Tuesday, May 19, 2015

An Email I Wrote to an Aspiring NYC Improvisor

So here's my story, what I did, what I'm doing, what you should be doing, etc.

I took all of my "core" improv classes at The New Movement. Since Austin is such a small city (comparatively to NYC) it was easy to then perform at other theaters after having been around for a while WITHOUT having to take that "other" theater's classes. After three years of improv and sketch in Austin I moved to NYC. Regardless of that experience I had to start over again. Everyone does here.

I decided to take Improv 101 at UCB on the traditional track, meaning eight weeks of three hour classes plus a class show. A lot of people with improv experience take the Improv 101 Intensive which is completed in under two weeks, but as I have a day job I couldn't swing it. Then you just hustle up through the levels from 101 to 401. After 401 you then apply to Advanced Study Improv by writing a letter of intent and a review of your teachers notes. After Advanced it's more classes (called ASP or ASH or ASI) and (slightly) more opportunities to perform at the theater. For instance, once you're in the advanced program you're eligible to audition for a Lloyd / Harold team.

Signing up for classes is easy, in the sense that it's all done online. It's hard, in the sense that the only way you will know that a new class has posted is by following the UCB Classes twitter account. Classes sometimes sell out in minutes, so if you're on the hunt for a class follow that account and get those sweet sweet phone notifications.

Classes are $400 a pop. It sucks. I ended up interning for six months (the minimum commitment) and got two free classes out of it. I interned during Asssscat so it was awesome. Not sure how other people have fared in their experiences.

Performing: Get ready to do improv in empty basements for the next few years. And you won't do much at UCB outside of your class shows. It's hard as fuck to get stage time there. Instead start an indie teams with friends / classmates / etc and book shows at spaces like Triple Crown (Irish dive bar basement) Legion (cool bar in BK) The Treehouse (new smaller comedy theater) and The Creek (LIC comedy club) among others. Do this! Do this as much as possible. The more you can perform the better. I mean, don't burn yourself out (which I've done several times). But really, the only way to get better or, at the very least, to have more confidence is by doing shows. Fuck it if you're new. Just go. Classes are great learning tools but if you're not performing you're never able to use those tools.

UCB also offers improv jams that are open to everybody, you don't even need to study with UCB. They're Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays at UCBeast but they're late at night (so I rarely go). If you can stay up, go! It's hard to meet people at the theater just because it's so damn big. Jams are a good way to start making new / awesome / weird / comedy friends. Plus it gives you an opportunity to play with seasoned performers you might not otherwise have a chance to perform with.

A new theater (new to NYC at least) is called The Annoyance. This is a cool theater to check out because they're pretty open to letting new people come play or pitch show ideas. Also they're in Williamsburg and they're space is pretty dope. I took a Level 201 class there but was not impressed with their teaching style. I prefer and would recommend UCB for classes.

Ultimately you need to decide what you want out of improv. It's not a career path but it can put you in touch with a lot of people who can give you a (writing / acting / producing) career. Maybe it's just a hardcore hobby? That's where I am at with it right now. The theater asked me to audition for UCB TourCo last summer (which is insane) and I did not get a spot. But it was so fun and flattering. And then a few months later someone dropped off and now I'm on TourCo and I get paid to do improv. This was NEVER my goal and is a rare thing. I am beyond lucky.

I guess my goal has always been to get better at improv and it's for no one other than myself. So, just do this shit for yourself and see where it leads you.

YES AND, GOODBYE.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

How To Make Phone Sex: The Basics

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

CHARONE sits on a bed with her back to the audience. She rolls over lazily to face them.

CHARONE
Hi there QT's.

Charone makes the letters Q and T with her hands.

CHARONE
I'm Charone and I'm going to help you become the number one expert as a sexual phone operator tonight.

Charone picks up a phone receiver.

CHARONE
Oooh. Sex.

Charone puts down the phone.

CHARONE
I make it seem easy, but here's a serious question: how does one get the sex voice inside an ear? Learning how to 100% properly operate a phone is half the battle when it comes sexual telephone operation. I would even argue it's 86% of the battle. Here are the basics to get you started on your journey to having a good telephone sex.

Charone picks up the entire phone.

CHARONE
First, make sure you have a phone and be absolutely certain it's a real phone. If it's real it will probably be plastic and if it's not real it will still be plastic so be careful! Phones can be tricky. Second, some phones are used for sex and some phones are not used for sex. You can either use the  phone you use for sex phoning or not the phone you use for sex phoning. It makes no difference. Again, just be sure it's a real phone and not a toy phone. Once I had an hour long conversation with my special guy only to find out it was not my special guy! It was Elmo. Luckily I learned a lot about numbers that day so no big deal!

