The Lady Jam at UCB

the lady jam

This Friday Coleen and I finally went to The Lady Jam at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Chelsea.

The Lady Jam is an all female improv comedy jam where any woman who wants to perform can write their name down on a list to be called up on stage. I have been dying to go to this ever since we moved home from Los Angeles, but every time I have tried something else has come up. The show is only once a month (much like your dear Aunt Flo) so with school and other obligations the time just got away from me.

BUT! We finally got ourselves over to the Jam and it was AWESOME. The hosts are all UCB performers and they stay up two at a time to help the improvisers in their scenes and move everything along. I think The Lady Jam is the brainchild of Shannon O’Neill who is also the host. She introduced the night as a safe space for female improvisers of any level to perform with each other. Men cannot perform, but they are welcome to watch the ladies get down, so long as it’s not with that creepy gaze that one might lapse into while watching certain programs on late night HBO. Also, no genital play.

After much hemming and hawing, I forced myself from my seat and signed my name up to perform. Then immediately wished I had packed Pepto Bismol as I sat there intensely worried that I might actually be picked. As I watched the show, all of the woman who were called to go on stage were HILARIOUS. I was so intimidated. Yet I also knew that if I hadn’t signed up, I would have regretted that decision too. Soooooooo, I told myself they probably wouldn’t call me and if they did I would just pretend I didn’t hear my name.

One of the best parts of The Lady Jam was that it started off with a dance party. Everyone who’s there is welcome to jump up on stage and boogie. Then before each new group goes up, they dance too. I loved this because now that I’m older and too stodgy to go to bars ever, I miss dancing. And this is despite being the worst dancer ever. However, when I was younger, I realized that if I went dancing at goth bars, then I can dance really badly all I want, all night long. I can sway and be weird because everyone just figures I am doing some edgy new macabre dance moves.  However, Lady Jam threw a lotta pop songs at me, but I managed to keep up by acting out the gif of Ron Swanson dancing. The only hard part was resetting myself every 4 seconds.

 

 

So anyways, group after group went up and killed it. I figured I was safe from being called up, but of course I got called to perform with the last group. Panic brain set in, where my head feels like lidocaine has been injected into my frontal lobe. After taking up to 401 level at UCB and starting a weekly practice group, I’m normally not that scared anymore to get out there, but I really froze this time for some reason. I think it was partly because my 401 teacher was there and I didn’t want to disappoint her, as well as, one of my UCB practice mates who was in the audience.

As a result I wound up hanging back and when I did get into a scene I definitely did not  do my best work. BUT, ya know what? I figure, everyone has shit moments on stage and there one was for me and I survived it (it wasn’t my first and surely won’t be my last anyway). And more importantly, I’m never discouraged by it. I am just as excited to go back next month and try again! Next time though, I’ll make sure to drink a hot cuppa tea beforehand so my brain might work faster than a pile of dead sea slugs. I’ve come to realize that just like some musicians need a couple shots of whiskey to make it through a set, my performance vice is a Lipton tea with 2 sugars. I made the mistake of getting a decaf at the diner prior to the show like a crazy asshole.

Moral to the story? I love fully caffeinated tea and I love The Lady Jam!! Coleen and I were soooo glad we went. All the women who got up there and all the UCB vets, Shannon O’Neil, Morgan Jarrett, Tami Sagher, Lydia Hensler, and Silvija Ozols, had us dying laughing. If you can, do yourself a favor and make sure you check it out sometime!

You can find it on the UCB Theatre full schedule if you click on this shit: http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/

[It’s usually at midnight on a Friday night].

