Thursday, December 29, 2005

Notes in the Margin

I tend to get bored in class alot. When this happens, I get bored. In Thermodynamics (MECH 330), which I took last year I doodled in the margins. I decided to finally scan all these and put them in the blog. This was really my only source of entertainment in the class.

This is the story of the doodles...

I believe this first one is really heady, it has something to do with wormholes or "branes", depending on which theory you subscribe to. No further comment really.

I think this was supposed to be a guitar.

Another incomplete picture. Sometimes the fun does have to stop and I actually have to pay attention.

At some point in the past I looked through alot of old early 20th Century political cartoons, which have the odd habit of labelling everything blatently. I find this hilarious and a little insulting. Unfortunately, this pattern is still continued today.

This comes from a joke between Jeff Colden and I. Imagine a Tyrannosaurus Rex attempting foreplay...

This started out as an idea courtesy of Strong Bad - Lil' Brudda. I elaborated on it.

I put a lightning bolt on all my tests. Its a sign of male virility.

This is just a long margin. No explanation neccesary.

This needs no explanation.

I have no idea where this comes from, but it leads to the next idea.

This is based on an old cliche. See if you can guess what it is. Also, I ran out of room on the page.

Making fun of Atlas Shrugged, and Dali, and Socialism. I'm such a poser Communist.

I think these fish are actually called Hooker Fish. Either way, I have a booklight that looks like the light that they hang off the front of thier head. Unfortunately my newly shorn hair does not provide much purchase.


The upper part is actually a legit note. The lower part is me trying to make an ambigrammatic logo for the Improv Show. This is shortly after I read Angels and Demons. Notice that the p and h match up nicely.

Woo hoo. I just watched Narnia. I hate child actors. I'm off now, to do something more physical.

Friday, December 09, 2005

What's wrong with me?

I'm been looking for a good time to write for a while, and now it is.

Lately, as I've achieved the goal of making my life more dynamic, I'm doing more interpersonally. Fuck the foreplay...I saw two people today I've hurt, recently. I don't understand - I'm not Catholic but I have the wierdest guilt complex. One of my earliest coherent memories is of offending a kid in a wheelchair during a skit. His name was Kyle. I still feels pangs whenever I bring that up to myself.

I am and will always be a perfectionist. Not the good type - I'm afraid to do things that I will fuck up. So what is wrong with me? Everybody has personality disorders, but what is a disorder?

Guilt is the worst feeling ever. Which is, of course why I have it so often. It seems like I get caught up in dwelling about the past and am paralyzed. The fact that I'm writing this is very telling, isn't it?

Also, I'm a narcissist. Let's be honest. I crave attention, which is why I am constantly on stage. When I can't get attention from others, I masturbate for it. Which is why I'm writing this.

I overthink things. This also comes from the onstage thing. I constantly think of drama, trying to be cute or what I would look like from an audience perspective. I feel like I'm going through life in third person, never actually in the moment, with the exception of when I get dumbed down with alcohol, pot, or some other overwhelming sense, like tiredness or my horrible libido.

Also, once I have something, I don't respect it. I know a friend of mine, who would hang with me and a few people years ago, but then sort of advanced onto other things, then barely acknowledges us. Maybe its a Darwinist thing. But I feel like that, building shitty bridges. Am I afraid of committing? I'm so afraid of missing a moment or whatever. FEAR, thats my problem. My consumption of information and experience and everything else is so voracious that I can't taste shit. I'm all numb. I wake up and am tired constantly. I want to be like Jesus and go off into the forest and learn without a reason. I want to have children to have someone to give to, yet not be in the position to give them less than what they deserve. I want to be perfect and useful to everyone that I meet and at the same time be myself and start that revolution that I've been talking about.

That's a long list.

For anyone out there, I want to say I'm sorry but maybe I should stop. I'm being indecisive. I won't say sorry for anything specific except that - I'm sorry for being me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


So, I went crazy and had to leave Kingston, so I decided to get together with friends from high school and have a quasi-reunion in Toronto. Where did we go to high school? Kingston. Whatever. First, allow me to introduce to players:


Cheryl, a film student at Humber and friend from high school improv

Kate (left) from high school improv too, now in the Improv Show with me. Caitlin (right), exclusively dates men who are profiled in magazines.