Charone picks up the receiver of the phone.

CHARONE
Now that you have the phone planted firmly in your hand, only pick up the part that you need to speak sex into. If you hold the entire phone and the call is particularly good and or sexy then you're arm will get tired and you'll want to do less sex talking. This is bad and not good!

Charone puts the base of the phone onto the bed while still holding the receiver.

CHARONE
We're getting very close to having a real phone sex talk! Now that you have the receiver in your hand you need to call that special someone that's going to be getting all of that sex talk from you. Your special someone should identify by a 10-digit code that you can punch into the phone. If your phone is real, this will be easy.

Charone dials.

CHARONE
While the phone is ringing now is a perfect time opportunity to make sure no one else is sharing the line with you. This is rare and happens if you share a land line with your parents like me. Once I thought I was having a steamy phone chat but I oops never finished dialing the number and instead was talking sexually with my parents for twenty minutes. Boy was I red and uncomfortable with my life choices in that moment.

Charone covers the receiver with her hand.

CHARONE
Mom! Dad! Get off the phone!

Charone puts the phone back up to her ear.

CHARONE
Now you're ready for all of the sex communications your body can handle.

Charone hangs up the phone.

CHARONE
I'm still waiting for my special someone to sex phone with. If you want to already be practicing these exciting and real techniques punch in my personal code at 123-456-7890. Also don't forget that Charone rhymes with a...

Beat.

CHARONE
The word phone.

BLACK OUT

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Beneath The Briefs - Episode #7 - Hot Dead Friend

BENEATH THE BRIEFS

Jenna Marie Carey

"Episode #7 - My Hot Dead Friend"

INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY

Hulk and Brooke are sitting at a table drinking coffee. Hulk is visibly upset and quietly sobs into his coffee. Brooke consoles him while eating a bagel.

BROOKE
Stop crying dad. You're never going to get another girlfriend looking so gross and weak.

HULK HOGAN
I just thought she was my soul mate Brooke. My soul has lost it's best friend slash sex partner.

Brooke stares off deep in thought while eating a huge chocolate chip muffin.

BROOKE
Wait! Actually I have a friend who recently became single.

HULK HOGAN
Really?

Brooke sips a hot chocolate with whipped cream on it.

BROOKE
Yeah, you both have the same tan level and mustache colors.

HULK HOGAN
Oh my God she sounds amazing.

Brooke is eating from a plate of french fries.

BROOKE
She is! She has her own body! And it's thick in the good spots and thin in the bad spots.

HULK HOGAN
She sounds like my dream girl. I'm dying to meet her.

BROOKE
Dying...oh yeah! She died. That's why I never introduced you guys. You know I totally forgot about that. It's too bad she was probably perfect for you.

Brooke eats Hulk's croissant.

HULK HOGAN
You forgot she died?

BROOKE
Yeah sorry. Man this croissant is awesome.

HULK HOGAN
That croissant was the only thing I had to look forward to today.

BLACK OUT

Friday, February 21, 2014

Beneath The Briefs - Episode #6 - Bad Religion

BENEATH THE BRIEFS

Jenna Marie Carey

"Episode #6 - Bad Religion"

EXT. RIVER - DAWN

Hulk stands on the bank of a river. He is wearing a white wife beater, khaki spandex shorts, white high top sneakers and a white bandanna. On his right is a PRIEST and on his left is the Priest's WIFE.

HULK HOGAN
I just want to say I think The God is a really cool dude and I'm ready to wear boring neutrals for the rest of my life if that means we'll be tight bros forever.

FILM MAKER (OS)
Terry, exactly what Christian sect are you being baptized into?

HULK HOGAN
The one that gives out free pamphlets on the A train. So, The Pamphletnites I guess?

FILM MAKER (OS)
Don't you think you should learn more about this religion before making such a major life decision?

HULK HOGAN
Once I had an elective surgery to remove part of my earlobe because a talking dream dog told me to. This is the only thing I've ever done that a dream dog didn't tell me to do.

WIFE
Terry, are you ready to accept Jesus Christ into your heart?

HULK HOGAN
Sorry Misses The God, I don't mean to make you sound dumb but there's no way The Jesus will fit inside my heart. My heart's really tiny and he's a regular size. Even if he did fit in there, what if he got a boner in my heart? Would his boner poke a hole in there? I just don't want to die of a boner through my heart again.