 

Blast Off

Hellooooooooooo

A rare blog post from yours truly. What the hell have I been up to? Four classes and working like mad. I am only going to take 2 classes this coming semester, because I need a break. I need my brain to be mine again. I also need to plan for my wedding. YUP! Well, when NJ legalized gay marriage, my forever love and I got married at Town Hall. It was thrown last minute and within the span of a week, but it came together beautifully. We were actually the first gay couple to be married in our town of Kearny! (I should totally edit my town’s wikipedia page to reflect that)

So like I said, we got married already, but we always meant to have our wedding-wedding at this campground upstate that we always go to and that Coleen has been going to since she was a little girl. (Coleen is my wife ya’ll). So I can’t be taking 4 classes and planning a wedding by August. Classes take up just about all of my brain space so that’s a no go. However, in there with the wedding planning, I would also like to blog again. Hopefully. I think we all know that I will cut to 6 months later with a new blog post saying, “hellooooo!! I swear I’m going to blog more again!!”

Anyway, our Town Hall wedding was crazy fun and I am so glad we did that. Everyone brought something to make the day festive and we were driven to Town Hall in a crazy old jalopy with cans tied to the back by Coleen’s Uncle Ken. Whenever he blew the horn it actually went “AAAAOOOOOGAAAAA!!!!”

Smiles, smiles, smiles….

So now its January of 2014 and I guess I should lay out what I want this year to look like. Here’s a list of wants/needs:

1. Get married (again) to my soul mate
2. Have FUN – go dancing, do more 5K’s, be a joiner.
3. Start UCB Advanced Study…I got accepted about a month ago after I completed UCB 401. I’m an official UCB graduate!
4. Get my UCB practice group to do an indie show…then maybe do some more….Hopefully try out for Harold night in the Spring.
5. Try out for the Willy Wonka play in my town. I wonder if they’d let me try out for Charlie? I wonder if I’d want to memorize that many lines…
6. Make professional moves.
7. Intern in archives at a museum starting end of January.
8. Join Toast Masters.
9. Volunteer for GLAAD again.
10. Draw cartoons again.
11. Read more books and less FB timeline.
12. Get better at writing jokes.

I’ll leave it at that for now. Oh, I also want to save money, but thus far no amount of Suze Orman books have ever been able to get me to do that successfully.

Here’s a pic of Coleen and I the day we got engaged. I proposed to her at the Eleanor Roosevelt house in Hyde Park, NY (how Sapphic right?? haha). Then she, in turn, proposed to me. We knew it was going to be that weekend, but we didn’t know exactly how or when. We had rings that Coleen’s mom had given us which used to be her Nana’s wedding rings. Her Nana is a super special person to us so it is a real honor to have her rings. I happened to grab them when we got out of the car just in case this felt like the right place and it totally did. ER’s house was so beautiful and serene and full of history. There was barely anyone there either, because it was a weekday and kind of off-season I think. What a great day 🙂

engaged

This is the two of us on our wedding day. I think we are sitting in the jalopy.

Wedding In Car

This is upstate NY on our mini-Honeymoon. We stopped by the campsite where we plan to get married to snap a couple pics and envision how we wanted the future day to go. The rest of the weekend we went to Bethel, NY to the site of the original Woodstock and then to this super awesome gay-owned hotel called The Roxbury. Coleen surprised me with this hotel. I had never heard of it before and therefore had no idea what I was in for. It turned out to be such a cool place!!! We really felt like queens or glitzy celebs for a night.

Honeymoon Upstate

At The Roxbury, we stayed in the “I Dream of Genie” room. All the rooms are different themes. Like there is a Wizard of Oz room, an Addams Family room, a disco room, etc etc… Here’s a just couple pics of our room to give you an idea. I wish I had gotten a good picture of the bathroom, because the room itself was in the shape of a genie bottle. So it felt like you were actually INSIDE the bottle. Plus, there was a nice jacuzzi in there with a tv. All pink and sparkles and genie themed. So cool.

Here’s the living room and kitchen though:

roxbury1 roxbury2

I HIGHLY recommend this place. The staff was all super nice too. The owner even said Hi to us. Also we ate at Peekamoose, a restaurant not too far from there and that place was CRAZY DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG, from time to time, I still think of the food there and salivate.