Dave (left) my token black friend and hetero life-mate. He's at Geulph now and studies Biological Chemistry or something, also did high school improv with me. Sandy (right) is another friend from LCVI, goes to Mac, not sure what she studies.

So that's who went. We all met in downtown Toronto Friday night, and headed to Cheryl's house.

This is the girls on the subway. You might not recognize Sandy there on the right - she hasn't applied make-up yet. I am not in the picture.

Man, isn't it cool how all these pictures are tagged with the time? I can like, relive the night down to the minute.

Anyway, after dropping excessive luggage off at Cheryl's, we started to get tired from lack of alcohol... we decided to head to the nearest bar and get drunk. I, for the first time ever, ordered an entire pitcher of Guinness with Dave. I've never seen that before. Needless to say, it dissapeared quickly. We also discovered that Kate's hair moves over to the front of her face when her body decides its time for her to stop drinking:

Later, we saw a poster for some kid that was addicted to heroin.

So we got home, and fell asleep drunk. Thank fucking god Cheryl knows (somewhat) her way around the transit system.


So next morning, based on the fact that estrogen out-numbered testosterone on this trip, we went to the mall. Also, it snowed, which we had never seen before in our lives.

Dave and I wandered aimlessly while the girls "shopped" or whatever, and we had lunch at the rainforest cafe. Our bill is below.

Then, I put on some women's clothing and did some model shots.

While walking back to the bus at some point my bus token fell into something I can only describe as a mixture of dog feces and gum that was caked onto the already-dirty tile with a mixture of hot, cold and big-city indifference. I am probably seriously infected with something. Ignoring that, here is me and Kate on the bus. I am taller because I am sitting on some sort of child seat.

We then to Bad Dog Theatre to see some long form improv, which was sweet. The poster for it is the leftmost one in the picture below. I don't know why we aren't doing this at the improv show yet, its amazing.

So then, we got the urge, again to get outrageously drunk. We proceeded to do so at Green Room, this really hard to find bar in Toronto. I think this is because it is meant for actual Torontonians that want to avoid people like us, which is of course why we went there.

Amazingly, it was pretty sweet, and I think I shall refer to it as my Toronto Hangout from now on. Dave is trying to impersonate Jesus in this picture, but fucked up.

Some of Cheryl's filming friends were there is well. I can't remember the name of the guy in the middle, I just know he drives race cars in India, his dad works for Bollywood, and once he punched Greg Luce in the face. Oh man.

So we got really drunk really fast. I drank two pitchers in two hours, which isn't Olympian, but made me drunk. Here is a picture of us somewhere after we got lost on the subways home.

The next day was mostly a wasted recovery day. We had breakfast at McDonald's, which was expectedly unsatisfying except for the ice cream.

And that's pretty much it. Here's a video of me trying to feed Dave ice cream like an airplane. Kate accidentally took this because she doesn't know how to use Dave's camera.

So that's Toronto. I feel like such a small town person whenever I visit there. Like you know how you can hold the entire map of a city like Kingston inside your head, yet in Toronto that's impossible. Frustrating. Also, the whole improv and artistic community is overwhelmingly large. Dammit, when do I get to grow up?

End Scene.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Improv Show Cast

What an awesome picture. Props to our photographer Steve.

Kate, Irene, Thom and Kristin are missing.

We also took individual headshots. I'm going to print mine on glossy paper, sign it, and hand it out en masse to Japanese school girls. [drool]

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Fame, Performance and Halloween Costumes

So, for this halloween, me and two friends (Matt Reid and Matt "Schomberg" Clayton) had an epically awesome costume, as seen below.

We're plastic toy army men, the kind you get by the dozen, probably last seen in toy story. We would go around and pose everywhere for Halloween.

Our schedule was as follows:
FRIDAY - Kidnap someone from class and thus make a scene, Ritual
SATURDAY - Night-time Parties. Walk Around
MONDAY - Walk around campus on actual Halloween, make more of a scene.

This costume is undeniably cool. Lots of people have said so, and I know so. We went out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I think over 200 pictures were taken of us (not including ones we took). Here's another

So, eventually we became famous. We would walk into parties a few houses down the street from one we had just left, and people would be like: "I heard of you, someone at another said they saw you." - this was on Saturday night However, fame is not without a price. We were all wearing thick rubber, the only material that would hold the fourteen cans of glossy green spray paint that we used on ourselves. This was hot and sweaty. Our helmets were heavy, we couldn't sit down because our pants were too tight, actually Schomberg and I tore ours later, our face paint rubbed off, and we couldn't carry alcohol around.