FILM MAKER (OS)
What do you mean again?

HULK HOGAN
You know, that saying "dying of a boner though my heart" when someone breaks up with you.

FILM MAKER (OS)
Some days I can't believe how long you've been able to live.

HULK HOGAN
What can I say, The God is in love with me.

PRIEST
Shall we begin my son?

Hulk is guided into the river by the Priest and Wife.

HULK HOGAN
Whoah water is really wet.

Hulk is ignored and they keeping wading into the river.

HULK HOGAN
I don't want to be graphic, but I need to be honest in this moment and the cold water is making my man penis shrivel inside of me and I don't know if I like who I am as a person right now.

The Priest and Wife both give Hulk an annoyed look. The Wife squeezes his arm even tighter.

HULK HOGAN
Ow. Ow. Excuse me, Misses The God and Mister The God, but you're hurting me. My arms have been really sensitive ever since I let a feral snake bite me for fun.

Hulk is roughly placed onto his knees and he's about waist deep in the water.

HULK HOGAN
Okay I have to make a confession. When I was ten I was drinking water like a dog out of a puddle and I drank too much and passed out into the puddle and almost drowned and I haven't been near water since.

FILM MAKER (OS)
Are you saying you haven't showered since you were ten?

HULK HOGAN
I don't know, does getting spit on by homeless people count?

FILM MAKER (OS)
No.

HULK HOGAN
Then yes. Shower free since '63!

FILM MAKER (OS)
What do you drink instead of water?

HULK HOGAN
Burger juice.

PRIEST
Can we please move on?

The Priest guides Hulk's body backwards and submerges him in the water. Hulk immediately becomes panicked and starts gulping water and thrashing around.

WIFE
What's happening? I'm not even holding him down.

PRIEST
I'm not sure.

The Priest and Wife take their hands away from Hulk and he continues to thrash around until he suddenly stops moving. The Priest and Wife pull Hulk out of the water and he's unconscious.

WIFE
He doesn't appear to be moving anymore.

PRIEST
Oh dear God what have we done?

The Priest and Wife drag Hulk's body to the edge of the river. They look at each other for a moment and both run away at the same time.

LATER...

Hulk has dried off and tanned after laying on the river bank for several hours. A metal cross from his necklace rests on his cheek. When Hulk awakes the cross moves to reveal a cross shaped tan on his cheek. Hulk sits up, still disoriented.

HULK HOGAN
Is this heaven? It kind of looks like a non-heaven.

FILM MAKER (OS)
No this isn't heaven. You passed out while getting baptized.

HULK HOGAN
Are you The God? Your face looks like a camera.

FILM MAKER (OS)
It's not my face, it's a camera.

HULK HOGAN
I accept you and your terrifying future face The God, because we're the tightest bros now and forever and always.

FILM MAKER (OS)
Terry, I'm not The God.

HULK HOGAN
Fine The God, just say what you really mean and break up with me. This isn't the first time I'd be "dying of a boner though my heart".

Hulk takes off the cross necklace and throws it into the river.

HULK HOGAN
Ugh, religion is so gay!

Hulk runs away crying.

BLACK OUT

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Beneath The Briefs - Episode #5 - Nature

BENEATH THE BRIEFS

Jenna Marie Carey

"Episode #5 - Nature"

EXT. WOODS. DAY

Hulk Hogan and the Film Maker are walking on a foot path in the woods.

HULK HOGAN
It'd be cool to walk out here naked.

FILM MAKER
I guess so.

HULK HOGAN
Just, like, totally vibing with nature and stuff.

FILM MAKER
This is a public park, so it's probably not a good idea...

Hulk is naked.

HULK HOGAN
Too late!

Hulk, nude, runs ahead.

HULK HOGAN
Freedom!

Out of nowhere a BigFoot like creature appears. It tackles Hulk and then attacks the Film Maker.

LATER THAT DAY

Hulk is nude and covered in shit. CLOSE UP on his face as he wakes up. He sees the Film Maker is passed out and rushes over to him.

HULK HOGAN
Camera Guy! Wake up. Why didn't I ever ask your name? This isn't fair to me!

Hulk grabs the camera and starts filming himself "Blair Witch" style.

HULK HOGAN
I'm lost in the woods. I don't know how long I've been here, it could be weeks for all I know. I was eaten and pooped out by a BigFoot. My best friend is completely dead. I'm all alone and it's getting cold here.

Hulk places the camera on a stump. He walks away and scratches his naked butt.

EXT. WOODS. DUSK

Hulk stands over the Film Maker who is laying in a freshly dug but shallow grave. He starts to cover him with dirt.

HULK HOGAN
Goodbye, whatever your name was.

EXT. WOODS. NIGHT

Hulk sits by a fire holding a photo of the Film Maker in a heart locket. In the photo you cannot see the Film Maker's face as he is holding a camera.

HULK HOGAN
I'll miss you little buddy.

LATER THAT NIGHT

Hulk is sleeping in the fetal position in a leaf pile. He hears a rustling sound and wakes up.

HULK HOGAN
(afraid)
Hello?

More noises, they get louder and closer sounding.

HULK HOGAN
Who's there? I don't want to have to hurt you!

Hulk stands up and starts throwing air kicks and punches. The Film Maker, covered in dirt, walks up to Hulk and smacks him the face.

FILM MAKER
You buried me alive you moron.

Hulk gives a girlish scream. Then he realizes it's the Film Maker.

HULK HOGAN
You're alive!

FILM MAKER
I told you I wasn't dead.

INSERT FLASHBACK

EXT. WOODS. DUSK

Hulk is crying and dragging the Film Maker towards his grave. The Film Maker starts to wake up.

FILM MAKER
Hey, what are you doing?

HULK HOGAN
I have to bury your dead body.

FILM MAKER
I'm not dead Terry.

HULK HOGAN
I know this must be hard Camera Man, but I watched you die. I have to do the right thing and put you to rest. I wish I could have known your real name.

FILM MAKER
It's Jasper.

As Hulk drags him the Film Maker hits his head on a rock and passes out again.

HULK HOGAN
Go to sleep now Camera Man.

END FLASHBACK

EXT. WOODS. NIGHT

Hulk hugs the Film Maker.

HULK HOGAN
Jasper, that's right you told me that before. Well, glad to have you back Camera Man.

FILM MAKER
Why do you smell like shit?

HULK HOGAN
Oh, I'm covered in shit.

BLACK OUT

Friday, December 13, 2013

Beneath The Briefs - Episode #4 - Essencing

BENEATH THE BRIEFS

Jenna Marie Carey

"Episode #4 - Essencing"

INT. COFFEE HOUSE. NIGHT

A poet finishes her set and the patrons snap for her as she exits the stage. Hulk sits alone at a table for two snapping along with the crowd. He’s wearing his usual uniform with the addition of small circular glasses and a beret on top of his beanie. The show host snaps his way onto stage up to the microphone. He produces a piece of paper from his vest pocket.

HOST
Our next artist, or "career poet", is Terry. Everyone please welcome Terry.

Hulk calmly stands from his chair and makes his way onto the stage. He grabs the Host’s head with both hands and they touch foreheads for a moment. The Host pulls away and walks off stage.

HULK HOGAN
Is everyone ready to rumble... their souls?

Hulk pulls out a crumpled piece of paper from under his beret. He presses play on a cassette player and the sound of ocean waves softly emits from the speakers.

HULK HOGAN
L.I.N.D.A. You were a blonde and tan body full of sex passion. Boom! We made love on a yacht in the Pacific Ocean. Bam! My seed was inside of your womb. Birth! Tiny, baby, girl. I know you are me and I know I am you. More precious to me than a diamond encrusted Do Do Bird. Growing, growing, grown. My
baby is a woman now and now I am an old man. My face, tired. My hands, these hands, they held you until
your legs became strong, and then, then you were free. My, baby, girl. You ARE free.

Hulk stands on stage and the audience remains silent. A few start snapping and it gets louder with clapping and cheering. Hulk smiles with a tear in his eye.

INT. COFFEE HOUSE. NIGHT

Hulk is flirting with a gothic-hipster GIRL. The Girl is completely taken with Hulk.

GIRL
The way you moved your words with your mouth, it sent chills through my body. It was so honest, you know? And so sexy.

HULK HOGAN
Wow, thanks. I mean, it was coming straight from my heart and then filtered it through my brain. So that’s how I did it I guess.

GIRL
Yeah, so cool.

HULK HOGAN
Because, next to the heart, the brain is the body’s coolest organ and I trust it the most.

GIRL
Yeah, I never thought of it that way.

HULK HOGAN
To be honest I never thought of it that way either. That just came to me, like, right now.

GIRL
You’re a fucking genius.

HULK HOGAN
Cool.

INT. COFFEE HOUSE BATHROOM. NIGHT

Hulk is making out with the Girl in a bathroom stall. The Film Maker can be seen in the mirror reflection.

FILM MAKER
Maybe I should go?

HULK HOGAN
No! You need to see this if you want to capture my essence. I’m essencing right now!

FILM MAKER
I don’t think you know what essence means.

BLACK OUT

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Beneath The Briefs - Episode #3 - Being A Dad

BENEATH THE BRIEFS

Jenna Marie Carey

"Episode #3 - Being A Dad"

INT. STUDIO APARTMENT. DAY

Hulk is on his desktop computer which rests on his mattress. He pecks at the keyboard, one finger at a time. There's a knock at his door. BROOKE, Hulk's daughter, enters wearing a tight tube dress eating a hot dog.

HULK HOGAN
Hey Brooke.

BROOKE
Hey dad. I am starving.

Brooke starts eating a sandwich Hulk made for himself.

HULK HOGAN
That was my lunch.

BROOKE
Well you are getting a little round.

Hulk pokes at his stomach fat.

HULK HOGAN
I was just trying to make myself softer for hugs.

Brooke eats a fudge pop while sitting next to Hulk on his bed. Hulk is slumped over his keyboard.

HULK HOGAN
Can you help me send out this email? It's been stuck in the outbox all day.

CLOSE UP shot of a handwritten "email" taped to the computer monitor. Brooke pulls it off.

HULK HOGAN
Wizard! How did you do that?

Brooke puts the letter in an envelope.

BROOKE
I'll mail it for you when I leave.

HULK HOGAN
How?

BROOKE
There's an older metal computer near my house that I can stick paper emails into.

HULK HOGAN
I just don't understand technology. Hey maybe you can fix my phone?

Hulk pulls out a rock with an iPhone painted on it and hands it to Brooke. Brooke bites the rock iPhone.

BROOKE
Hmmm. I think it's a rock.

HULK HOGAN
No Brooke I think you mean "it rocks". I know iPhones are cool, but this doesn't "rock" at all right now.

FILM MAKER (OS)
So what's wrong with your iRock?

HULK HOGAN
I get incoming calls but I can't dial out.

FILM MAKER (OS)
How can you be getting incoming calls?! It's not a phone.

HULK HOGAN
I know! It's also a camera. Although that seems to be broken as well. Look at the photos it takes.

As Brooke eats a turkey leg Hulk shows her photos of himself in various paparazzi magazines.

HULK HOGAN
See, I don't remember taking these photos of myself. How did they get out of my phone onto glossy paper?

FILM MAKER (OS)
Where did you get the phone?

HULK HOGAN
Internet. I was in Chinatown and it was tangled in a net so I bought it.

FILM MAKER (OS)
That's not the internet. That just means it was in a net.

HULK HOGAN
That's exactly what I said.

FILM MAKER (OS)
How much did you pay?

HULK HOGAN
Forty dollars and I signed a piece of paper that waved any rights to my soul after I die.

FILM MAKER (OS)
You were scammed. You bought a rock with an iPhone painted onto it.

Hulk produces a calculator with IPAD written on it in sharpie.

HULK HOGAN
(sarcastic)
Oh, so you're saying that paying three rubies and a lock of my hair for an iPad was a scam as well?

FILM MAKER (OS)
Yes. That's a calculator. And where did you get rubies?

Hulk pecks away at the calculator. Brooke looks on curiously as she eats from a peanut butter jar.

BROOKE
What are you doing?

HULK HOGAN
I downloaded a game app where I type BOOBS, then erase it, then type in BOOBS again. I'm winning!

Brooke, mouth covered in chocolate, tries to turn on the tv with a cardboard remote.

BROOKE
Dad your tv isn't working.

HULK HOGAN
It's voice activated. Just tell it what you want to watch.

Hulk walks over to a cardboard tv hanging in front of the wall. He puts his head inside of it.

BROOKE
(to television)
TV: Please play Girls.

FILM MAKER (OS)
You can't both possibly be this dense.

Brooke, eating popcorn, is captivated by the tv. Hulk pops up in a wig and lipstick.

BROOKE
Shhhh. It's starting!

Hulk is talking to his rock iPhone.

HULK HOGAN
I can't be surrounded by your negativity while I'm trying to grow into a fully formed woman!

FILM MAKER (OS)
(to television)
TV: Turn off.

Hulk closes a mini curtain to make the "screen" turn black. Hulk walks out from behind.

BROOKE
Dad, you just missed the best episode of Girls!

FILM MAKER (OS)
You two deserve each other.

BLACK OUT