Stay Dead! An Improvised Horror Comedy

Stay DeadTonight begins a mini-run for a show I’m directing called “Stay Dead! An Improvised Horror Comedy”. This will be the 4th year in a row I’ve directed something like this. The first three years were the Asteroid! Improvised B-Movie shows. We did a few of them in 2011, then we did full runs in 2012 and our ending run in 2013. That show won the 2012 WitOut Award for Best Short Run Show. They earned it too. It was such a fun show. A double-feature of two, 25-30 minute improvised “b-movies”.

Stay Dead! is sort of a successor to the B-Movie for me. Just like B-Movie, this show is completely improvised. No one knows who they are going into the show, if they will live, if they will die, where the show is set. Nothing. This can certainly lead to a plot that might not be the tightest horror tale, but it most definitely makes for a really fun show the audience can ride along with. Unlike the B-Movie which was two separate movies, Stay Dead! is just one set of about 40-45 minutes. Though the shows last weekend were both closer to 55 minutes. Two sets that involved time-traveling wombs, shit people, and lots of pizza.

I was hesitant to take this on when originally asked, but am glad that I did. They worked really hard and allowed me to bring in some really great people to help round out the already fun cast. They also allowed me to name the show and attach an exclamation point, which is more or less, a staple of shows I direct.  I’m really proud of how far this show has come in such a short time. Practices were a blast and even lead to some new improv games for me. Thanks to each of them, to PHIT for putting the show up, to Chris  Calletta for the awesome art, to anyone that’s come to the midnight shows last week and to anyone coming to shows ahead. There are four shows left and you should definitely check them out. Click the link below for tickets.

STAY DEAD! AN IMPROVISED HORROR COMEDY
Through the use of various horror film tropes the cast creates a frighteningly funny show never seen before and (like many of the characters) never to be seen again! Everyone will die. Not everyone will STAY DEAD!

October 30th 7:30 p.m.
October 31st at 7:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.
November 1st at 12:00 a.m.

Philly Improv Theater
2030 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Cast: Gab Bottoni, Andrew Coppola, Josh DePowell, Tom Hannigan, Derrick Hackett, Rick Helpa, Alyssa Jackson, Brendan Kingston, Nicole Labrecque,  and Kevin Ruth.

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Not for nothin’, but you should prolly check out Mike Rainey’s Terrible Dad Blog

Terrible DadIf you’re involved in Philly comedy then you prolly know who Mike Rainey is. I first met him when we were in the basement of the Shubin Theater before a Theme show. We were sitting in on a sketch for Specific Jawns. While down there him and his buddy Tim Butterly were talking in these thick delco accents and saying some of the funniest shit I’ve heard. Even funnier because I know those guys. I grew up with people like those characters they were playing. It was then I asked them if they could do that “act” in front of crowd. Then “Not For Nothin: The Official Podcast of the Deleware County Times” was born. We’ve done it a bunch of times and it’s never enough. It’s seriously one of the funniest things you’ll see and if you’re familiar with the Philly area and the creatures that live within it you’ll appreciate it even more. I’m hoping to get the guys to do something for the Sideshow’s Halloween show. If not then, maybe in November. Whenever it is- check it out.

Mike was on the Gettin’ Close podcast last year for the podcast festival and promoted his book “Terrible Advice“. If you haven’t read it you definitely should. It’s one of the funniest things you’ll read. Now Mike has a new follow-up to that book coming out called “Terrible Advice for Parents”. To help promote the book he started his a blog. The “Terrible Dad Blog“. That’s exactly what it sounds like. A blog detailing his journey through fatherhood and the challenges he meets, mistakes he makes and lessons he learns along the way. I asked him a few quick questions about the blog and the upcoming book:

What pushed you to start the terrible dad blog?
I was checking out mommy and daddy blogs that I would like to use promote my forthcoming book, Terrible Advice for Parents. Nothing wowed me and the advertising rates were more than I wanted to pay, so I just decided to write my own blog. I figured that if I gave readers entertaining content, they would be more inclined to check out my book, which I’m giving away for free on Nov. 15 for those that sign up for my blog notifications via email from terribledad.wordpress.com. (You can also like the Terrible Dad Blog facebook page).

