Tag Archives: nightlife

in which I learn storytelling lessons from iFrankenstein

I am, by principle, two things:

  1. Extremely selective about the movies I go see.
  2. Extremely obsessed with Frankenstein.

These two principles were in direct opposition last night when Marx and I headed to the Fenway cinema for the Friday night showing of iFrankenstein. Oh, you haven’t heard of iFrankenstein? That might be because it’s actually called, “I, Frankenstein” but come on.

So iFrankenstein. If you aren’t familiar with it, please take a second to acquaint yourself with the trailer.

So that’s iFrankenstein. You can probably get a good idea of its quality just based on those winning two minutes and thirty-one seconds. If that didn’t convince you, know that the film has, as the MT gleefully pointed out to me, a 3% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Even the new Smurfs movie had a higher rating than that.

Watching that trailer, every instinct in me screamed to stay away.

But the smaller, yet louder part of my brain screamed “BUT FRANKENSTEIN!”

So my patient and long-suffering friend Marx let me drag her to iFrankenstein last night.

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And friends, it was bad. Horrifically bad. Monstrous1. As gloriously appalling as I hoped it would be.

At first, Marx and I did a lot of giggling and being generally and unapologetically disruptive. But just before the climax, Marx and I both got bad movie fatigue, a common condition where a disaster of a film suddenly stops being so bad it’s funny and instead you start to feel like your brain is liquefying and sliding out through your ears. In order to distract myself from my steadily dropping IQ, I tried to think about what I, as an aspiring writer and storyteller, could learn from this Hindenburg-sized disaster that was iFrankenstein.

So here are a few storytelling lessons from iFrankenstein.

Taglines do not make good dialogue. I’m pretty sure this entire movie consisted of lines that were made to be said in a deep, low voice while in close up with an intense look on the actor’s2 face. Dialogue was not a high priority in this film. In fact, I think 90% of the script is in the trailer.

Follow your own rules. So for a reason never explained, Frankenstein’s monster, who this movie christens Adam Frankenstein3, is immortal4. Not just immortal. Indestructible. He falls off buildings. He gets thrown off bridges. He crashes through a square and onto a moving subway train. And he’s fine. Except then, every time the movie needed him to be weak or incapacitated, somebody would lightly shove him and he would collapse into a shaking, useless heap of a reanimated man. If you’re gonna make these nonsensical world building rules, you gots to follow them all the time, not just when it’s convenient.

Setting! It is important! Setting is probably my favorite aspect of any novel or movie. I’m a setting junkie. So iFrankenstein’s first setting issue was that I was totally uncertain what city this was set in. What city is this that has both a big-ass cathedral for the gargoyles to live in and a big-ass castle for the demons to live in, yet is huge enough that neither of those groups seem to be aware that the other’s big-ass structure exists. Then, there were these huge jumps in location. Such as at the end, when the Demons’s big-ass castle starts imploding for no apparent reason. Adam and Yvonne Strahovki’s characters are inside and both mostly passed out on the floor! Oh no! Then we get one shot of demon v. gargoyle fighting action. Then suddenly Adam and Yvonne are falling off the roof! No, not running up to the roof. Not running across the roof. Falling off the roof. Weren’t they just passed out on the laboratory floor? Yes6. Yes they were.

Never employ reoccurring phrases that can’t be said with a straight face. Props to Miranda Otto for repeatedly uttering the phrases “Gargoyle Queen” and “High Order of the Gargoyle” without cracking. Oh Miranda Otto. How far you’ve fallen since ripping off your helmet and crying “I am no man!” on the fields of Gondor.

Apply morals with a light hand. Was there a theme? No. Any sort of over-arching character arc5 or internal struggle for anyone? No. Even really a reason for Adam, the main character, to be in the movie? Nope. The whole movie was just a vehicle for exploding things7 and poor special effects in which men transformed into creatures that seemed a cross between the Skeksis in Dark Crystal and the cactus people in Doctor Who. And then every once in a while, you’d be hit with a speeding train of a moral. I think there was actually an audible thunk a few times. Adam can’t be destroyed by the demons because he has a soul after all!? Wow, blink and you’ll miss that life lesson!

Good adaptations walk a fine line. iFrankenstein begins with a summary of Frankenstein in its entirety. It lasts approximately thirty-eight seconds. And then the movie abandons its reported source material entirely. I’m convinced the writers have not actually read the book. Rather, they skimmed the SparkNotes. Friends, you gots to read more than the SparkNotes to write an adaptation. I’m a big fan of adaptations of classics or retellings, but there’s a fine line to walk. You can’t stick too close to the source material—there has to be something new to set your version apart. But you also can’t stray so far away that you lose your ties to what you’re adapting. If you could take the classic you’re retelling out of the story and have it remain virtually unaffected, you’re doing something wrong. So when your movie about Frankenstein’s monster is actually a movie about a war between Demons and Gargoyles…you’re doing something wrong.

Friends, this was such a horrifically terrible movie. So much cringe-worthy dialogue. So many random explosions. So much Aaron Eckhart doing his best Christian Bale Batman impression. It’s the sort of bad movie that gives bad movies a bad name.

And friends, I loved every second of it.

 

  1. See what I did there?
  2. Yes, Actor, because there were literally three women in this film, and they were all basically vehicles for tokenism. So glad Yvonne Strahovski (whose character name I can’t remember for the life of me) was there to be totally useless the whole movie except to ogle handsome monster with his shirt off and then be carried to safety by him. Goooood.
  3. ADAM. Adam Frankenstein. While I appreciated the fact that they were trying to do a Paradise Lost/Bible reference by calling him Adam, there is not a name in this world besides Victor that you can pair with Frankenstein and not have it sound moronic. Adam Frankenstein. Say it out loud a few times. Adam Frankenstein. Good grief. Why didn’t they just call him Dave Frankenstein?
  4. This is a terrible idea for so many reasons, the first of which is that it destroys almost all stakes for this character. Every time he’s in any danger, I thought, “No big deal. He’s immortal, so he’ll be fine.” I think the writers realized this halfway through, but instead of going back and rewriting things, they just decided to ignore it and keep trucking.
  5. So one of my favorite scenes in the movie was when Adam Frankenstein was walking through what I believe the cool kids are calling a disco tech. It’s full of loud music and dramatic lighting and skinny white people in metallic shirts sitting around drinking neon drinks. As Adam Frankenstein walks by, everyone looks up from their conversations and neon drinks to stare at him. Then, in one of his many nonsensical voice overs, Adam tells us something about how “People all stare at me and hate me because I am weird looking.” …uh, wrong. Friend, they are staring at you because you are super hot. I promise, those scars are only doing you favors.  You are literally the most attractive person in this film so the whole “people hate me because I’m ugly” thing really doesn’t hold up.
  6. There were also a few points where the characters ended up in locations with no explanation as to what that place was or why there were there. Such as when Yvonne and Adam have a scene in this impossibly dingy apartment that happens to have a fully-stocked medicine cabinet so that Yvonne can stitch up Adam’s wounds. So whose apartment is this? If it’s Yvonne’s, she needs to talk to her boss about what he’s paying her as one of the top electrophysicists in the country. If it’s Adam’s, why does he go back there looking for her later? Where are we!?
  7.  Pretty sure no one ever used a door in this movie. They all had to jump through windows or smash through walls. Or, in one nonsensical case, have a conversation through a waterfall in a train station. Also, Frankenstein’s weapon of choice is Frankensticks. You can’t make this stuff up.
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in which I dress up in strange costumes

So one of the dorkier things about me is how much I love dressing up in weird and awesome costumes. This week gave me a lot of opportunities to do so.

First of all, we had a Halloween Carnival at work, which meant I spent most of the day hanging out in Harvard Square dressed like this1:

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Then, as previously discussed, I spent most of Thursday and some of Friday dressed as the Hero of Canton, because Halloween:

Image And last night, Milton2 and I dressed like this:

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Why? We attended the Inter-Dimensional Vaudevillians’ Cosmic Sideshow.