A costume like this, with such an investement in time and money ($40/person?) means you have to make sure you really enjoy it. By the third day, Monday, where we planned to get into the Journal, our campus newspaper, we felt like living statues who make a living this way.

It began to feel more like an ordeal, a job, than something we did for fun.

Me, looking like I'm having more fun that I actually am.

Fortunately we did actually get our picture in the journal, and then even more people knew about us. So, I've been hearing alot of congratulations.
Saturday night was our big walkabout, where we heard a bunch of comments, which would get repetitive after a while. The most unusual was "Are you scuba men?" which I don't think I will forget for a while. Such is fame.
All in all, I'd say it was worth it, definitely, but it certainly sucked at the time. Beauty is pain.

Other Awesome Costumes I saw or heard of:
- Eight Oompa Loompas, with song
- Village People, with song
- Rock Paper Scissors (who I never saw, damn)

On (my) personality

As I have been aging, maturing, etcetera, I have always noticed people tend towards certain things they enjoy, often my left alone as I do or am interested in almost anything. I think the science of psychology defines these differences as "personality", why people differ. Sometimes I've had to resort to defining what I don't like.

- watching sports

Shit, that's a short list.

Anyway, I've been wondering: can people change thier personality? Not in the practical sense that I want to do it, but more so in the sense like does it happen. In mythological narratives (I am using that in the archetypal sense - 8 mile is a mythological narrative) people seem to come rushing out of the womb with an installed personality, which pre-determines the rest of thier life. It seems like things they do as a kid are premonitions for what they will do later. Is personality really that set?

I'd think its more malleable, at least using myself. I think I've changed, although not drastically, over several years, especially if you use the Four Colours thing (Orange, Gold, Green, Blue). While Green has always been one of the two top, Orange and Blue have moved around in there. The only one that has never really been there is Gold, which is confusing because I seem to be attracted to Gold people.

- Gold

Again, a short list.

This personality thing worries me then. If everyone else is sort of easily defined and slottable, what the fuck am I doing everywhere at once yet nowhere? Because I mean if you aren't specifically something then you are nothing, right? Of course, I'm asking rhetorical questions, one because no one is going to answer in text conveniently if I ask a regular question [schizophrenic crisis] and two, because I'm asking them because they are silly questions. I do stuff, lots of varied stuff that's really inter-disciplinary, but not nothing.

So I geuss I'm not going to get some easy answer and path coming straight out of the womb towards my pre-defined goal. However, if I have some sort of tragic struggle for existence, I'd rather have it for a specific thing than for the answer to the question "what am I?"

- Television/Film Director
- Special Effects Co-ordinator
- Game Design/Developer/Writer
- Science Journalist
- Wise hobo
- Mathematics Researcher
- Modern Artist
- Improv Performer (The Improv Show doesn't count - something I get paid for)
- Psychology/Human Factors Researcher
- Astronaut (the kind that actually builds stuff, doesn't do crappy experiments)

But why do I feel I need to "define" what I want to do? This is the existentialist crisis moment, and that was another rhetorical question.

This brings up stuff about immortality I have been thinking about. I'll write about it later.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Step 1:I have an attendance problem.

I've realized lately that I have a problem attending class, as you can see by the lovely figure on the right. I haven't had this problem since first year, I geuss Engineering Physics was more stringent with attendance. I geuss I can owe this to my remarkable ability to coast through learning and learn everything well at the last minute. Also, they are Mech courses right now. Also, its a boredom problem - I get bored easily, as anyone who knows me knows.

Oddly, nothing bad has come of this yet. I am a little frantic on assignments, which I dont like. Most of my time that I should be in classes I have spent on sleeping, The Time Project, Improv Show stuff, or trying to write.

