My life is shows. This is the slogan which most appropriately describes my Boom reality. The days off are the exception that proves the rule; they are few and far between. Mind you, this isn't a complaint -- it's just a catchphrase.
There are many shows that I don't log in. Because there are too many to separate into entries. And I don't know how to mention all of the shows. What's the difference between today's 6am show with Brendan or Sunday's show to a Non Boomer?
Regardless, I'll go into it. On Sunday, Dave ... Grobet? came to Boom to teach us how to play comedy sportz style. I may be in the wrong to speak for everyone, but I got the sense that the workshop was insulting. Getting talked down to -- the insinuation of what we didn't know .... what am I trying to say ...
None of the regular cast members are beginners, so why teach "Zip Zap Zop" to us? And why pay to fly Dave out to Amsterdam just to do that? I know plenty of teachers who are trying to push the boundaries of short form (JD Walsh, for example ... though don't tell him that I offered any praise to his tyranny) and Long Form (Chris Barnes is an experimental teacher who also sometimes falls short) but they're not contacted to teach workshops. Even I taught last week, and I'm pretty sure I put more thought into what I was going to say before the workshop -- and I wasn't sent to Amsterdam for that single purpose. So what gives?
Much of the Boom experience is frustrating. The organization works like a multiple-headed-dragon that hates itself. Constantly biting its own interests (and surprising itself in the process). Corporate doesn't talk to Artistic, and the Directors don't always heed the concerns of the Actors. The same mistakes get made over and over again.
And then on Sunday we pay someone to tell us, "Your goal should be to get the most applause from the audience as an individual." Are you kidding? My goals as a professional are to have a fantastic and balanced show, complementing my fellow Improvisers as well as having stand-out moments in character. I want to learn. In scenes, the last thing I'm thinking about it how to get a bigger laugh than my fellow player. I'm thinking, "What's the game?" and "How can I heighten the way I see the other characters on stage?" How do I make this theater look good so that I have something to be proud of? That's what I'm thinking during and in-between scenes.
While I'm in rant mode, here's another thing that irks me. We have too many corporates to cast, so we've hired locals to represent our company. No offense to Ryan and Josh (the new actors), but I don't want people to see the shows they perform in and think, "That's what a Boom Chicago employee acts like." They don't represent the organization ... only they do, because we've hired them without thinking too far into the future. I know many more gifted improvisers who might be willing to live in Amsterdam for 4 or 5 months and do the job that these two are doing, only do it well. And it's demoralizing to dwell on it. Can't help it, though. Here I am, at three in the morning, dwelling.
I've gotta get some sleep. Tomorrow, I'm off on Tour again. Again, as always, it's great. But it could be religious.