Hey guys, thanks to everyone that followed my Process. I am going to be teaching a producing class for Second City if you are interested follow the link
There are a couple of wonderful groups going on here right now about Chicago theater in the 1980s and 1990s, and in a thread dedicated to the indispensable, inimitable, and indomitable Sheldon Patinkin, the lovely and talented Jennifer Markowitz recounted his rules for directing. I love them so much that I am reposting them here. I think even non-theater folks can take something away from them that would be highly useful! (The “I” referenced in the parentheticals below is Ms. Markowitz, but I can echo her sentiments as someone who was also lucky enough to study directing with Sheldon.)
When I was 20 years old I signed up for “Comedy Cabaret” at Columbia College for the fall semester. I had NO idea how to write a sketch but I spent the entire summer writing down funny ideas, lines, and what I thought to be scenes. I walked into my first day of class with about 20 full pieces of paper.
Two years ago I got accepted into the directors program. I found out I was 8 weeks pregnant when the offer came in. SC offered to let me defer for a year while I had the baby (soooooo glad I took that offer)
But from the moment I knew I got in I started to think about what I wanted my final project to look like without any idea of how to put a revue together.
I can’t not put into words what an amazing year this has been, I feel the happiest I have in a long time. I am so sad to see the year come to and end, but all I can think about is wanting to start a new process, what I would do different.
I am excited for tonight, and nervous. But as they say in the Olympics “It’s a lot of pressure but I have to trust my instincts at this point” I don’t know who the hell said that, but I saw it in a commercial and thought it was relevant.
Today plan to go to SC at 7pm print out playbills, grab a keyboard and have my MD understudy (yup opening night understudy) run songs with the cast. Then pace around with a look of terror on my face and hope I don’t make everyone uncomfortable. Then sit in the house and do nothing. That’s the plan anyway.
So we have our final preview tonight (it’s free at 7:30 Tetro Luna) last chance to test stuff and run the show before Saturday. Then we open. I finished the playbills last night so besides printing them out we are basically done. This has by far been one of my best years and I am so sad to see it come to an end. I will post the final show video after we close. But I hope you will join us.
So I got my producers notes from my instructor. And one of the big ones was our opening song “Asshole” is very similar to a song of the same title that was put up 10 years ago on Second City’s Main stage show “Red Scare”
Few things about this. 1. Part of my program is for me to be very familiar with the archives so how embarrassing that I didn’t catch this. I have only watched Red Scare in pieces looking up scenes and never got to sit down to watch the whole thing. It is a great (one of the best) shows SC has ever done so egg on my face for sure. 2. It reminds me of reading Mick’s blog about his process and finding out SNL was doing an NPR scenes just and they were getting ready to put there version of an NPR scene in the show. He watched the SNL scene and decided that is was different enough to go ahead with it.
I just watched the Asshole song from Red Scare, and no disrespect intended, I think Andy wrote funnier jokes in his song. It does even have a similar tone to it (tempo and all) but I think I am gonna keep it. It doesn’t have a single same joke and the actual music is completely original. But I can see how it is very similar and that bums me out a little.
There are no original ideas.
We are almost to the finish line for this show. I feel good about the running order and we have been running the show for the past two days. I can’t wait to hear what my instructor thinks. She sees my preview tommorow night.
Stuff left for me to do: finalize playbills, purchase hooks for back stage, pay rent to Tetra Lunua for my last run through, preview night, send my MD a few songs. Almost ready.