If I'm going to be going through a 12-step program for this (I don't even know if this is really a problem), then I can look back to first year, when I realized that I could read the Chemistry notes in half an hour instead of them being presented to me in 50 minutes, and at the same time be less bored. I have always gone to classes that I really enjoyed, however. Like Semiotics and Communication, History of Popular Music, Electromagnetics, Algebraic Structures, Fluid Mechanics, Differential Equations.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I wrote this

I wrote this for the Time Project:

"It's raining sideways."
"Why did you bring me here?"
"This is where I am going to live from now on."
"I would hate it if this weather wouldn't stop."
"You don't have to visit."

This is a 5-line part of a 7-scene mini play we constructed. I feel proud of it as a moment.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Snippets of Dialogue

Anne is in the kitchen, mixing something. Apple Pie is cooking in the oven. Dustin Enters

Dustin: That pie smells great. I want to rub it all over myself.
Anne: Yeah.

Dustin puts some dishes on the growing pile, rearranging them so that they are less precarious. The time spent doing this could be just as easily spent on actually washing the dishes. He then heads back up the stairs to his room. Once Dustin is at the top of the stairs

Anne: Was that an American Pie reference?


Dustin: No. That was a really long delay.
Anne: I know I'm tired.
Dustin: Good job though


Normal I do make pretty awkward references like this, just so this makes this piece of conversation more understandeable. It was alot funnier in person.

Now I am going in the pool with a kayak.

In other News, I love how this has turned into a Micro-Blog, with quickie-posts.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"Cultural Influences in Function Design"

I've been trying to come up with a name for the topic I am writing up for Jim.

This seems to fit it pretty well.

I also just got back from my first session with The Time Project, and I'm going to see if I can set up a blog for it...

Friday, September 23, 2005

The fundamental Hum

It's what I look for.

I saw a drummer tonight, free of all bullshit harmonics, propogating the fundamental hum. Its the beauty integrated from everything - different philosophies have different names for it.

I've experience it during sailing, good improv, sex and city biking. The purpose is clear, the definition of beauty is attainable and everything just happens because it is intended thusly. You are the creator.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Consumption Ratio

So I finally decided to break down and write this after a lot of procrastination (it makes more sense once I continue)...

I've realized recently that I read ALOT. I watch alot. I generally consume media alot, but most of it is reading, often blog-like stuff. Recently its been:
Google News

I read these about twice daily on average. I'm also in the progress of reading these books/magazines:

Motorcycle Diaries, Che Guevera
Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond
Scientific American
Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, Cory Doctorow

And I am working my way through

Arrested Development, Season 2

Damn! That is a lot of fucking media. I spend almost a third of my waking time consuming these, and somehow I feel guilty about it. Maybe its because I abhor people that constantly reference Family Guy because I feel they aren't expressing thierselves in thier own words. Maybe I'm afraid of only being able to understand the word through the lens I've taken from these? I've already caught myself subconsiously comparing people's personalities around me to Lost. As this is the way I think, HOW DO I FIX THIS? (assuming this is wrong)

I clicked onto something when I was downloading a torrent, coincidentally for arrested development. To be responsible, you seed for a little while after your torrent so that you contribute to the leechers, which you once were. It sort of reminds me of the structure of Amway, strangely. I feel that I need to do some of this too, in terms of media. This is sort of why I started the blog too.

If there are a certain number of people in the world, and very few contribute much to the whole mediascape, then there must be a few people who contribute tons. Or am I wrong, yes I am. Shit. Wow.


6 billion people write an article. Then, each of those people are free to consume the other's media at a much greater ratio than 1:1, consumed:created. Wow.

Not I don't feel as guilty, but I still need to contribute something to feel right. Its like an entropy thing, and who likes entropy.

Strangely, this point came up in the last Savage Love that I read. Someone said they wanted to make some porn to put on thier friends website because they felt they "needed to give back as much as they took". Dan Savage, ever the practical realist, said that if that was the rule then the internet would be clogged with porn of old, ulgy men.

I don't know what the point of this article was, but there it is. I'm eating up memory space!

Saturday, September 03, 2005


So, I was walking home ten minutes ago, going past the Aberdeen and William going home. There was two black guys, a white guy and some girl who I couldn't see much of. It was dark, it is 3 am after all. The conversation was as follows.

Them: This ain't the real ghetto. If this was the real ghetto, bombs would be going off and shit. [Laugh] There wouldn't be...and some guy walking by in a tight white shirt.
Me: Hey man [awkwardly]
Them: Hey, where's the ghetto?
Me: You're in the centre of it.