Is there anything, other than a laugh, you want people to get out of these stories?
I think readers with kids will be able to connect through similar experiences. There’s a lot of sad or weird aspects of parenting that I don’t hear often discussed, like parenting while struggling with mental illness, the guilt of enjoying things without the kids, and giving up bad habits for the sake of being a role model to your kids. Plus, I’m trying to clean up on all that sweet MILF poon out there.

Do you worry someone from DHS without a sense of humor is going to read the blog and launch an investigation? I’m half joking.
I certainly hope they have senses of humor. Although I wouldn’t mind losing my kids to the state for a few weeks. I could use a guilt-free trip to Hedonism.

What can you say about the upcoming “Terrible Advice for Parents”?
I’m really excited for people to read it. It’s fucked up and funny. Also, if you leave me a negative review on Amazon, I’m going to file an erroneous child neglect report on you.

Anything else you want to say about the blog or anything at all?
I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read it. It’s a funny blog, but I also hope that it can help parents that struggle with some of the same things I struggle with, i.e. depression, maintaining sobriety, using condoms, etc.

In addition to being one of the funniest people you’ll meet, whether as himself or acting as one of the delco guys in Not For Nothin, he’s also a very generous guy. He frequently posts Facebook announcements that he has some free time and if you need anything to let him know. As he said above, just join his mailing list and you’ll get his new book for free. He also lends his time and talent to “Comedians for a Cause” which does occasional shows benefiting different charities or specific people in need.

You can see Mike fairly regularly at Helium Comedy Club in Philly where he performs stand-up and hosts the Dirty Dozen show. 12 Comics for $12 at 12am performing some of their nastiest material.  He’ll be appearing on the next Two Late at Philly Improv Theater on October 24th at 10:30pm. And prolly in an upcoming Sideshow as half of the Not For Nothin Podcast. See him live, read his blog, buy his book.

Billy Dogherty: Suckerpunch Attorney. Office is located on the first floor, second floor, third floor, basement and kitchen of PJ McShenniganhans.

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Bloody Sunday: S01E13 “The Disaster”

Bloody Sunday Graphic 2This episode of “Bloody Sunday” covers season one episode thirteen of the Strain on FX entitled “The Master”. This was the finale of a show that we had such high hopes for. I still managed to have some hope going into this finale, but that was thrown out the window and slightly burned just like the Master. Unlike the Master I’m not sure my hope will make it to a season two.

Apologies to Guillermo Del Toro, fans of The Strain, fans of Vampires, fans of zombies, Thomas Andrews, Amish people, Germans, location scouts, black twitter, and recovering addicts.

FREE AUDIOBOOK  DOWNLOAD FROM AUDIBLE.COM FOR LISTENING!
Would you like to read more, but don’t want to take the time to actually read a book? What if I told you that you could tell people you read a book, but in fact it was readto you?Audible.com has been helping lazy people pretend to read books for years and now you can be one of them with a FREE, no-risk trial brought to you by SRM. Simply go to audibletrial.com/StarkRavenMad and sign up for your trial. They have over 100,000 books to choose from including the Strain series, all the Game of Thrones Books and maybe even The Leftovers, but I didn’t look for that one. And you get one of them for FREE! If you don’t like the service you can cancel at any time and not be charged. Not only that but SRM gets a little kickback for your sign-up. Help the podcast and deceive your friends by signing up today!

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Bloody Sunday S01E12 “Going Through the Motions”

Bloody Sunday Graphic 2This episode of Bloody Sunday covers Season 1 episode 12 of the FX show the Strain entitled “Last Rites”. More or less. Actually much less this episode. Don’t get me wrong… we do talk about the show and I’m pretty sure we cover all the major “plot” lines, but sometimes it’s more fun talking about the holes and other things entirely. We’re late, but we’ll be back on schedule for Sunday’s finale. So there’s that.

Apologies to: People that were waiting for this episode, the cast and crew of The Strain, people that have adjectives for last names, Larry the Cable Guy, The South, makers of Whoppers, Paul Rudd, residents of Middle Earth, Mike Marbach, bad boyfriends, Philadelphia Historians, Germans, ebola, Gene Hackman and people that have misunderstandings and never talk again as a result of it.