What is the Inter-Dimensional Vaudevillians’ Cosmic Sideshow, you may ask? Honestly, I’m not totally sure. It was one of the weirder nights of my life. It included everything from extreme pumpkin carving to a magician to screamo rock bands to a burlesque show3. People were there dressed as Dia de los Muertos, clowns, dark circus vaudevillians, steampunks, and then there were a few people randomly wearing really fuzzy neon mittens. It was a strange crowd.

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Unfortunately all my pictures suck because it was very poorly lit.

Milton and I opted for the steampunk vibe, because I am steampunk obsessed at the moment and Milton is a good sport. Pretty impressive for costumes for being pulled together exclusively out of things from our closets4. We also garnered the attention of more steampunk gentlemen than I’ve ever had vying for my attention at one time. I got a lot of cards. I wish I was this good at real networking events.

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You can’t tell what’s going on in this picture so let me explain: an intense metal band is playing on a stage filled with pumpkins while a girl hulla hoops with a glow in the dark hoop. Like I said, a weird night.

All in all, it was a weird fun night at the Worcester Palladium. And really, I’ll take any excuse to dress up in weird clothes and have a bizarre cultural experience.

  1. I should point out my hands are not painted green because my job at said carnival was face painting, and I did not want to get green smudges on the children. Though that probably would have been an improvement over what I actually painted on their faces. Spoiler alert: I am not as great at face painting as I thought I’d be.
  2. You remember Milton of the New York trip?
  3. In the middle of which I got an email from my bishop. Irony!
  4. Except for Milton’s tiny top hat. That was graciously lent by a friend much cooler than us.
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in which I see Book of Mormon: The Musical

Last night, I won the lottery.

The theater lottery, which might actually be better than the real lottery. I was one of 25 lucky people who had their name picked out of a recyclable bag and got a $25 ticket to see the touring production of Book of Mormon: the musical at the Boston Opera House, making me the first person in history to see this show for less than ten million dollars.

I asked the box office if I got a discount for being an actual, real-life Mormon. They said no.

There’s a high chance that I was the only actual, real-life Mormon in the crowd, mostly because this show, written by the guys who write South Park, has a reputation for being irreverent and offensive. Maybe not the most orthodox choice for someone who is about to be the central focal point of all jokes to attend.

But I really, really enjoyed it.

And here’s why.

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First of all, I think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously in anything, and religion is no exception. It’s important to be able to laugh at yourself, and that’s exactly what the show gave me the opportunity to do. It also helped that I knew what I was getting myself in to. I was prepared for offensive content and excessive language. Were there some parts that still made me squirm? Absolutely. But not because they were slandering my faith.

While the show is wildly offensive, it isn’t mean. I never felt like the show was attacking my beliefs1 or saying “Look at how stupid these Mormons are!” Instead, the show is universally offensive to everyone—organized religion in general, rich, poor, minorities, men, women, children, whites, blacks, Americans, Africans, Asians. Really, nobody gets out of this one without a few blows landing. It is a satire, and satire by nature is biting. But I never felt like it was mean2. And it was never technically wrong about any doctrine3. There were actually jokes I felt like I got that no one else did because I was a Mormon, and I certainly related in a way I’m sure most people didn’t.

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Here’s why I loved the show: it weirdly had a great message. The whole show culminates in the idea that if you find something you believe in, whether that’s “right” or “wrong,” if it makes you happy and makes you a better person, who cares? Believe in things that make your life better. For me, the LDS Church has always been one of those things, and for the characters in the show, it’s the same.

So we think the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri. Okay. Moving on.

Being part of this Church inspires me to be a better, more compassionate person, and gives me direction. And that’s what matters.

I think the LDS Church also deserves points for how well they’ve reacted to all this. When the show was first announced, there was a lot of whispering and wondering if the Church was going to react the same way the Catholics did to Da Vinci Code. Instead, the entirety of the Church’s response was, “Meh. Okay.” Not only that, but the playbill for last night’s show featured three very prominent ads for the Church, tagged, “You’ve seen the play, now read the book!” and “The book is always better!4” It takes a lot of confidence to react that well, and I think the Church’s response should guide it’s people’s response. This show is not intended to undermine us, or to make Mormons look like fools. It’s a loving satire, and we should make the best of it5.

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In the end, I saw Book of Mormon: the musical. Did I love it? Yes. Did I walk out of it with my faith still intact? Yes. Would I recommend every Mormon go see it? Absolutely not. But I don’t think they should waste time being offended by it.

And in the end, being offended is just a waste of time. Save your venom for something that really matters.

  1. They just phrase things in a way that provides for maximum ridiculousness. That being said, my favorite line in the show is still “And I believe that in 1978 God changed his mind about black people!”
  2. I really appreciated that they didn’t take any cheap shots—no mention of polygamy or abstinence or green Jello.
  3. The only line I took issue with was “Those we’re Christian missionaries, we’re Mormons.” Because Mormons are Christians. Duh.
  4. Which I thought was hilarious and brilliant. Also, if you’d like a copy of said better book, please send me an email!
  5. If I had thought of this ahead of time, I would have worn a sign that said, “I’m a real Mormon—ask my anything!” Missed opportunity. But the offer still stands.
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in which I find my corner of the sky

I don’t want to play the “once upon a time in high school” card, but once upon a time in high school, I was in a play called Pippin that nobody understood. Pippin is this weird, red-headed stepchild of musical theater that is often done poorly and without any real understanding of the show itself, usually by high schools. By the time I was in it, I had seen it twice already, both times disastrously misinterpreted and its weirdness taken way too literally.

I liked Pippin, but I didn’t get it until I was in it. The concept of our production, as dreamed up by my nothing-less-than-brilliant drama teacher, I believe is how the show is meant to be done. Pippin is not a literal play by any means. It is meta-theatrical, bizarre, and difficult, not because it has challenging acting or complex vocal parts, but because the entire show is a balancing act between trying to be real and knowing if you try to be real, this will make no sense.

Last night, I saw Pippin for the first time in a long time at American Repertory Theater (ART) here in Boston. The show is currently doing a run until January 20, and will then transfer to Broadway in the spring. I have been seeing posters for Pippin for months, but, until they announced they were going to Broadway and I could no longer resist, I made a conscious decision not to go because I, in my infinite theatrical pretentiousness, was certain that nobody ever does Pippin right.

Oh, wait. Except ART totally did.

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Pippin is about a young man1 who goes on a journey to find meaning and fulfillment in his life. His ‘corner of the sky,’ if you will. As you can imagine, the show resonates with a lot of people because that is basically everybody’s life story. Unless of course that beautiful message gets lost in all the weirdness of the actual show itself. Because there is lots of weird stuff that goes down in Pippin. He has a conversation with a disembodied head, he kills his dad and then brings him back to life, he kills a little boy’s duck, then somebody lights themselves on fire. Yeah. It’s awesome.

But back to the beautiful message. Because it really is. And every time I see this show or think about this show or remember being in this show, it still gets me right where I live. ART took Pippin to a different level than I had considered it before, and used it as a commentary on our generation, where everyone gets to be famous for fifteen minutes. In a world where everyone seems to think they are extraordinary, is anyone? And how far are we willing to go to feel that we have reached our full potential and found our corner of the sky?

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ART did their production of Pippin in conjunction with a circus troupe whose name has escaped me and my playbill is all the way across the room. This may be the most correct and genius way to interpret this show2. Each of Pippin’s “stages” in his journey was interpreted as a different circus act. There was a magician section, a lion tamer, a knife thrower. And then a whole lot of acrobats. The blend of circus and musical was just about genius. I usually don’t go in for giant spectacle shows, but this time it worked because there was a purpose behind the spectacle. They were using these flashy tricks3 to highlight the smoke and mirrors that is the entire show, until the end, which hits you like a punch in the face.

