Well, this was it. The final show. Another sell out. What a great crowd, too. It was so nice to see so many familiar faces on the crowd, too — Annie, Jeff, Jason, Paul, Todd, Bob, the Millers. Thank you all for coming and being such a great, supportive audience.
After the show, we hit Boardner’s right around the corner. It was the first time I’ve been out with a group after a show, and it was nice to get to talk to so many people for more than a passing “hey, how are you?” in the halls on Sundays. Funny thing is, I’ve been in class with Maria since level 4 and that was the longest and most in-depth conversation we’ve ever had. Looks like we’re going to be working on some outside projects together right after the first of the year. I also introduced the group to my very own mixed drink – pineapple juice and coke. Don’t knock it until you try it.
Around 1:30 I decided to head on back to Glendale. Todd and I spent the next hour catching up on the Everyday Driver footage from LA Auto Show. I’m telling you now, this show will be on the air somewhere next year. For now, hit their website and see what these guys have brewing. If you’re a car nut, then this is the show for you.
Friday brought the normal 9:00 am flight home. The whole morning prep to come home was very surreal. I had flashbacks from the entire year all the way back to immersion, all the people I’ve met along the way and the faces that were foreign to me last July are now a part of my extended family.
As I sat waiting for the plane, U2’s “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” came on my iPhone. The song is an ode to Bono’s deceased father and it really hit me. When I started this endeavor last summer I was a different person. Melinda and I were going through the emotionally draining fertility treatment process, and I was trying to do something I’ve always wanted to do. Now, 17 months later, I’m a father to twins and wondering what my dad would have thought about all of this. I was very fortunate to have a great relationship with my dad before he passed away, but that doesn’t take the sting out of him not being here to see the DVD’s of our shows or telling me what to expect from fatherhood. I’m sure he would have laughed at my silly sketches, but more importantly he would be so proud of me for the commitment, sacrifice and effort it took to not only make it through The Second City Conservatory, but to also bring 2 beautiful children into the world. My father was a man of few words, but I never wondered how he felt about me. I will admit he was sometimes a tough laugh, but when you got one from him it was a huge belly laugh.
Now that I’m done, the $64,000 question is “Ok, you’ve graduated. So now what?” I contend that’s a statement and a question, but people keep asking….and I’m tired of answering. LOL. Once you graduate from the Conservatory program, you’re done. There’s no job placement program, ala DeVry. For those that want to continue their education at The Second City there is a graduate program. Classes meet on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights and their called “drop-ins” meaning that any Conservatory graduate can attend one or both classes at their leisure. Want to attend both? Fine. What to go every other week? Sure. The great thing about the grad classes is that they are taught by two of the most brilliant improv minds out there – Mike Ross and SCLA’s Artistic Director, Dave Razowsky. Dave graduated from SC Chicago in 1984 and in his group were some familiar names – Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell. So getting to work with Dave is a huge honor for me. If you remember during one of our level 5 preview shows, he came and gave notes on the show and I received some very favorable notes from him. Mike and Dave also direct shows on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, respectively, made up of graduate students they invite from their drop in classes. Being in a group is a huge honor and very big deal. There are also times when a level 5 student is invited to go directly to a grad group, bypassing the drop-in process altogether. When this happens, it’s sort of a huge deal. I do have to say congratulations to Mike and Tyler from my group who were invited to be in Tuesday night groups, along with fellow Amigo Friends Jason and Allison who also got into Tuesday night groups. Congrats, guys.
Now it’s time for the thank yous:
To Page for opening his home the first 18 weeks. We’ve been friends for a long time and you’ve always had a positive word or pep talk when I needed it.
To Tom and Kelly for giving me a key and free reign last summer and for several weeks this summer. I really appreciate you letting me come and go as often as I did.
To Todd and Catherine for way more then they should have done. You are such great people and I owe you guys so much. I really should be paying you guys rent…
To all the people that have taught me at SC: Dave Razowsky, Josh Funk, Sarah Gee, Rick Kuhlman, Craig Cackowski, and Holly Wartell.
To the “Sextet” – Tyler, Ellen, Stephanie, Maria, and Mike. Went we from 17 people the first day of level 1 down to 6, and even lost a teacher. I had Immersion last summer with Tyler and Ellen, then did the Film Lab the following week with Tyler. I can honestly say that we have grown to be a family and I hold a special place in my heart for all of you. Thank you for being so flexible with my travel, and for letting me be the albatross that kept us in class for 6 hours every Sunday. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
To everyone that has sent a supportive email, kind text message, comment on the site or given a pat on the back. I routinely joke that the 6 people that read my website must think I’m a tool, but it turns out more than 6 people read the site. I met a guy at Second City about 6 weeks ago who came up to me and introduced himself. He told me how he was traveling from Sacramento (6 hours by car, sometimes) to SC for Sunday classes and that I was his inspiration for taking the chance. When he heard I was doing it from Texas, then he could do it, too.
Finally, to Melinda. I’m not exactly sure I write the words that would do a thank you justice. I remember the very first Sunday night I came home and I asked her “what in the hell have I gotten myself into?” and she told me it would take some adjustment, but this was a huge opportunity and I had to “power through” (her favorite phrase). She’s been beside me the whole time, has pumped me up when I’ve been down and suffered through the DVDs when they were bad and when they weren’t. She knows me and what I want to do and has given me unwavering support. She may have only been a short time driver, but she’s the best. Thank you for letting me set off on this new journey and I think our new journey is going to be just as fun, especially when Mason pees on you during bathtime. I love you.
Cue Green Day’s “I Hope You Had The Time of Your Life” and roll the montage of sleeping on planes, locking keys in rental cars, laughing with the group, running across Hollywood Blvd with Ellen on breaks, wandering around Santa Monica and doing it all with a doe-eyed grin on my face. It was an incredible experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m sure someday, Mason or Morgan will find a DVD of one of my shows and they’ll want to watch it and I’ll be able to tell them the story and show them the show I did 3 days after they were born (I’m even wearing the hospital bracelets). Maybe they’ll laugh at the jokes, maybe they’ll think what a nimrod I was for flying so much, but one thing is for sure, I’m going to love telling the story.
So, now what? Well, funny you should ask… :)
Miles Traveled: 2,470
Total Miles: 118,240