Seriously, they were. You can't get much more central than William and Aberdeen.

Them: [Laugh] Hey man, got any weed?
Me: No, sorry.
Me: [Laugh, even more awkwardly]

yeah, so I realized the student ghetto isn't a ghetto at all. that's a little embarassing. If anyone wants to hook me up with a surgeon to give me some bullet holes to increase my street cred, that would be awesome.

Monday, August 29, 2005


I just found out about today when I was walking by it outside a Union Station news stand. Ironic that I first saw it in print form.

Also, I just saw EPIC 2015 because a friend sent it to me. This is what mostly spearheaded this line of thought.

There is so much information in the world. You cannot encode it on 1:1 ratio because it would take as much space to store the world of information as the size of the world. This reminds me of a simile in a story I read once about the flattened remains of a town looking like a 1:1 map of the town. Tangent...

Regardless, artists are only people who are gifted in that the can say, in this giant universe, what the interesting bits are to look at. I wrote my final essay in Semiotics about this, sort of. In the past, artists have usually had to exert considerable effort to modify what they are presenting, like in a painting. But really - the paints already existed, and so did they idea they are presenting. This takes us to artistic photography, which can undeniably still be art. It is the definition of "look at this, this is interesting". Bridging to journalistic photography...which must then still be art since it isn't that much different.

NOTE: This progression is like those types of mathematical proofs where you prove something for 1, and then prove it for n+1, and congratulations, the proof must be true for all positive numbers greater than 1. In this case, all types of expression.

And journalism, in print form. You can be good at journalism, so there must be an art to it, and journalism definitely is supposed to represent part of the world. Modern journalists are artists, and anyone can be a member of the publishtariat, given modern tools.

Where am I going with this? I am trying to understand for myself what the state of the world will be. Why? So I can enjoy the revolution.

With everyone able to publish, we come back to the situation where everything is blurry and nothing is highlighted. The era of only one newspaper is gone. The unlimited semiosis of what is important is overwhelming (more on that in another article!).

This brings me to a point, that I was unconsciously going to. (Keith Johnstone told me to stop being creative and original) I am sitting in front of a computer, typing. I am not humanly alive in any traditional sense. The wind is not in my hair, my muscles and blood pumping and my nerves singing, with andrenalin courses through my veins. GRRRRRRRROUHA, Ergonomics! No, I must hold still so as to not break the keyboard. I read the back of a book once, which I have been unable to find again. It is science fiction, the plot is the main character who is lost in his society. It seems that every citizen is given some sort of device to cope with all the streaming information all around them in the ultra-post-modern reality of the protagonist's world. For some reason, the protagonist was punished and had his device revoked- for reasons he does not know.

In order for us to cope in this stream, we need to change as humans, biologically. As dehumanizing as it might be to have a palm pilot implanted in me, it is more dehumanizing to have to run home to check my paper daybook. This is what we need to sort through the media.

A world connected from every point by an infinitely short publishing line to every other will be quite a mess, but it sounds awesome. This mess is so awesome and horrible that a primitive human brain will not be able to handle it. I wonder when the first REAL implants will come on the market...

Thanks for listening to my corner of the thoughtscape.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

On Playing in God's Theatre


In what was a perfect setting for philosophical discussion on the universe, I was sitting in my Dad's backyard with my Dad and brother. I had my telescope set up in front of me, the last of several spontaneous events that had happened today.

I decided that tonight had looked like a good night for stargazing, but alas there was too much light pollution, and I couldn't see any cool M or NGC objects. So I was sitting there and my dad and brother were talking. Somehow they got to this point in the conversion:

Dad: So who's Daedalus?
Skyler: He's the guy who built the maze?
Dad: Then who's Icarus?
Skyler: He dies.
Dad: What?
[laughter and some more conversation ensues]

This I remembered though. Was god's purpose in the whole "plan" for him to just die? (I don't believe in god, at least any traditional god, but I find it a useful concept for reference or arguments, especially when I can't justify it with anything else.)

