Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I forgot to mention that on Monday night I went to an improv show and before the show started a guy came up to me and said, “Are you from Springfield, Missouri?” I said, “Yeah,” and he said, “You’re from the Skinny Improv?” I said, “Indeed.” It turns out his name is Jacob and he used to own a vintage store in downtown Springfield, that my friends now own. He also said he used to eat the Mystery Jeff dish at Gailey’s all the time. Crazy, this is the third time I’ve had someone come up to me and recognize me from the Skinny here. Jacob moved out here a couple years ago and has been involved in the improv world. I’ve got to say it looked kind of cool happening in front of a few people I know here.
Speaking of the Skinny Improv, I’ve got to give a shout out to my good friend, Jeff Jenkins. One of the things I have loved about the entertainment world is how supportive people are of each other, especially when good things happen. Jeff started the Skinny like 9 years ago and since that time has worked extremely hard to make it keep running and keep succeeding. In that time countless people have entered as people thinking they might like performing improv and left as improvisers who have gained the confidence and experience to move on to bigger places. This is true of myself and other friends who are in New York, and Chicago, and other cities. All of us entertainers, whether in Springfield, or LA are working hard hoping that we might stumble upon something that showcases our talents and gets us exposure beyond our immediate surroundings.
Jeff may have stumbled upon his something. Awhile back he and a friend adapted the Shakespeare classic, Hamlet, in a fun way, turning it into Hamlet vs. Zombies. The performances got good buzz in Springfield and then got accepted into the Kansas City and San Fransisco Fringe Festivals. It did really well at the SF Fringe, winning Best of the Fringe, and just recently was reviewed on the Huffington Post, THE Huffington Post, from the Internet.
How cool is that? Who knows where it will lead, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned here is something that I’ve said before, “Don’t count your chickens until they’re hatched, scrambled, and on your plate.” It’s done with an all Springfield cast as well and they have done outstanding.
I was best man at Jeff’s wedding a few years ago and I got to give the best man speech at his reception. I decided that people were expecting funny, so I wanted to only be sincere. I talked about how Jeff is a performer and there is always a certain pressure in performing, but what is great about his marriage with Leah is that they love each other and he doesn’t need to feel that pressure. I said, “I’m excited for you guys because with Leah you won’t feel like you have to perform.” Well, everyone there took that as a sexual innuendo immediately. The whole place was laughing for a long time and my attempt at sincerity turned into sexual humor by accident.
I don’t want to turn this sincere post into the same thing, so I will just say, “Jeff, I hope the success of your play has not reached it’s full climax yet. When it does, I hope that it is extremely pleasurable for you.”