FREE AUDIOBOOK  DOWNLOAD FROM AUDIBLE.COM FOR LISTENING!
Would you like to read more, but don’t want to take the time to actually read a book? What if I told you that you could tell people you read a book, but in fact it was readto you?Audible.com has been helping lazy people pretend to read books for years and now you can be one of them with a FREE, no-risk trial brought to you by SRM. Simply go to audibletrial.com/StarkRavenMad and sign up for your trial. They have over 100,000 books to choose from including the Strain series, all the Game of Thrones Books and maybe even The Leftovers, but I didn’t look for that one. And you get one of them for FREE! If you don’t like the service you can cancel at any time and not be charged. Not only that but SRM gets a little kickback for your sign-up. Help the podcast and deceive your friends by signing up today!

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Bloody Sunday: S01E11 “Strainspotting”

Bloody Sunday Graphic 2This episode of Bloody Sunday covers season one episode 11 of The Strain on FX titled “The Third Rail”. So if you haven’t seen the episode yet don’t listen. Actually, nothing really happened this episode. You can probably listen and get the same amount of enjoyment (?) out of it. As we say in this episode of the podcast, this show might be a great 8 episodes, but it’s 13. “It feels thin, sort of stretched. Like butter spread over too much toast.” We didn’t do any predictions for the final two episodes, but I’m still thinking Abe is going to die. Maybe this coming episode, surely by the last. I think we do more talking about other things, but that’s just how this episode was.

CHECK OUT PHILLY IMPROV THEATER FOR AWESOME COMEDY SHOWS!
You hear us talk about it on the podcasts all the time. PHIT is your home for comedy in Philly. Improv, sketch, standup, variety- we have it all. Here are a few quick shout outs for things coming up soon:

  • Wednesday, 9/24 7:30pm and 9pm: Harold Night! Watch PHIT’s newer improv teams perform the famous improv format- the Harold. Each team will create characters and stories that will start to intersect through the course of the show.
  • Thursday, 9/25 & 9/26 at 9pm: Kingmaker & Girls With Brown Hair. Two amazing sketch groups from NYC will be visiting PHIT. Check them out!
  • Friday, 9/26 at 7:30pm: Wildcard! Philly’s best showcase for indie improv teams. Hosted by the fantastic Something Simple with Alex & Frank.
  • Saturday, 9/27 at 7:30pm: Study Hall! One of the best hours of improvised comedy you’ll see. Area college professors give real lectures on real topics and the cast, hearing the lectures for first time, improvise hilarious scenes inspired by them. You’ll learn, you’ll laugh. Don’t be late to Study Hall!
  • Saturday, 9/27 at 9pm and 10:30pm: House Team Night featuring PHIT’s longer running teams. You’ll see several different teams, several different improv formats and lots and lots of laughs.
  • Sunday, 9/28 at 7pm: FREE SHOWS! Come see them!
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Gettin’ Close with Jessica Snow!

snowmax

Max Sittenfield and Jessica Snow in a Davenger show at Philly Improv Theater. Tom Lovelund Photography.

In this episode I get close with Philly performer, old friend, and all around awesome person- Jessica Snow! We talk about many of her projects including but not limited to the near decade old, very popular short-form improv show- The N Crowd, the creation, cast/director changes, and overall run of PHIT House Team Davenger and her transition into director and building PHIT Harold Team Trash Island . We also talk about what got her into all this, improv auditions, the growth of Philly comedy overall and much more. Listen and enjoy!

FREE AUDIOBOOK  DOWNLOAD FROM AUDIBLE.COM FOR LISTENING!
Would you like to read more, but don’t want to take the time to actually read a book? What if I told you that you could tell people you read a book, but in fact it was readto you?Audible.com has been helping lazy people pretend to read books for years and now you can be one of them with a FREE, no-risk trial brought to you by SRM. Simply go to audibletrial.com/StarkRavenMad and sign up for your trial. They have over 100,000 books to choose from including the Strain series, all the Game of Thrones Books and maybe even The Leftovers, but I didn’t look for that one. And you get one of them for FREE! If you don’t like the service you can cancel at any time and not be charged. Not only that but SRM gets a little kickback for your sign-up. Help the podcast and deceive your friends by signing up today!

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