So: Was god's purpose for Icarus just to die? Did he want him to die or is it an interesting event that just happened? This line of inquiry was very much fuelled by the situation of myself staring up at the stars. Is the universe something that god controls moment by moment, or something cool he set up to see how it would run out. The whole moment-to-moment thing seems a little ridiculous: that makes god less of a god and more of an Operating System. It eliminates free will or chance, and also requires a much more powerful god. Yes, I am using Occam's Razor - whatever.

It makes more sense that we are something in god's test tube. Perhaps with rules well-defined, and precise initial conditions, but still out of control. This brings me to improv, as most things do.

...Theatre started out as very regimented: scriptwriter was king...AKA Shakespeare. Then came a progression to the director being king. This is sort of where we are as a Western society now, but the balance is shifting again. With improvisation (on stage and screen), the power is directly in the actor, and maybe in the editor. This progression of de-centralization is a realization that complete control is impossible. Its better to create a fertile environment. The scriptwriter makes a fertile plot and characters, the director gives the actors an idea, and the actors ACT in the moment and the ways that seem right.

Is this what the universe is? Just set up really well, and we're all playing spontaneous parts? Its impossible to know, but interesting to think about...hmm.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

On wingpeople

So, I went out to the bar last night with an old female friend of mind. We were both trying, or at least hoping to hook up. NOT with eachother.

...although if this was a sitcom I would have woken up the next morning, looked over, and been like...damn. But that doesn't actually happen. If it has, please let me know as I would like to laugh about it...

So we agree to play wingmen for eachother, which we agreed was pretty strange, and didn't end up working anyway because we didn't do anything.

BUT, is it possible that this could work? It could make sense to show up at a bar with a women, and get her to start talking to people, then slip you in (puns?). I don't think it would work the other way around, at least that's not what my friend thought. Would it be awkward to start chatting to some guy (me doing the talking) and then bring in your female friend.

I mean its not like I've ever even tried the straight wingman thing often, or even ever succeeded.

The decision is: not enough data. NYAAAAAAA

Friday, August 12, 2005

Improv Show Hosting Notes August 9th 2005

The show begins.
Audience warm-up - get them to give suggestions
Bartender/Waitress/Drink of the Night/Elixir Announcement

The Die Game Title of a story.
Then, for each death: object from a kitchen Thom Kirstin
Jason Alex Matt

Green Cheese. This was a good game and has a lot of potential. Good job with me just throwing this game at you. It would be better to die more dramatically. Also, don't be afraid to fuck up and react when you do - the audience likes it. I think I should have warmed the audience up a little more though, even though this is a audience warm-up game itself.

Fairy Tale Nursery Rhyme/Fairy Tale Character AND Fairy Tale. E.g.
Jack from Jack and Jill and Little Red Riding Hood Blaine Paul

Gingerbread Man + Sleep Beauty. Wow, I thought I remembered this scene but now I don't. Anyway, apparently I wasn't watching but I wrote "go places". Instead of talking about things, do them, progress in the plot of the fairy tale.

Sit/Stand/Lie-Down A mistake Kirstin Thom Kelsey

ex-girlfriend. strangely, she was there. Anyway, good physicalization and movement. You enjoyed the scene, and so did the audience. AWESOME!

Open What you wanted to be as a child
e.g. fire fighter, astronaut or marine biologist Paul Kelsey

Paleontologist. I wrote "good characters", "good feed Jason" and "what is going on?" When scenes degenerate into petty dialogue argument either end the argument and go somewhere or end the scene. It saps energy.

Monologue An event
e.g. County Fair Jason Kate Alex Kirsten Kelsey

ninja festival. Good varied characters initially. You seemed static characters at first and I was afraid you wouldn't go anywhere, but eventually you all ended up at the same bar. COOL. however, it would have been nice if the characters had changed/reacted instead of "crazy! we're all at the same bar!" Good job dying Jason, you gave a good thing to react to, good commitment.

Silent A dirty secret Kelsey Matt

This is where I went into the audience, which I really enjoyed personally. Although I think I should have chosen something better to ask of a random rather than "A dirty secret". Anyway, Tim helped out. We got: Seven Days, Totalling your parents house and drinking.
First, don't feel the need to ACT IT OUT EXACTLY. Be creative a little, maybe play with the idea, do something unexpected (without being crazy). There's no point to seeing a scene which is essentially completely suggestion. I'm not saying the scene was bad, it was pretty funny, just keep that in mind.
Second, these scenes are a little too much like mime. That is sort of due to the suggestion, but you guys don't have to do that. What if you started after the party with everyone all over the floor, and you are the lone survivor needing the clean up the mess?
Third, awesome stage business. I could tell what you guys were doing often, even if you weren't the characters at the centre of the action, you were involved in something obvious.