If you want to see the genie bottle bathroom, watch this video of it from the TLC Network. If you are impatient, fast forward to around 5:17

Thank you Coleen. I love you so much 🙂

Past, Present, and Future

Past, Present, and Future

So here’s what’s been up with me, for the 1 or 2 people who clicked on this page by accident:

Coleen and I moved home from LA to NJ. Its been almost a year we’ve been home! Hard to believe! We had some hard times in LA and some great times. I thought I’d be more like regretful coming home, like wishing I did this or that, but really I am the happiest I have been in a while. LA was great though. My favorite part of the experience was that I gained a lot of perspective on life. I also feel better about myself. I feel accomplished and strong because I did something that scared me and I survived. I’m happy to be home because I missed my family far too much. I kept thinking about all the birthdays and holidays I was missing with my parents, niece and nephews, brother and sister, aunt and uncle, and all my other relatives plus Coleen’s family and our friends. I started to feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, getting to live this technicolor dream, but ready to go home where I could be all with my loved ones.

I got to do some cool things in LA, but my favorite accomplishment was starting classes at Upright Citizens Brigade. I have wanted to take classes since the early 2000’s when we used to go to see Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, and Ian Roberts do ASSSSCAT in NYC, but I always had an excuse why I couldn’t. Either no money or work got in the way. But in LA I was able to use some money I got for school and get involved. Plus being so anonymous in LA, I felt like it was safe to try and if I failed, well, no one would really be paying attention. But it turned out to be great! It was a ton of fun!! My classmates were always very awesome and supportive and interesting and creative. The teachers at UCB are super hilarious and exciting to learn from. I got to study under Julie Brister (AMAZING!!) and Jill Donnelly (AWESOME!!). Both graduation shows were terrifying, but I think they turned out great and even if that’s just my imagination, they were definitely, at the least, really fun to perform.

Then when I got back to NJ I was really panicked I would go back to finding excuses why I couldn’t do UCB. And it did take me a while to get back on my feet about it. I had to find and train for a new job and get our apartment in order. Then we wound up having to move again because our apartment was a shithole. So that was hella stressful. But finally a couple months ago I got back to UCB and enrolled in 301. I was so scared sitting there waiting for class to start on the first day that i actually almost started crying. I don’t know why I was so panicked. I guess because I didn’t have my old LA class friends there and I figured everyone probably knew each other already and would be crazy awesome and I would be terrible. However, our teacher got us up and playing games and then all the fear and self-doubt started to melt away and I found myself just having fun again.

Now I have graduated 301 and hopefully I can take 401 by summer’s end. Also I was one of many lucky people to receive the diversity scholarship which means I have a credit for one free class, which is damn awesome and helpful to my thin wallet!

If you are BORED, you can watch my 101 and 201 grad shows here (as well as some choppy video of my cat as a wee kitten)

ykristyn’s channel

My other comedy goal is to do stand up. I don’t know if I’m cut out for it, but I bought Greg Dean’s “Guide to Stand Up Comedy” book and I’m seeing what I can do with that. I would take a proper class, but I think I already mentioned my thin wallet.

In other news, I got an awesome book called The Riot Grrrl Collection in the mail. I bought it early so I it came signed by the author Lisa Darms as well as MOTHERTRUCKIN Kathleen Hanna, and the outstanding Johanna Fateman. So cool. Riot grrrl and bands like Bratmobile, Sleater-Kinney, and Bikini Kill saved my life in high school as a young gay gal so I am geeking out over this. I started reading the book over the weekend. Its a collection of zines, lyrics, and whatnot from the riot grrrls and reading it is like going back in time to my headspace as a teenager. It’s also really inspiring me to get back in touch with my creative side. Before moving to LA, Coleen and i were doing a lot of our own projects like blogging, drawing, writing, crafting, etc…and the stress and aspirations of LA kind of forced all that out the window. Now that we are back home, we both want to rekindle that spirit. For me, it means getting back into blogging and drawing comics. I had originally intended to even write a graphic novel. I still would love to realize that goal. For now, I’ll probably just do some short little strips like I had started doing 4 years ago before the move. You can find them on here if you feel like taking a looksee.

So yeah, that’s whats going on in my noodle.