Welcome to Paradise… Paradise, Nevada

The last few days have been a whirlwind.  I don’t even know where to start.  I feel so lucky to have fallen into this lovely group of creative and talented people!  We are working so very hard on such FUN material.  And learning the details of what we can expect once aboard our ships is almost overwhelming.  I literally gasped aloud when we learned about where most of our meals will take place.  The “Officer’s Mess” is a name that sounds misleading to a novice mariner like me, because a ‘mess’ is not to be expected when you’re dining on white linen with waiter service.  Uh.  WHAT?  All luxuries aside, the group of people I’m currently working with is enough to sustain my craving for fine things.  These people are talented, smart, great musicians, and INTERESTING!  I can’t wait to see what kinds of cabaret shows each artist conceives.  Of course, they will continue to be developed after we finish our group rehearsals in mid-October, but I am eager to take inspiration and work collaboratively with my cast mates while we’re here.

To give a rundown of what we’ve been up to, we all arrived in Las Vegas (well, Paradise, really) on Sunday evening.  It was great to meet everyone as we all gossiped and chatted about what would happen the next day at our first rehearsal.  So, what happened, right?  I’ll tell you what happened.  ABBA happened.  ABBA happened hard.  Monday and Tuesday were dedicated to musical rehearsals for our ABBA show, “Abbalicious,” and damn is it fierce!  It is so fun to sing this stuff in six part harmony with one person on each part.  That’s my kind of singing, folks.  We’re working with the creative team on the vision of the show, so solos haven’t been divided out yet, but I really rediscovered my love of “The Winner Takes It All.”  Beautiful.

We powered through ABBA and finished ahead of schedule – go team!  So this morning my ship got together to drill through the set, then we had a rehearsal our musical director.  Following our lunch break, we had our first foray into “movement” – aaaiii!  It’s definitely different for me to be doing something with actual choreography, definitely a challenge, but I think I will own it in my way and it will be a lot of fun!  And then this afternoon we dove into our second show, based on Motown hits.  We are going to be having a blast doing our new jobs, to say the least.

I am so happy to be here, and I feel so blessed.  This is the perfect place for me right now.

Pardon the inter- ruption… I don’t mean to interfere with your plans for the day, but I… I have something to say.  Oh, and check out the art to the right…. love it.

  1. Walking around with a four-month old kitten in a knapsack on your person is not generally regarded as “normal” by Upper East Siders.
  2. Upright Citizens Brigade trumps all other improv comedy schools.   
  3. The Ritz (well I’ve only seen the first half so far) is extremely funny and entertaining, and would be even better if I were a 50-year-old gay man.
  4. I have gotten pretty good at making auditors laugh (with me, not at me) – while still not getting a job in a show.
  5. New York gets kind of cold in November.  What will January be like?
  6. It is not as easy as I thought it would be do wash all of my clothes in one day.
  7. Like I said, UCB trumps all others, and one reason is this, which talks about the SNL performance at the UCB theater last night, which raised money for the Writers Guild Strike Fund and figuratively smashed poo in the producers’ faces. 
  8. The Lower East Side has some very interesting live music venues.  Some notable names include “The Living Room” and “Arlene’s Grocery.”  Good times. 
  9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is an outstanding piece of literature, but according to my roommate, not a very good Broadway musical. (This is not to be confused with Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein, which is reportedly the best musical in the history of musicals.  I have tickets for the December 30th matinee!)
  10. When you find a good pair of boots at Steve Madden for 20% off, you should buy them in two colors.  I know I did.
  11. Another reason to defend UCB’s superiority is the fact that there will be a (and you are soooo lucky to know about this before the fact) live performance of NBC’s Emmy-winning TV show 30 Rock tomorrow evening, also at the UCB theater to raise money for the writers who struck out, I mean – are striking.  Check out this desperate craigslist post.
  12. I learned how to do links today.
  13. In an effort to emphasize how amazing UCB is, I will inform you that I signed up for “201”, the next course in the series of classes formed by some of NYC’s best comics.  I love these classes, and hopefully one day, can show you- whoever you are- that I am funny.
13 is my lucky number.  That’s all folks.  
Oh, here’s something cool you should watch if you like indie rock – an awesome artist named Levi Weaver, who I saw last year at the Imogen Heap concert and is coming to my town next month.  And yes, we are myspace buddies – and we message back and forth like BFFs.  For ser.