Open Something sad
E.g. your puppy ran away Cheryl

Taking your cousin to prom. Good job jumping right to the prom, although this was sort of like "acting out the suggestion again". But you got away from it and did the pair-switching thing, cool. This scene went on a little too long though.

Musical Open Page from "365 Scientific Facts" Jason Alex

I should have introduced this book a little better. its a series of question and answers. If anyone has any other stranger books please bring them in, they would be awesome for suggestions. The suggestion was: Raised beds in backyard gardens. I think I should make these suggestions a little more clear. I wrote that Matt made a good entry and established a conflict. Whoah I forgot this was musical. Alex I like you better with your guitar walking around on stage than sitting down, it makes you more engaging.

Side note: if you guys know that you are going to be in an open scene together, you can pre-plan a structure. Go nuts.

Open "If you like drinking Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
If you're not into yoga, and you have [FILL IN THE BLANK]" Cheryl Blaine

This suggestion was a little awkward, my bad. I think I rushed the audience. We got: Pirate hook, which I find hilarious. Good job on the intervention, created a conflict. Although Cheryl, as the parrot, could have reacted more, making the conflict meaningful. Good job Paul (I think) on the feed about the ship sinking. Cheryl was hilarious as the bird - you play characters really well. Shakespeare would have made the bird die and turned it into a dramatic tragedy. Haha. Good job guys.

Kick-It. Something to fight over. Jason Kirstin

Crayons. Jason, high pitched rap voices = pain, but good job keeping it up. Paul was also in this scene, and Thom. Good job making it about religion? I can't even remember why. I need to learn to write more descriptively. Kristin had a fucking intense rap/talk. The scene needed some levels though.

Intermission. This is where I started to sort of feel really crappy. I
got food poisoning, which I wrote more about in the first e-mail.
Elixir Announcements.

3-Way Dub Something stupid that you bought Jason Kate Matt

Waterproof vibrator. Where the hell did that come from? Good platform guys. Jason/Kate: a competition can lead to sort of boring, formulaic improv, try to avoid starting one. Otherwise, good job.

Open Where did you lose your keys? Blaine

In the freezer. I over-built the suggestion, but you guys did well with it. Paul AKA Billy was hilarious, although I forget where he came from. Try to confront the Billy problem rather than avoid it, it makes it funnier and continues good scene energy. Good entry as CAS Tom.

Monologue Something Miss America would want E.g.
"World Peace" Paul Matt Thom Cheryl Blaine

"Puppies across Canada". Yet again, you went straight to enacting the suggestion. Good scene overall, just take you time and play with the suggestion a bit. The audience doesn't care that you nail it right away, or possibly ever. Its more entertaining if you lead up to it, or show it already in place. Pre-destined events are not as exciting. You could even use the puppies as a solution - cats breed to much, how can we get rid of them?

Open A guilty pleasure Alex

Dancing in women's clothing. Can't really remember this scene. What did I do to Montezuma, I ask? Good raising of stakes Jason.

One-person Scene Thom introduces Thom

Film Noire, Regicide. Pretty solid scene, characters. It looked like you were really comfortable with the genre, which makes it easy for you. The scene did bridge for too long though, and went on, although you managed to keep the energy up. One-man scenes are hard.

Open A reason to quit your job. Paul

Spying on another company. What a confusing way to get a suggestion, oh well. I wrote that there was a bit of blockin in this scene, and it started to make no sense.

Seen Enough Explanation: When you have "seen enough" of the scene, put
your hands up and I will say "next!" ALL

Give me feedback on this scene. I think you guys and the audience did well at it. I saw some interesting stuff but I let it go on too long. Don't be afraid to start something really different with lots of people, like an intense dialogue or something.

Helping Hands An expertise
e.g. Rabbit Removal Alex Kate Matt

Cryptography I should have defined this topic a little better. Alex your interpretation was pretty funny, and I like how you brought the VCR in.

The next two scenes were skipped because the night was going on too long.

