Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In Honor of Moving Day

3br - Roommate needed- Sept 1 (Roscoe Village) (map)

Date: 2011-09-01, 12:59AM CDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

2 very nice, laid-back guys looking for clean responsible roommate with last name "Manship" for amazingly affordable 3 bedroom/1 bath apartment in Roscoe Village.

*Walking distance to Trader Joe's and Jewel
*Free washer and dryer in building.
*Heat included
*Move in yesterday!

Seeking for Actors for Incredibly Fun Paying Show!!! (Chicago)

Date: 2011-09-01, 1:05AM CDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]


Do you have both improvisational and customer service skills? 
Are you sometimes funny enough to make people laugh?
Do you want to get paid to act?
Do you want to travel around the greater Chicago area, sometimes even to other states, and do comedy?

If you answered yes to any of the above and have the last name "Manship," then audition yesterday and hear back today!


Unbelievable TWIN Bed! USED an in good condition!! must go!!!!!!!

Date: 2011-09-01, 01:13AM CDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am looking for somone who just inherited a desk and a bed-side table and a bookshelf and a dresser from the guy he was subleting from!!!!!

I have a twin bed I want to get rid of asap


Includes protective covers in case of BEDBUGS!!!!!

asking for only $50 for it!FANTASTIC OFFER!!

(Must have last name Manship and convenient extended access to a cargo van until midnight)

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Change of Pace

There was a time in my life when everything was just too complicated.  I like to refer to that time as "October."

During that wretched time, in that tenth month of every year, all of my artistic enterprises would collide in an ugly, beautiful train wreck of overcommitment, rendering me a walking corpse* from around October 3 to around November 3.

Now I live in Chicago, and I've left all that behind.  I'm doing nothing.  I have no job, I have few social commitments, I have . . . wait.  What's that smell?

Am I free next week Monday through Thursday?  Sure.  Ten to five?  Absolutely.  I'm happy to be involved. 

Audition?  Yes.  I'm free Wednesday night.  This sounds like a great opportunity. 

Class?  A spot opened up?  I'd love to fill that spot.  Every Wednesday 7 to 10.  Great.  It's in my planner.  Exactly what I want to be doing. 

I'm sorry?  I'm in the cast?  You want me to work in your haunted house?  Great.  15 nights in October?  Awesome.  I'm so glad to have work.

Oh.  Hello.  Boat greeting.  Part time boat greeting.  Perfect.  In fact, use me as much as you want in the next few weeks.  I don't really have anything on my calendar ye--Can I come in Friday for training?  Okay.  Why not.  9:30 - 2?  Great.  To 3?  Great.  To 4?  However long you need me is fine.  Wait, you already have me on the schedule for the next day, too?  11 - 6?  Sure.  Sunday, too?  Okay, I can do that.  8:15 to 5?  Sure, but then at 5:30 I have to go volunteer at the --

Uh oh.

Who?  Yes, I'm very interested in learning about your ghost tours.  Am I free in October?  Well, yes, I was, but see then this FEAR CITY thing came along, and I got cast in that -- you know, come to think of it, October's looking pretty full all of a--cat sit?  I can cat sit.  Every morning, every evening, got it.   Great.  Hello?  Oh.  Murder mystery theater?  I'd love to, how do I audition, okay, sounds good, I'm there, well, I don't have my work schedule yet but I should get it soon when can I meet to talk about my availability I don't know probably sometime this week between the cats and the boat greeting can I come see the place this weekend sure I mean no I mean I don't know does 9:30 am work for you I can stop by between cat sitting and biking to Navy Pier and staying there all day then biking back and boy that beach looks nice and the water looks cool what yes I'm paying attention I'm here -- writing outside of class, perfect I'll complete every assignment and be proud of the work I do and come to think of it holy mother of god I just realized that if I don't go to CVS RIGHT NOW I won't have any sunscreen or sunglasses or a watch for tomorrow and I might get fired on my first day at work as a boat greeter or I might just DIE because I'll be exposed to the elements and then I'll BE a ghost and I won't be able to spend any more Friday nights looking up videos of cats and boats.

Hello?  Oh, hi.  No, everything's pretty low key right now.  Yeah.  See, I just moved to Chicago.  I don't really have my feet set yet, so --

Actually, excuse me, I have to call you back.  Well, I just have to run to CVS real quick. 


* Great Halloween costume!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


August 11, 2011.  ~ 6:00 pm CST.  Chicago, IL.  An ending. 

Several hours ago, my old job in Boston held auditions to fill my former position there.  There is no turning back on the employment front.  I have no more work in Boston than I do here.  My time as an employee in Boston is over. 

One hour ago, I finished my last iO Summer Intensive class session.  I no longer have a steady daytime commitment here, and the 17 people with whom I've spent the largest chunk of my days will now scatter to the winds and, at least for the time being, disappear.  My time at iO "summer camp" is over.  

August 11, 2011.  ~ 6:00 pm CST.  Chicago, IL.  A beginning. 

One hour from now, a performance will begin in the Del Close Theater at iO.  It will feature all 110 students from the Summer Intensive.  I will perform in this show, thereby appearing with my first "official" troupe in about 8 years.  Although most of the people with whom I'm performing will then disappear (see above!), I will have officially entered the Chicago improv scene as a performer.

. . .

You know the part of a roller coaster where you reach the top of the first hill, and all of your nerves stand on end because, "Here it comes?"  That's today, and not just for my journey to being a complete and total household name, but also for my existence as a simple, lowly human being. 

