Duck Duck Pants

How Do You Pick the Right Show Based Off Name Alone?

Photobomb My co-workers know that I spend a lot of time at Dallas Comedy House watching great comedy. They will ask me, “What show you seeing tonight?” And I will respond by saying Roadside Couch, .f.a.c.e., or Duck Duck Pants. Most people just nod and say, “Cool,” even though those words mean nothing to them but mean everything to me.   

When I encourage them to attend, they usually say, “That sounds fun, which show should I attend?" I will direct them to DallasComedyHouse.com and tell them to pick. That’s when the discussions start in—“Photobomb, do I need to bring a camera” or “Age appropriate, can I bring my kids?”

Which gets me back to the question: How do you pick the right show based off name alone? My advice is always go with a name that intrigues you. The first time I saw the name Franzia appearing on a poster, I knew I had to go. Because I love Fanzia and if I could watch a show with people who obviously share my desire to drink $7 gallon of wine, I am in. Same goes for Local Honey (which I try to purchase all the time), Manick (which took me two years to realize that was a combination of Amanda and Nick), and the 1995 Chicago Bulls. Side note on that one, when I first heard the 1995 Bulls were performing, I went to my closet and broke out my Luc Longley autographed Fosters can with the hope that he would drink the 19-year-old beer with me. Boy was I let down.

Be bold, pick a name, see a show. You will not be let down.

Ghost Watcher is a regular, DCH audience member.

(Image: Jason Hensel)

Troupe Talk: Duck Duck Pants

Duck Duck Pants Well the Dallas Comedy Festival is over (WEEP), but I’ve decided I’m not done with this interview gig quite yet. Since all of our guests have traveled back to where they came from, I decided to hit up one of Dallas Comedy Houses own - and I’m so glad I did. Meet the delightful, Duck Duck Pants.

This interview is live and in person and someone just brought us a tray full of snacks. Oh! Thanks Duck Duck Pants for arranging the snacks! What are we snacking on? Monica - Babies Jua - Katie’s Tamales, with babies in them. Lauren - We’ve aged backwards since Katie joined. Stephen - Baby oranges and babies. Jonda - Ice. Ice. and Babies. Katie - The love of kittens and tamales

Hey, congratulations on your first Dallas Comedy Festival. What are some other memorable firsts you remember? Monica - I remember the first time I killed a man. Kidding. I remember our first practice. Our coach at the time told us do whatever warm-up we wanted. I suggested Czechoslovakia, and everyone groaned. Lauren - I remember the first time I used a comp ticket and I felt like a BALLER. Also the first time I cry-laughed in practice; it was in a prison scene with Dana. I basically couldn’t be in scenes with her for the first few weeks, because I always broke. Stephen - ... Jonda - My first day of improv class. I almost talked myself out of going, but when I got there Amanda Austin had donuts for us and won me over. I told the class it was my goal to get brave enough to dance in public, because that terrified me, and I’m proud to say that I’ve awkwardly danced in front of people numerous times since that day. Katie - The first time I practiced with Duck Duck Pants, I was pretty nervous, I probably forgot to put on deodorant. I remember feeling like I was sweating a lot.

OK. So what happens if you are playing Duck Duck PANTS and you are the person that gets the PANTS. Monica - ;) Jua - … Jonda - I’m not sure that I’m at liberty to say. Stephen - ... Katie - No

Sooooo Improv. How do you think it could make the world a better place? Monica - Everyone would be a lot more supportive and accepting of others. Jua - There would be a lot less negativity, and we’d get so much more done without people saying “no” to things. Also, way more baby tamales. Lauren - No transactions! Jonda - It would make people less afraid to fail, giving them the freedom to get out there and try and do new things without worrying about looking cool all the time. Katie - More positivity and encouragement and less judgment. Stephen - Improv makes Stephen’s world the best place ever, because then he can be an astronaut, and a bat.

I hear you’re losing team member, Dana! What will you guys miss most about her? Monica - (crying) Everything. Dana's amazing. She's kind, smart, sassy, funny, fierce. She made strong game moves. She's always ready and willing to learn and take risks. She's fearless. I greatly admire her. One time in practice, I got to hold her hand and it was just the best day. I miss her and her family terribly. (still crying) #wearethesameperson Jua - Monica stole my answer. Lauren - I will miss her positivity and her tenacity. She was the first person to friend/message us all on Facebook before we’d even met; she’s the first person on stage; and now she’s moving to her dream town -- Dana does not hesitate. I only hope I’ve picked up a little of that! Miss you, Dana! Stephen - Dana is one of the most organized and productive people I know. She’s also super nice and easy to improvise with. One of my favorite memories is when Jua and I did a “Weekend At Bernie’s” type scene with Dana as the dead body. She jumped on board so fast. Jonda - Oh man, Dana is just so great. I auditioned with her, and we didn’t really know each other and I was super nervous but by the end of the night she had helped calm my fears. She radiates kindness and positivity and is super supportive, and I hope North Carolina knows what a gem it just received! One of my favorite scenes involved Dana and me as best friends in a cave while Jua and Stephen played upside down bats who watched us. Maybe when she and I hike the Appalachian Trail we’ll find a real cave to relive that. Katie - Dana is such a wonderful, kind, funny, genuine human being. I can’t choose just one thing; I choose everything. How could you not miss everything about Dana?

Duck Duck Pants performs next on April 16 at 8 p.m. with Blacklyst.

Tori Oman is a level three student at DCH. She’s trained and performed with the Second City and iO in L.A. and Chicago. Favorite pastimes include being irrationally competitive at Monopoly, eating an apple in every country she’s traveled to, and being the sole person on this planet that thinks Necco Wafers are a delicious candy choice.

DCF2015: Troupes Are Groups of Friends

Cupcake I was Dallas Comedy House’s (DCH) backstage hospitality coordinator for the Dallas Comedy Festival on Friday night. My job was to make sure performers knew where to go, when to go there, and to make sure all of their performance and personal needs were met (performers gotta drink and eat chips too, y’all). For seven hours, I greeted a lot of people, ushered a lot of troupes through the training center rooms where they waited their turn to perform, and ate a lot of cold, backstage pizza.

I volunteered to be a hospitality coordinator because I wanted to meet new people and to help make people feel comfortable before their shows. For out-of-towners, I wanted them feel at home among a large group of performers that already feel at home at DCH. Something that is special about the Dallas Comedy Festival as opposed to others is that a large portion of the performers already feel completely at home in the performance space. Many troupes that strolled through the training center halls already knew the code into the center. They knew where the bathroom was and at what time they should start making their way toward the green room, just behind the stage, to be ready to perform. I wanted to make sure performers from out of town could navigate a script many of us already knew with the same ease. I wanted them to feel as at home at DCH as those who perform there several times per week and know where to move out of the way when someone yells “hanger up!” and starts tossing hangars at a ceiling.

But from what I could tell, I wasn’t an integral part of reaching that comfort level…at all. The troupes filled with faces that were unfamiliar to me didn’t need to feel at home between the DCH walls, because they already seemed at home with each other. Although everyone seemed appreciative of me telling them where to find bags of chips or where to wait to perform, they didn’t need to know that information to feel at ease. They just needed to be with their troupe.

Field Day

Field Day from Austin, Texas, seemed at home when a troupe member shouted “Crouch!” and everyone immediately popped their bodies into the same yoga position. The Night Rhymers from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, seemed most at ease when they were all warming up their vocal chords by singing some smooth, seamless melodies together. Toward the end of the night, when the final members of the UCB troupe Bangarang! from Los Angeles arrived at DCH, seemingly tired from a long journey to Dallas, the rest of the troupe was ready with warm greetings and offerings of beer and wine. That warmth was received with equal levels of gratification.

It was reminder that people that perform as a group formed together and stayed together largely because of personal connections to each other. Whether those friends form together to make a new troupe like Dallas’s Duck Duck Pants or Chicago’s veterans, TJ & Dave, these were just groups of friends who loved each other who and happened to channel that love into playing pretend on a stage. My stomach is a little larger from eating too much cold, backstage pizza, but my heart is a little warmer after seeing 12 different, little families of people show so much love for each other through support and laughter backstage. I hope none of you ever stop performing, but if you do, it’s comforting to know you still have your family to support you and laugh with you no matter what you’re doing.

Shannon?

Amanda Hahn is a DCH graduate and performer who regularly performs in the troupe Dairy Based.

(Images: Jason Hensel)