I’m headed to “The Former Soviet Union” “The Group”

Update 1/28: I have been moved to “The Group”. This works out for me since they meet Wednesday mornings and perform Wednesday nights. I still have love for “The Former Soviet Union”, who I saw give their first performance last week. We’ll still be friends on Myspace…Starting February 6, I will be performing with the The Second City Graduate group “The Former Soviet Union” “The Group” every Wednesday night at 8:00 pm as part of “Your Wednesday Night 4Cast”.

In my Week 47 travelogue, I gave the graduate path at Second City and how someone advances to the invitation only groups. Yes, I knew when I wrote the entry that I was in the group. Actually, I knew back in September. Week 38 to be exact. That was the week Dave Razowsky watched our preview show and gave us notes afterward. I was lucky enough to get some pretty good reviews from him and I felt really good about where I was headed in the conservatory. Later that week, we spoke about the graduate program and my intentions by email and the invitation came during that discussion.


Week 47: That’s all, folks

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.


Week 46: All a blur

This week started with a call from my agent that I had to make the long drive to Shreveport Wednesday to audition for a movie called “The Comeback” starring gangster rapper turned actor Ice Cube and directed by Limp Bizkit frontman turned director Fred Durst. Oh yeah, it’s a family movie about the first female quarterback in Pop Warner football.

So after a long night Tuesday (hey, did I mention I have twins?) I was up at 6:30 to drive to Shreveport for my 10:05 audition. I don’t recommend anyone do that because it’s a long boring drive. Thankfully, I have satellite radio so I wasn’t skipping channels the whole way. I arrived just in time to change into my reporter’s outfit (shirt and khakis). The audition itself went ok, and I got the call back for 4:05 that afternoon.


Week 45: And all I got was this lousy t-shirt

This week was the last scheduled show of the conservatory program. A very surreal feeling knowing it all started back in July of last year. Of the 17 of us that started the Conservatory program 45 weeks ago (Tyler and Ellen were in my Immersion workshop back in July), only 5 of us made it to level 5 and we were lucky enough to have Maria come over from another group at the beginning of Level 4 to make it a group.


Week 44: Extended by 2

The big news this week is that our show, “Premarital Sextet” has been extended for 2 more shows on November 15 and 29. We are the only show out of the Level 5 shows to extend so it’s a good thing for us.This week’s show was another sell-out and my friends Steve and Kristin were in attendence. Next week is graduation night and I have mixed feelings about the impending close of this experience.

Miles traveled: 2,470….

What else? I feel like I missed something. Oh yeah, Mason and Morgan are here. :)



Week 43: A packed house

This week was a quick trip as I would leave and return within 24 hors. On the flight out to Burbank, I watched the pilot for the NBC show “Journeyman” on advice from Melinda and slept. Upon arrival, I realized I forgot to book my rental car online, but luckily they had cars for Hertz Gold members so I got an Impala. From the airport, I picked Todd up and we went off to dinner and then to Old Navy because somebody forgot to take his dry cleaning in time this week.

We had an 8:30 call time this week to re-work the choreography for our final song, or so we thought we were. Our choreographer Kerri Ann’s new stuff was too much to learn for the show so we enhanced what we had. There was a very weird, negative energy in the room.


Week 42: And away we go

The week started with Melinda going to the doctor Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to have her blood pressure checked. It’s been running high and the doctor wanted to monitor her, but since Melinda is on bedrest her blood pressure goes through the roof when she’s up and around (or called into the doctor’s office). The doctor seems to think the twins could be here next week. We’ll see. Knowing it could be sooner than later, we decided on names for the dynamic duo Wednesday night.

Thursday, I took my car to shop before heading to the airport. The ABS light kept coming on randomly so I wanted to get that fixed ASAP. On the flight out, I slept and after landing I went to a quick dinner with Todd and Catherine. From there, I had to get to the theatre for our tech rehearsal and notes from 10:30 pm to 12:30 am.


Week 41: The final Sunday

Before I get started, I completely forgot to tell this story from 2 weeks ago. I got an email from my agent asking if I knew anybody that was 6-8 months pregnant that would be available for a quick shoot at their home. Funnily enough, I just happened to know someone that fit the bill. After talking to Melinda about it, I emailed my agent back and let her know Melinda was willing to do the shoot. So later that night a guy came over and we setup a makeshift green screen (or blue-sheet-on-the-fence-screen in this case) and he shot Melinda lying on a table, belly exposed, for the opening titles of a show he is pitching called “Labor of Love”. As you can see by the picture, it was very thrown together, but I think it’s going to be cool to have a copy of the show for Dirk and LeBron to see they were on tv before they got here. I thought it was a neat experience, but Melinda got mad because I snapped this crummy cameraphone pic. She’s since come around and understands I took it because this is my means of documenting it all.


Week 40: Winding down

A light weekend as we start winding down the Sunday classes…

Saturday night I had dinner with Todd and we talked about the twins impending arrival amongst other topics. I love getting the time to talk with him because he’s extremely intelligent and it’s always a great conversation. Kudos to Todd for his choice of Ribs USA for dinner.

Sunday’s class was spent tightening and finalizing the 2 songs, rehearsing our dancing, and finalizing sketches. It also included me watching football scores and finally winning a fantasy football game.

We had the last Sunday night hour long preview show. We ran both of our songs and they were probably at 90%, but got a good review from Michael Pollack who has seen a lot of these things so his input is really inspiring.

