November 7, 2007

Emily on The Price Is Right!

Lotsa' pictures on this post and a video at the end.
This may take a minute or two to load, so you might
want to get yerself a cup o' coffee or a snack or somethin'.

If you follow my blog, then you know that back on October 16th Emily and I went to a taping of "The Price Is Right", and Emily made it not only to contestants row, but she also won a car! We were told by CBS that her episode wouldn't air until November 27th... well, barely three weeks went by and on November 5th Emily got calls from people in Florida (she's from Orlando) who had seen her on the show. So it was a frantic rush to try and set a recorder to catch the episode. Which we were able to do.

CBS was tryin' to be sneaky and air the show without us knowing. No wonder the writers are on strike.

Emily in the lower left, "OhMyGodOhMyGodOhMyGod!"

Contestants Row, careful... they bite.

Emily bids on... ugly bar set!

And wins!

Emily confuses Drew with a barrage of blather and double-talk.

But she gets to play for... A NEW CAR!

More blather, more double-talk, and now SCREAMING!

The "Hole In One" putting course.

Just put these in the right order of prices, lowest to highest...
(The products, not the girls.)

Emily checks with the audience... does a magical girlie dance...

...then makes her picks and Drew openly mocks her efforts.

She gets all the prices RIGHT! And putts right next to the hole!

It's an easy WIN!!!! She becomes airborne!

Okay, you can stop jumping around now. Really. You can stop.
Um... you're embarrassing me.

Emily won the 2008 Ford Explorer. After her win she got to spin the big wheel to see if she could get into the Final Showcase, but sadly that's when her luck changed. The wheel came loose from its mount and rolled across the set, injuring three camera men, and then it went into the audience where dozens of people were hurt and a woman later died... but it wasn't due to the wheel, she was hit by a bus on her way home from the taping.

Okay-okay... none of that happened. What really happened was Emily's wheel spin went over one dollar, disqualifying her from the Final Showcase. But if the wheel had come loose, that woulda' been cool.

Emily was jumping, hopping, and leaping about so much that she pulled a muscle in her neck/shoulder. She was actually relieved that she didn't win the wheel spin so she could sit down and relax. He neck hurt for a week, but that's a small price to pay for a new car. Unless of course you hurt your neck getting hit by a new car. In this case I think it was worth it though.

Anyway, here's the video of Emily's stint on The Price Is Right! So you can see for yourself.

November 1, 2007


Smile if you've still got skin!

Holy crap do I love Halloween! Always have, ever since I was a wee-one. It's my favorite holiday. And every year around Halloween the improv troupe I perform with (The National Comedy Theatre, San Diego) does our "Spooktacular" shows. Actually, in years past, our "Spooktacular" shows were 90 minutes of pure suck. It was our worst show of the year. Oh sure, we'd carve a pumpkin and hang up a bendy cardboard skeleton or two... but the vibe of the whole thing was never quite right. So we began to fear and loathe our Halloween improv shows.

Well, about 5 years ago I decided to sort of take over the duties of "Spooktacular" and really dress it up. We needed to embrace the horror of the whole thing. So every year, I plan on about a 4 to 5 day ordeal, preparing the theatre for the shows.

First off, we cheese up the performance. The team dives into the campiness of doing "spooky" improv games, and everything is themed to go with Halloween, even down to our big "Spooktacular" show ending... complete with dramatic music, the team killed off one by one with arrow shots, and then fog filling the theatre as we all return to life as zombies and shamble off the stage to Thriller.

Quick! See if you can spot when I turn on the fog machine!
(For some reason this video is kinda jerky, especially at the end, don't know why.)

It's haunting hokum at its best, or worst, depending on how you feel about it all.

Once we started to embrace the Spooktacular show, it quickly became our most popular show of the year. We've had a couple of slow years... like this one, with all the fires burning in San Diego. But over all, it's a good night and a lot of fun. And a big part of what Spooktacular is, is haunting up the theatre.

The poor man's Time Tunnel. (Yeah, look up that reference.)

Our normal stage is basically a black-box, with a big, yellow border around it. Why a big yellow border? You got me, but it's there and it's square. So this year I decided to cover it up as best I could. Over the past 5 years I've picked up a lot of Halloween props and decorations to use, and each year I add new stuff. This year I bought more black material! Woo-hoo-- DRAPES!

Who said this was a bare bones production?

The idea is to make it all look as much like a haunted mansion type thing as possible, yet still be a space where improv actors can perform. On either side of the stage, there are raised platforms. On the stage right side there is a platform we use as an elevated stage to add levels to scenes. On stage left is another platform that is used primarily for storage. Both these platforms are great for dressing up. Stage left is where I put the graveyard. Below is the entrance to the graveyard, it's what audience members first see when they walk up the stairs into the theatre.

Um... everything seems to have teeth here. I am NOT okay with this.

This year there was a TV on the platform. It was being used for a sketch show. Since it was there I decided to implement it into the whole Spooktacular theme. And what better way, than with my big fat head!

So, that's what a real headstone looks like.

I video taped myself as just a floating head and put it on the TV. All the head did was look around at the audience before the show. The head looks around, glares at people, gets angry, even falls asleep. There's 45 minutes of this video, not a loop. Eh, I had a free evening to sit and stare into the camera. Actually, I did it really late at night, so when I fall asleep on camera, I really dozed for a few minutes.

The other platform is where Mr. Bones sits and watches the show. This year, however, I gave him a family.

Mr. Bones, the Wife and Kid hanging out at the theatre.

Once the theatre's all dressed up, all we do as add spooky music, light all the electric candles, lower the houselights and presto! Spooktacular is ready to begin.

I performed in 5 shows over Spooktacular weekend. Two on Friday, both of which went great. Then three shows on Saturday. The first show was the best, the second was full of drunks, but still fun, and then we did a Midnight long-form show, our "Midnight Spooktacular". That's a free-form long form improv show where we can swear and take more adult themes.

Who's hungry for ribs?

And then on Sunday, I had to tear it all down again and the theatre returned to normal.

Spooktacular 2007 was officially over.

I'll have to wait a year for the next Spooktacular... but even so, I always carry a little Spooktacular with me year round. Well, not literally. I guess I'm just kinda' creepy.