Empty Inside

DCH Reimagined: Disney Edition

Hello, DCH blogosphere homies! It has been a really long time, and I’ve missed you all terribly. Some of you probably thought I fell off the face of the Earth, since I haven’t posted anything on here in what feels like an eternity. But I have good news, in the words of Mushu from Mulan: I LIIIIIVE!!! I am indeed alive, kickin’, and still a part of Earth, at least to the best of my knowledge. Anyway, speaking of Mushu and Mulan and Disney animation, I decided to commence my return to the DCH blog squad with another exciting edition of DCH Reimagined. Huzzah! This week, I’ll determine what Disney film some of our favorite DCH troupes embody. You’re welcome.

Mirror, Mirror I must insist, let’s find out which troupes made this list...

Impractical Magic = Hocus Pocus

hocuspocusFeisty and full of snark, the ladies that comprise Impractical Magic are representative of the beloved 1993 Halloween classic, which showcased starring performances from Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. Like the film Hocus Pocus (and all great Disney flicks tbh), Impractical Magic shows often teach audiences valuable life lessons, such as the fact that boys can be easily distracted by a pair of “yabos,” virgins should never light mysterious candles with black flames, and one is never too cool for Halloween. Full of sass and badassery, the high energy the ladies of Impractical Magic bring to each performance rivals that of the Sanderson Sisters themselves and has a way of “putting a spell on you!” To top it off, with “magic” right in the troupe name, it’s only fitting that these gals are represented by a movie about witches. *Side note: this troupe may or may not actually try to steal your child’s soul, so leave your kids at home when seeing their show.

Franzia = Oliver & