nervous youth

March 9, 2013 at 7:55pm
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They used to do a thing at the beginning of the Del Close Marathon (UCB’s annual weekend-long non-stop improv festival) called the Street Ritual. A group of improvisers would get a suggestion from a random person in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, start chanting that suggestion while walking towards the theatre in Chelsea, picking up other improv groups stationed all along the route. As you’d walk, the chant would naturally morph, and then this gigantic parade of improvisers would rush down the stairs at the basement theater in Chelsea chanting whatever the suggestion had changed into over the course of the hour-long march through NYC, and that suggestion would be the one the first group of the marathon would use to inspire their show. It was really, really cool. They had to stop doing it because of new, facist-y rules about public assembly. Boo. At any rate.

The first year, my friend (and DERRICK associate, and now roommate) Dominic and I were with the ritual from the very beginning, because we’d been charged with taking a shopping cart full of fliers for the festival from the theatre offices down to Tompkins Square so they could be handed out throughout the ritual (the ritual’s central purpose, besides being awesome, was to advertise the marathon. The theatre was about 1,000 times less well known than it is today, even though at the time it was 1,000 times more well known than it had been when it started.)

About halfway through the march, we were in Union Square and Matt Besser, one of the four founders of UCB, ran over to the lawn where tons of people were sun-bathing, and started hurling fliers over the fence at them. People would look at the fliers, and the chanting, insanely dressed marchers, but being that they wanted to prove what non-plussed NYCers they were, few of them got up to actually check the fliers out.

"TAKE A FLIER!" Besser screamed into a megaphone. "DON’T JUST BE CURIOUS! DON’T JUST BE CURIOUS!"

"Don’t just be curious" is a really wonderful tenet to live your life by. There is so much wonderful stuff out there (and we are bombarded with more and more of it every day) that it’s tempting to sit back and feel like "if something’s REALLY great, someone will shove it into my eye/ear/mouth-hole. Until then, I’ll just sit back and be vaguely aware of stuff." Reminding yourself to not just be curious, to actually go and partake in all the cool things life has to offer, is really, really important.

Also, as a marketer (which you have to be if you make things but you don’t have millions of dollars to hire a publicist and buy billboards and junk), getting people to not just be curious is your whole job. Getting them to come across and actually pay money for your thing, or even just come out to your free show, is the real trick. Getting them to do it now, because if they don’t do it NOW, they’ll click away and forget about your thing entirely.

UCB built themselves on the street, doing weird stuff and handing people fliers and screaming “Don’t just be curious.” They did not ask for permission to be incredible. It is endlessly motivating, when you think about it for a second.

— http://www.notesontheroad.com/DC-Pierson-Interview.html

7:44pm
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Retracing the steps of Sherwin Shayegan, who was banned in five states for jumping on high school athletes’ backs

— http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8154931/on-trail-piggyback-bandit

January 27, 2012 at 2:54pm
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And in a funny way, the shaving of my, uh, head has been a liberation from, uh, a lot of, uh, stupid vanities really. Uh, it has simplified everything for me, it has opened a lot of doors maybe.

— http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XwLxNT8svk

January 10, 2012 at 12:24pm
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December 7, 2011 at 10:57am
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