Anyways, this is basically just me gushing over Pippin. It took me an hour to get to Harvard Square yesterday4, then I stood in line for another forty-five minutes to get standing room5 only tickets, and it was worth it! It was worth standing up for two and a half hours. Worth totally ruining my hair in the rain. Worth overshooting my lunch break by a good half hour. Worth it worth it worth it the show was so good7!

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This entire post is a lot less eloquent and insightful than I hoped it would be, mostly because I am just so overcome with this production that I have been reduced to a stammering mess. Thank you for listening to me go totally nutburgers over this show. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have seen so much incredible theater that has made me feel so deeply.

  1. Named Pippin, in case you’re slow.
  2. Though one of the abysmal productions I saw also tried to do this…it worked less well. The reason theirs worked, I think, was because of what a high level of circus-ness they took it to.
  3. THEY WERE SO AMAZING!
  4. In the rain/sleet
  5. This is the second time I’ve done standing room only tickets in my life, and I appreciate the fact that at ART, they at least have a rail for us to lean on. The West End was less kind about that, though we did get a wall there, and a killer production of Much Ado staring David Tenant and Catherine Tate of Doctor Who fame 6.
  6. I think I am the only person in the world who discovered Doctor Who because of Shakespeare, instead of the other way around.   
  7. Also, there were randomly a ton of Broadway stars in it! Which caused me to have a total Broadway nerd freak out in the lobby. Andrea Martin! Charlotte D’Amboise! Terrance Mann8! Patina Miller! Mattew James Thomas! Google these people if you don’t know who they are because they are awesome!
  8. HOLYCRAPTHAT’STERRANCEMANN!!!!!
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in which I give thanks

Happy day after Thanksgiving everyone!

I was going to write a post last night after my own Thanksgiving festivities, but I got home much later than intended from the most kick-ass Thanksgiving ever, so this is coming a day late. But let me tell you about how a girl far from home spent her Thanksgiving yesterday.

Let’s back up. First of all, Thanksgiving and I don’t have a great track record. My family’s never been super big on that whole traditional Thanksgiving. Usually the highlights of my day are either skiing or watching that National Dog Show, which is bigger than the Super Bowl in our house. But in general, Thanksgiving is not the mega holiday for us that it is all over the country.

So when I moved to England and had my first Thanksgiving away from home, I didn’t think it would be a big deal. And really, it wasn’t. But that was the only day of my entire time in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter, that I’ve ever been homesick. Granted, this homesickness lasted for about twenty-five minutes, and was probably a result of me being actually sick at the time. But overall, it was a weird and uncomfortable day.

So I didn’t know what this Thanksgiving would bring. Perhaps it would be me, Charlie Brown-style, at a folding table with pretzels and popcorn. Maybe it would be spent in a McDonalds. Maybe I’d just take a heavy dose of Ambien and sleep through the whole thing.

But then a friend from my program invited me to what she lovingly termed a “homeless Thanksgiving” for students who didn’t have anywhere to go. With some trepidation, knowing that I am incredibly inept at situations that require interaction with people my own age, I accepted.

And it was freaking fantastic. One of the best Thanksgivings I’ve ever had, if not the best.

We were thirteen people strong – five Americans from four different states, two Nigerians, four Singaporeans, one Indian, and a Canadian. For some people, it was the first Thanksgiving, and while we ate, we explained why we cook turkey, the origins of the holiday, and about how eggnog comes from the noxious nog mines of eastern Kentucky1.

We had traditional Thanksgiving food, and we had curry. We also had a black forest chocolate cake2. I stayed for a lot longer than I planned, mostly because I just felt really welcome there. Instead of doing what I generally do at parties, which is get social anxiety and sit in a corner with a diet coke all night, I actually found myself contributing to the conversation3. And enjoying it. I even made a few witty retorts, the sort that I usually keep sheathed when I’m around people I don’t know for fear of coming off as weird, because sometimes my sarcasm can be so advanced people think I’m actually stupid4. But that didn’t happen – my personality was well received! And my brand-new red t-strap high heels helped me rock a killer outfit.

The whole night made me think about this past week in my literary criticism class, where we had what I thought was a very frustrating discussion about race theory. By the end of it, the class, much to my dismay, basically came to the conclusion that white Americans are terrible, racist hooligans who had no respect for other races and cultures and that interracial communication is near impossible because we’re all racist. It pleased me greatly to watch every one of those ideas be proven wrong last night. This Thanksgiving wasn’t about where you were from; it was just a lot of people, really far from home, who were looking for somewhere to be a part of, and so became simultaneously the welcomers and the welcomed, givers and receivers. Those who made this community, and those who inhabited it. And that is, for me, what I’ve always thought Thanksgiving was about, that elusive thing that had always been missing in every celebration I had ever been a part of before. Last night, I think I finally figured out why everyone likes Thanksgiving so much.

It was a Thanksgiving I will never forget, and it made me thankful to be part of a global community of people who can sit down together on a Thursday night in a stranger’s apartment and enjoy a huge amount of food.

  1. Everything we told them might not have been true.
  2. Less relevant, I just really wanted to mention that.
  3. Especially when the conversation turned to Sherlock, as it so often does when I’m around.
  4. This definitely happened with NPR.
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in which heroes rise

Note: I wrote this as a post for the NPR intern edition blog. They opted not to publish it, and suggested I write an article about modern nuns instead. But I am quite proud of it, so I thought I’d share it here anyway. No footnotes, because, as said, I didn’t write this for my blog. I wrote it for another, normal blog. And normal blogs don’t use footnotes. 

Last night, at 3:02 am, the screen went dark, the lights went up, and The Dark Knight Rises crowd in auditorium 19 at the AMC River North went berserk. People stood up, they cheered, the flung their bat-masks in the air. Then they swarmed towards the doors, leaving a trail of empty soda cups and half-eaten popcorn in their wake, and out into the night.

As I joined the mass exodus through the lobby, I listened to the many opinions about the film we had just watched flying around me. Most of them seemed to be along the same theme, namely:

OHMYGOSHTHATWASTHEBESTMOVIEEVER!!!

Except it wasn’t.

It wasn’t a great movie. It was a good movie, sure. It was entertaining. It was engaging. It was exciting enough to keep me awake in spite of the fact that I was watching during that awkward time between late night and early morning after a twelve hour day at work.

But it wasn’t a great film. There were plot holes, unbalanced storylines, a villain with a speech impediment that gave him the diction of an intercom announcement on the subway. And let’s be honest – it’s a movie about a guy in a suit that looks impossible to put on, with a flying tank. Come on.

And yet there were twenty-two theatres with sold out shows in the AMC River North theater alone, and I felt myself to be the only person there who hadn’t really loved it.

We experienced the exact same phenomenon a month ago with Spiderman, and earlier this year with the Avengers, and we will again with Man of Steel next year. We are emptying our pockets to watch ridiculous movies with cheesy dialogue about people who wear spandex.

What is it about the superhero movies that draw crowds like that?

This morning, I read about the shooting at a Colorado movie theatre just like the one I had sat in, and a creeping nausea settled in my stomach. As I watched newsreel footage and grainy cell phone videos from the scene, I was sickened by how closely they resembled Gotham in chaos from The Dark Knight Rises. What I had just hours earlier watched with the thought, “Thank God I don’t live in that world,” was suddenly reality.We are Gotham, I thought. We are that population who turns against each other. Who murders.

So where was our Batman last night?

The shooting last night in Colorado, no matter how horrific, is an illustration of why we are obsessed with the idea of superheroes: it is because when things go south, we wish there was someone to drop out of the sky in his flying car and save us. We wish for our own superhero.

As a human race, we seek out saviors. We want people to look to, to rise to, to aspire to be like, but are secretly grateful that we never will have to be. We want permission to be cowardly because we know that there is someone else out there who will be brave. We don’t always want to be the heroes of our story, but we want there to be a hero none the less.