Open What would you buy with $1 million? Kirsten
Open Page from "365 Scientific Facts" Alex Cheryl

Ballad Get volunteer, find out stuff about them. ALL

Got Jamie, Art, History, and "girls out east?" Good job with the chorus and energy of the song, although we should practice singing the chorus together. Again, solid job with stage persona Alex.

End of Show.
Jug. Here is where I made a strange comment about ego.

Everyone Say Goodbye!

A few things:

Yes, I was sick Tuesday night. Give us hosts feedback too, its the only way we can learn. I, personally, think I need to slow down introductions and not spend so much time joking with the audience. Someone prompted the count on me (Kelsey?). Good job keeping me on top of things.

Paul did an awesome pre-hosting warm-up with me. Fucking solid job, we should use that I'm not sure if its applicable for the show but it helped me out.

Monologues: This is sort of turning into perspective narratives of a single event. We should talk about what we want this to be. I like doing it twice a night so everyone has a chance to be in it.

Thats all folks, good job!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


What??!?!?! Three blogs in less than 2 hours?

Yes, I know. However, I have a bad history of starting things and not finishing them, or going on to other things. If you want a good example, search "Dustin Freeman" in Google. Anyway, I want to lay out some goals for this blog, without sounding too proffessional.

I want to write (different pieces) that are:

- emotional or deep
- informative and researched (what, like a newspaper article?)
- on the state of improv, my research, or what I'm doing
- opinion pieces.
- comedy/fictional pieces

That's all the genres I can think of that are important right now. I will add some later maybe.

I'm going to set a goal of writing something at least once a month. That's very little, considering my rate from the last two hours, but I want to set a goal that won't be broken.

On originality

I'm currently reading "Impro for Storytellers" (where' s the v?) by Keith Johnstone in an effort to perhaps better my skills and knowledge. And WOW it has opened my mind. Keith Johnstone writes almost exclusively in Socratic dialogue, in a constant argument with the people on stage who are arguing back with him. Its so nice to see something original and unusual (or is it? more on this later).

Anyway, the section I just passed through had repeated emphasis on trying not to be original on stage. I'm having to re-define what original means to me. Johnstone seems to say that originality in the bad sense he puts it comes from ideas that "come from nowhere" and then, by their lack of success, return to nowhere. Sort of like a popular Motown song. Johnstone's "students", meaning the poor people that he is heckling on stage from somewhere in the audience, are constantly urged to go with "obvious" ideas.

I think I pick up on this. The audience sees where a scene is going:

You enter a living room, sit down, flip through the channels, looking lazy, maybe drooling a little. Suddenly, an angry female enters.

Turn to page 46 for the original idea, Turn to page 9 for the obvious idea

Page 46:

The angry female that just enters says "My intestinal worm is speaking in prose again."

The audience laughs for a bit, then they think what the fuck. Now that the reality (living room, lazy-responsible relationship) is broken all value of the scene is lost. You could do anything (light yourself on fire, go to the moon, enter an abstract dream sequence) and it wouldn't mean anything since it wouldn't be too wonky compared to what just happened.

Page 9:

The angry female puts her hands on her hips and says "Why are you sitting there watching TV, there's work to do!"

Maybe not as funny, but "obvious" and reasonable. Especially if the "mom" comes in and stares for a good 10 seconds to creep the audience out, and then suddenly speakls. This fills in the audience's expectations.

Now, the mom can leave, meaning it is a perfect time for the existentialist tapeworm to begin speaking in prose in my stomach, probably about the problematic mother-son relationship. This makes more sense because it is more obvious than randomness.

As I read through the book, I'll probably write out more of there so I can help myself understand. As for now, I hope the broken typing is appreciated.

I'm hosting next week! I've found some awesome ideas for games in the Johnstone book too.

In the beginning

In the beginning, god created light, by saying "let there be light".

Later, the electric and magnetic component of this wave split into conveniently understandable behaviours, one supposedly as an aspect of another.

Further on, sufficiently intelligent monkies created ways to harness these tiny electric particles to actually mean something....

....which brings us to here.

I think that gives you a sufficient understanding of the universe. There are though things (Feynman's lecture-on-tape introduction is great for this) which don't fit into this view I have created, but they will be mentioned later.

Thus begins the Blog

[Flourish. Exeunt.]