Today was the standard flight home from Burbank, ho hum. I went over 100,000 miles with this trip and did it in just under a calendar year of traveling. No, I did not receive a medal or a cookie.

Next week is my last Sunday. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet.

Miles Traveled: 2,470
Total Miles: 100,950

Week 39: Coast to coast

Melinda’s shower was Saturday and it was very nice. Thanks to Lisa for her hard work, I appreciate it. (Don’t forget my JL stuff). I stopped by for a couple minutes at the start and got to see some familiar faces and some old faces, especially Melinda’s friend from college, Jena. I had to buy paint for the nursery and run some other errands during the shower so I cut out. One of the things I had to do was go over two sketches for class with Tyler and Ellen by phone. I thought I’d try to multitask and run lines while buying paint, but apparently that was a strange idea as I got several strange looks from the guy at the Home Depot paint counter who overheard me. After Home Depot, I decided to run over to the Apple Store to look at the new iPod nanos and was helped by Reggie who, along with his wife was, in our C-Section class last week. They are expecting a little girl and their C-section is scheduled for November 2. Reggie is such an excellent salesman that I bought an iPhone. Ok, it’s not like he had to twist my arm.


Week 38: Feeling defeated

Note: The week number in titles of my travelogues are about my Second City travels, not the twins. The twins are roughly 6 weeks behind me.

Friday brought the inevitable – cleaning out the room that is the soon to be nursery. I couldn’t believe it took that long to empty a small closet, but it did. Thanks to JC for coming over to help move some of the furniture out of the room, too.

Saturday afternoon was pretty uneventful. We gave away our daybed and hung out around the house. The flight out was nice and allowed me to finalizing prep for my dinner and script pitch to my friends Kristin and Steve. I started working on a script idea a couple of weeks ago as an exercise for myself with Steve in mind as the lead. Over some very good sushi in Venice, I made my pitch that was very well received and Steve liked my attention to detail and asked to see the script as soon as it is completed. What does this mean? Right now, not much other than Todd and I need to get rolling. Todd is an excellent writer and when I had the idea I took it to him for his input and he’s been very helpful in the pitch and outline process.


Week 37: Ah, the joys of pregnancy…

Friday, my babies mama went to see her doctor for a headache that wouldn’t go away. Her doctor sent her to labor and delivery for her high blood pressure to be monitored. Around midnight, Dr. Jacobs ended up deciding to hold her overnight to give her shots every hour to try and curb what was determined to be pre-term labor. Melinda has her account up ohospital.jpgver at BentleyTwinfo.com

After a very late night Friday trying to get a majority of the stuff accomplished I had on the list for Saturday, I was up early to get the pups to the Doggie Zen Den for a playday and then I was off to the hospital. I brought Melinda breakfast and then she went right to sleep. She was off the every hour shot schedule and had almost no sleep. She responded well to the meds and we were eventually sent home from the hospital around 2:00.

I almost didn’t make the trip this week since I didn’t know what kind of shape she would be in, or if she could be left alone for any period of time. We spoke to Dr. Jacobs again and she said the meds didn’t have any side effects and as long as someone lived nearby, I should go ahead and go on the trip. Fortunately, my mom lives close by, and with Melinda’s urging, I finally decided I would go. By this time, it’s 3:00 and I’m faced with doing about 4 hours stuff in a 2 hour window before heading to the airport at 5:00. I got home and packed at 4:55. No problem, right? Now, logic should dictate to you when I lead with a “nothing could go wrong” question, you know something goes wrong. In this case, it was a 3 lane clogging traffic accident at the 121/114 interchange. That little 15 minute, 900 yard debacle almost made me miss my flight, but I had already checked in online so I wasn’t worried about missing the flight.


Week 36: 2 weeks until the season starts

This weekend started with my Fantasy Football draft at 9:00 am in Denton. I had the #1 pick, so I took LT. It’s always good to see everyone and the season starts in 2 weeks. After the draft, we had a quick lunch at Hooter’s in Denton then I had to rush to Carrollton for a North Texas Honda spec commercial at 1:00. I was planning on going straight to the airport for a 3:25 flight, but unbeknownst to me, I was stationed in a sand trap for an hour with 2 reflectors on me wearing a golf shirt and cargo pants – ugh. Once the shoot was over I was drenched and had to go home to shower so for the 2nd consecutive week, I moved my flight and left out at 7:00. I did get to some time to hang out with my driver, who drove me to the airport. I decided to upgrade to first class so I could eat on the flight and I also finished Jay Mohr’s book.


Week 35: Back to 1

Hurricane activity in the Gulf has sprung bad weather on the Metroplex and this weekend started off with the threat of some severe storms. That’s fine, I’m used to it, but I had a print shoot scheduled for Dick’s Sporting Goods downtown on the top of a parking garage. I had was scheduled to shoot from 3:00-8:00, but had a 4:00 flight out to LA. I hadn’t changed my flight yet just in case the storms rolled through and washed out the shoot. Lucky for me, the clouds broke around 2:00 and on the way downtown I moved my flight to head out at 10:30 pm.


Week 34: It can only get better

This week’s travel started just like last week’s, through Austin again. Upon arrival in LA, I headed straight to Sherman Oaks for a lunch meeting with Paul Ryan. I met Paul a couple of years ago at a workshop and we’ve stayed in touch since. I’m going to help him with a redesign of his website and he’s been very helpful with advice and contacts for me. Paul’s new book, “The Art of Comedy” is available on Amazon.