched one episode of Lost this season, my dream was about that series. My POV switched from person to person, which was different than most of my dreams. It started out with a group of the plane crash people meeting another group of people on the island.

"How did you get here?"
"We're on a scientific mission. How did you get here?"
"Our plane crashed."

There were several different groups of people who all got to the island different ways and for different reasons. There was a big, open field that was slightly flooded. It was at the base of a giant hill with thousands of steps leading to the top. All of the people were walking up the steps on one side, then turning around and coming back down on the other, then going back up. Exercise? I'm not sure. The conscious side of my brain thought, "Oh, man, I can walk up, but not back down without my knee braces." Then I went back into the dream. There was a woman and her son, and a man. Her husband was out doing something, and this man and woman started flirting. They ended up laying down in the field and spooning. Not in a sexual way, just a comfort way. Her son laid down as well, and the man ruffled his hair.

"Oh, no! What have I done?" said the woman. "I have to sacrifice him now." She took her son and ran up the stairs. At this point my POV is from the woman. And she is terrified. As punishment for betraying her husband (again, in a non-sexual way), she took her son to the top of all of the stairs. There was a giant shrubbery opening to the beginning of a maze. Men with slightly deformed faces came out in crimson hooded cloaks. They took her son. Then the POV followed the demon-guys through the shrubs. They took the boy off to the left, and the POV switched to Shannon, a character from Lost.

Through the bushes was a building. It looked like the snack area of the Glendale arena. To the left were elevators that only went down. 247 floors. That's when Shannon realized the giant hill was actually this building built into the side of the hill. She then looks to the right and sees Walt selling popcorn. She runs over to him and hugs him.

"Oh my gosh I can't believe we found you!!" She's crying.
"Where's my dad?"

Shannon starts crying more. Because I'm in her POV, I have her memories. Cut to Michael being slightly injured. But everyone decides he's going to die (clearly he is not). So they strap dynomite to him and put him on the beach as an offering for the monster thing. The monster comes out of the jungle, picks Michael up in his mouth, and Michael detonates the bomb, thus eliminating the threat of a T-Rex. But Shannon can't tell Walt this, so she just cries harder.

"Stop talking to me. I have to sell popcorn or they will kill me. Rescue me later."

Shannon leaves and then goes into one of the elevators. The next part is a POV of just a hovering camera. No person, no memories, no emotions. The elevator lets the people out into this huge forum like in Star Wars Episode 1. The demons are expositioning their plot. Here's how it breaks down: In Ohio, we have this thing called SETC--South Eastern Theater Conference. Students from the tri-state area come to compete. They perform scenes and monologues. There are conferences like these all over the world. The demons made it possible to have all of these different people come to this island so they can brain wash them and send them back out into the world. They would, in turn, brain wash everyone they came into contact with. Then the demons would perform at these theater conferences and the brain washed people would cause them to win. That was their master plan. To take over the world through the winning of theater conferences.

The most vivid part of the dream was when I had the POV of a character. I felt what they were feeling, remembered what they knew, even could smell the wet grass. It was pretty cool.

Monday, April 03, 2006

never in my life have i had so many people that i truly love and respect.

i am so full.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I can't find my keys. I have been looking for an hour. If you are psychic and know where they are, please call.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The internet is still cool. It lets you have contact with people who you wouldn't have otherwise. Kit wrote back, saying the crowds in Scottsdale rock.

Yeah they do.

I am April Fool's-ing my body. By not sleeping. I've decided that it's pointless to go to bed now. I would waste the whole day, and I have to go to Glendale to drop off my bike, and Michael and I are going to see a movie. So may as well shower and pretend like I'm waking up for the first time. I got in my car to come home when my alarm would normally go off.

Unrelated: The internet is cool. But first: Back in college we would go to Canada every year for the Stratford Festival. The most amazing theater you will ever see. There was one show, Elizabeth Rex, that really moved me. I think I've posted about it before. Anyway, the girls I was with humored me by hanging out after the show was over, because I really wanted to tell the lead how fabulous I thought she was. When I am really moved by people, I like to let them know. Thursday night (I almost typed "last night" because I haven't slept) at the show, I severely enjoyed the percussionist. As is obvious by my homage below. At first when he sat at his drum set, I thought, cool, he's in clown make up. Nice touch. It added to the ambiance. Then he got on stage a couple of times to play. And for some reason, that just blew me away. Normally the musicians are separated from the show. Detached, almost. But not with Cirque. Because it's just That. Cool. Well, he is an amazing percussionist. To be fair, everyone in Cirque is amazing. Hello...the whistler?!! How is that humanly possible??! But Kit was the closest and so I really wanted to relay the message that Corteo blew my mind. Which brings us back to why the internet is cool: I was able to look him up and send him an email. Yeah, so it's not quite the same as in person, but the message is the same. And that's what's important.

The Percussionist, Kit Chatham: