November 18, 2007

Braindead and Very Happy...Must Sleep Now Or Die

Sidenote: as I type this, the couple in the apartment next to me, who might think they are being discreet, are clearly going at it. Move the bed away from the wall, please, because my bed is also against that wall, and you're kind of banging me with your vibrations right now. And please cram a pillow stuffed with a higher grade of feather in your mouth, because I can still hear your muffled moans.

Friday night I saw Maria Bamford at the Lakeshore Theater. She was gracious enough to grant me yet another interview last week and this was the first time I'd seen her in person. She was glorious. Nutty and adorable and so creative that it's making me rethink my stand-up. I've felt very stagnant lately, dodging every opportunity to take the stage, and very unsatisfied with what are, by any measure, successful sets. I don't really know what that's about but I really need for that to change.

Last night Prescott took me to the Chicago Improv to film his set so he can submit to get a Comedy Central half hour special. Watching someone as skilled and talented as he is do two thirty minute sets back to back was very instructional. I love tagging along with talent and being ushered into all the secret nooks and crannies and backstage areas. It makes me feel so much cooler than I actually am. Of course I picked Prescott's brain about all things comedy and comedy bidness in the car all the way there and back. As soon as Canon's customer service center opens at 8 tomorrow morning, I'm going to figure out how to download his set from the camcorder to my MacBook and edit it on iMovie. This will be the first time I'll be editing something important that I shot with a good camera and I'm excited to see what I can do with it. This could be the beginning of many good video-related things that have been burbling in my brain.

Then I went to the after-party for the Pat Brice tribute show at the Lakeshore, which was sold out. The first thing I saw was Pat's Mom and Dad walking out of the show, with big smiles on their faces, which made me very happy. There were beer bottles and Blerds all over the stage and I hopped up there with my girls K-Rock and K-Roll to join the fray. The show was incredible, by all accounts, and everyone was in high spirits. TJ, Jordan, and Kyle had flown in from LA. I ragged on Jordan for "going LA," and he made a crack about me finally becoming a comedian, which is funny, because during a very thought-provoking conversation with Lincoln Lodge producer Mark Geary, when he requested my headshot for his website, I reinforced my denial about being a comedian. I don't even have a headshot on my own show's website, and I still am not entirely convinced that I am a real comedian. Before long the party moved to Wilde's, where I kept my promise to myself to schmooze and connect and gather useful data only to a reasonable hour, because...

This afternoon I made my (understudy) acting debut at the Live Bait Theater in "Writing With Nancy." Fifteen minutes before showtime, was utterly convinced that I was going to blank out, throw up, or run out of the theater crying. I was trembling and almost sick with anxiety. Instead, I improvised lines that got big laughs, shook my ta-ta's with a brazen zeal that surely has my Amish forebears spinning in their graves, and belted out some brassy solos. (How is it that someone as square and squeamish as I am had so much fun making multiple onstage references to my own knockers? Comedy is reshaping me into a frisky little kitten.) I muffed a few lines but was supported by the ample and kind talents of Nancy, as well as superstars Ashley Vinson and Gillian Bellinger.

Top that off with drinks and dinner at Uncommon Ground with yet another new "I can't believe how much we have in common" comedy comrade, the show's tech girl Nellie Ann (we talked about all things comedy, writing, and nerdery for several intense hours), and you have a pretty darned good weekend.

...aaaaand I guess the couple next door have concluded their joyous romp through the Elysian fields of carnal pleasure, because a deep male voice just cried out with the agony and the ecstasy and then fell silent. Either I'm a nimble typist or he's possessed of a remarkable stamina, but either way -- "ew," and "shut up."


Dale said...

You're the busiest blogging Bella ever! I can barely keep up with my duties as a shut-in! Sorry about all the noise, I'll try and be more discreet next time.

Bella Rossa said...

I can't believe I had the energy to write about all of that before I fell into a coma last night. Blargh.

And yeah, keep the romping down to a dull roar, please?

Grant Miller said...

Sounds like you've been all over. I'm sure your stand-up is excellent. Don't worry about it.

Bella Rossa said...

I'm plugging along, Grant. Maybe I'd be happier with my comedy if I were getting more shut-eye.