May - June 2017, A Roundup

As my time in Kansas City comes to an end and I prepare to return to Chicago, I thought I'd do a quick overview of some of what I've been up to while I was here. I've already written blog posts about some of them, so I'll link to those rather than exposit any further on them here.

The reason for my visit to KC has been to oversee and promote the world premiere production of the musical I co-wrote, The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe. As I write this, we've just closed, and while I'm a little heartbroken at seeing it have to go, I'm immeasurably grateful for the experience. You can read all about that at my previous blog post here. I had the opportunity to do a few press appearances for the show - including a profile interview with my writing partners for KC Metropolis which you can read here; thanks to Victor Wishna for putting that together! I also made a few radio appearances, guest hosting The Jonathon Weir Show on 98.1 FM (episode here), and doing interviews on Kansas Public Radio and KKFI (listen here). I self-recorded a radio spot for the show that ran on KKFI as well, which I've posted below. 

While Lefty & Crabbe was my primary focus, I did have some time to venture into a few other performances and appearances. For instance, I participated in a fascinating dissection of Hamlet’s soliloquies with director Ian Wooldridge, which I’ve already written about here. I also participated in a "TLR Talk" - an interview series which is part of The Living Room Theatre's education program, highlighting the work of various actors and writers associated with the theatre. Seth Macchi, Brian Huther, and I sat down with host Rusty Sneary for what turned into almost three full hours of discussion on comedy, collaboration, going viral, and what it takes to keep creating.

 Rusty Sneary, Seth Macchi, Brian Huther, and myself at "TLR Talks with Friend Dog Studios"

Rusty Sneary, Seth Macchi, Brian Huther, and myself at "TLR Talks with Friend Dog Studios"

On May 15th I returned to the Dinner Detective Kansas City to play detective in what turned out to be an exceptionally fun night with a great crowd. "DD" is a franchised murder mystery dinner theatre show, and I've been a part of the Kansas City cast since this branch opened some three years ago. In fact, I think I may be the only original company member still on the roster. I still like to book a show or two with them whenever I'm in town, and will be interviewing for a position with the Chicago branch soon. The show is loose-script, audience interactive, and more silly comedy routine than heavy costume drama. As an actor and improvisor, it's something I've always enjoyed.

 Ashley Osborn and I in a duo set at The Kick Comedy Theatre.

Ashley Osborn and I in a duo set at The Kick Comedy Theatre.

I also got to play a couple of shows at my former stomping grounds The Kick Comedy Theatre! The KC Improv Company kindly invited me to return for a couple of guest spots, one being Presto! An Improvised Musical, which is, well, exactly what it sounds like. These are always tremendously fun and usually outrageously weird - this set being no exception. We started with some short form before moving to the music. Video of that show can be found here. My second appearance was a duo set with current Artistic Director of the KC Improv Company, Ashley Osborn! I gotta tell ya, that set was one of my favorites. Nothing complicated, nothing intense, nothing that even made a whole lot of sense, just a giddy time bouncing ideas off a skilled and seasoned improviser. Video of that set is here (starts at 37:20)

I made guest appearances on a couple of comedy podcasts, which was a lot of fun as well. The first is brand new podcast venture from Yes, Co - an improv training startup by my friends and comedy pros Jamie Campbell and Michael Foster! I don't believe the show has premiered yet, but when it does I hope I remember to come back to this post and add a link. The second podcast was Don't Take Out Word For It, a hilarious show about the general anxieties of existence hosted by comedians Havana Mahoney & Anna Smith. I make an appearance as myself (and then William Shakespeare) on Episode 16: Juices For Miles.

And finally, I had a go at one of my first large-scale live streaming gigs as part of an ongoing partnership with trivia company Did You Know! My writing partner Brian Huther and I co-hosted a live quiz show on their facebook page - a first attempt which turned out to be a genuine blast! You can see the video here.

There's so much more to tell about various projects that I've started in on in the last couple of months - but it's too early to delve into details, so I'll say tata for now! See you in Chicago!