And, as unrealistic as superhero movies are, the largest and most appealing element of truth within them is that in times of tragedy, people will rise. They always do. Horror creates heroes, and ordinary people prove themselves to be extraordinary through their actions. Superheroes and the movies that feature them reflect the hope that lies within every heartbreak: the hope of transcendence. The hope that we can rebuild something better than we had before.

And I have no doubt in the days following the shooting in Colorado, heroes will emerge. They may not wear capes and spandex, but we will know them anyways.

Our heroes don’t choose us, we choose them. We decide who to worship, who to idolize. We choose the morals upon which we build our foundation, and we choose who we look to to protect that morality.

We keep going to see superhero films so that we remember that there will always be people around us who, like phoenixes from the ashes of a tragedy, will rise.

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in which i pretend i am a radio legend, and meet a comedy icon.

In the last two weeks, I have learned that there is an abundance of perks to working in the media. First of all, people send you free stuff. Mostly books. Sometimes CDs. But mostly books. Which is really all you need in life.

But seriously, the “Wait Wait” office gets a lot of books. The table in the middle of our cubicle cluster has started to buckle beneath the weight as they slowly pile up1. We also have subscriptions to lots of magazines, including Glamour and People2, which everyone covertly reads when they think no one is looking. Everyone except Carl, because he’s way too classy for that.

Also, we received a box of free vodka this week. For unknown reasons.

Another perk of the job is that when my bosses get free tickets to see the Scott Adsit (Pete Hornberger in “30 Rock”) improv show, and they can’t use them, I get them. Even though it means taking the train at 10:30 at night to the stop right next to Wrigley Field right when a baseball game lets out so that I am practically trampled trying to swim upstream against a sea of half-crazed, drunk baseball fanatics, it’s worth it.

I’m fairly certain the theatre the show was held in is an over 21 venue, and the whole way I was sweating that I would be revealed as the spring chick that I am. But since I was with someone who conveniently works at the theatre, I was not carded. The guy at the door looked at my ticket, then looked at me, then looked at the girl I was with, who he knew, then back to me. Then said, and I quote, “Eh. I trust you.” First mistake dude3.

The show itself was biazzare and hilarious. It was strange and awesome to see Adsit in real life, with a beard, and not being crazy Hornberger, but instead a totally different type of crazy. The show was awesome…though weirdly dark for an improv comedy show4.

And, in that moment of sitting in a seedy comedy club at midnight surrounded by youthful, energetic, metropolitan people, I felt like I could possibly be a young Tina Fey.

Then today, I thought instead that I could perhaps be a young Terry Gross.

I did my first interviews today5. And, while sitting in a studio, soundproof and so still that the silence seemed to hum, with a huge, legit-looking microphone and giant headphones6 before me, I found myself overcome by a childish, yet irresistible desire.

And so I looked around to be certain I was not overheard7, then leaned in to the microphone and covertly whispered, “From NPR news in Washington, I’m Mackenzi Lee.”

It was  one of those weirdly giddy moments of pretend snuck inside of real life, and it momentarily made me think that perhaps a career in broadcasting was ahead of me.

Of course, the whole experience became infinitely more exciting when Carl Kasell entered the studio to record voicemail messages with me8.    

Another perk of my job is that I work in an office where twenty minute conversations about sexually-depraved penguins are totally okay. and the phrase “Lady Hitler” becomes commonplace.

Seriously. I love this.

  1. Prompting executive producer to say dreamily to no one in particular, “Remember how our last intern was so anal about keeping things clean around here?” *moment of silence.* “….hey Mackenzi…”
  2. Both of which I am pretending to be a lot less excited about than I actually am.
  3. On an unrelated note, tonight after the live show, Carl offered to help sneak me into a bar by telling them I was his mother. It should be noted that Carl is pushing seventy.
  4. Just the way I like it.
  5. The fact that the interview was with a man who spells his name with a question mark, about a paper he published discussing the infectious spread of Beiber fever is irrelevant.
  6. Damn, I love giant headphones.
  7. As though anyone could hear me while I was in a soundproof studio. That is rather the point, is it not?
  8. Not for me, unfortunately.
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