You know how, right as you reach that same point at the peak of that hill, the car goes slower and slower and slower until it's excruciating on your nerves, and you just want to go downhill?  Or at least know when the movement's going to begin? 

You know how, once you do go over that first hill, the roller coaster just has its way with you, and you completely relinquish control?

You know how, actually, you relinquished control as soon as you got on the roller coaster in the first place?

. . .

Here goes. 

. . .

Put your hands up.

. . .

Twelve hours from now, I will have 75 fewer "like"-rs because, "Damn, won't that guy just stick to writing things that are funny, or at least mildly absurd?" 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fifteen Reasons I Hate Chocolate

1) It melts in the summer.  And when it does, it makes things brown and sticky.  Which ruins that joke about "What's brown and sticky?  A stick!"  Because of chocolate, there are now two answers to that kindergarten riddle.  Way to confuse kindergartners, chocolate.

2) If you eat it backwards, it has Satanic messages.  segassem cinataS sah ti!

3) My sister gave me this really nice gift for being in her wedding. (No, I didn't marry my sister.)  It was a package of Coco-Zen natural chocolates, and they were so rich that they attacked my borderline-IBS stomach.  So even when chocolate is given with sweet intentions, it ruins those intentions and hurts the people we love.  I think it does it on purpose.

4) If I were going to run a tour about something, I'd run a tour about ghosts.  Or architecture.  Or mobsters.  Or history.  Or Shakespeare.  And I would definitely hire people for that tour who had, say, 6 or more years of experience managing and conducting, oh, I don't know  . . . tours.  

5) It gets me off-track.  Which is, incidentally, the working title for my new book!  Which, also incidentally, will be much better than chocolate or any stupid job as a chocolate tour guide. 

6) I'm a white man, and I don't like any world where "black" or "dark" means plain and white means "different" or "less than pure."  I didn't vote for that.  I don't remember taking part in any referendum on this issue.  When did white become the minority?  Was my back turned?  I want my country back!

7) One word: suckolate.

8) It's just not that great, okay?  Get past it.

9) People say it's better than sex and cheaper than Prozac.  I don't know who these people are having sex with, or from whom they're buying their chocolate.  For that matter, I want to know who their psychiatrist is, because last time I checked, Prozac was being handed out to everyone like it was . . .  I don't know . . . some kind of sweet.

10) Second City hasn't gotten back to me yet about my audition for their conservatory.  And they love chocolate.  So until I get into their program, I don't like this.  So there.^

11) Joann Harris wrote a novel called Chocolat, and then she sold it to Miramax for a lot of money.  Meanwhile, nobody wants to publish or represent my book, but I'm pretty sure I spelled Cambridge Street correctly.  Maybe if I call it Cambridg Street, Miramax will come knocking.  Dummies.

12) It has antioxidants in it, and I prefer positivity, so I don't like to be "anti" anything. 

13) You know that scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in which they go through the psychedelic tunnel on the chocolate river, thereby rendering the movie completely inappropriate for children?  (And yet, we all saw it as kids?)  Yeah.  To all of you who still have nightmares, blame "The Big C"

14) You know what?  I don't have to explain why I hate chocolate to a chocolate lover like you.  I have better things to do. And to buy.  And better ways to earn money.  In fact, I should be charging you for reading this blog in the first place.  $500 please!

15) I don't want to be outside in the winter.  I prefer seasonal work because, in case you haven't heard, I WILL BE FAMOUS SOON!*

* #15 should read "Chocolate tastes good."
^ #10 subject to removal from this list when I am admitted to the Second City conservatory.  I haven't heard yet, either way.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Biding My Time Shooting Firemen

Where am I?  On one hand, I'm probably in heaven. 

In Chicago, there's great theater and film and people.  There's 24-hour public transportation.  There's a dog beach (several, I'm told).  Not only that, but I've been here only a month (exactly), and I'm already shaking hands with some of the companies that drew me here.  I've even done a little paying acting and writing work.

I have a hit show in Boston.  I have a novel that's basically finished and another book in the works.  I haven't lost all my hair yet.  What more could I ask for?

On the other hand, I might be in hell.  I mean, it sure is hot here. 

And no matter what I do to put out the fire, it just RAGES.

That was weird.   And awesome

Still, there are too many good things happening for me to be in hell.  I guess that, just like with my opinion on breast augmentation,  I'm right in the middle.*

I'm in purgatory.

Last week, I auditioned for the Second City conservatory, then to be a tour guide for Chicago Chocolate Tours.  Today, I had a meeting with my fantastic "T" colleagues about what happens next with the hit show.  None of these things have yet resolved.  No word yet.  We'll get back to you.  Wait a week.

Looking ahead to this Sunday, I'm going to do my first solo shift at the Neo-Futurarium. (I think I get maybe a t-shirt.)    Next Thursday is our "graduation" show celebrating the end of the iO Summer Intensive.  I'm also going to do some more in-depth volunteer work for Barrel of Monkeys later in August.  (I think I get an itsy-bitsy stipend.)

I'm almost finally done / newly involved in so many things.  But where am I now?

I'm not sure.  I guess while I wait to figure it out, I'll put on a suit and shoot people I've barely met in the nipples with a spray bottle while they dance in front of me in red brief underwear.

Yeah.  Okay.  That'll get me through the week. 

*Seriously.  I can see both sides.  On one hand, it's an awful, shallow, dangerous procedure.  On the other hand . . . boobs!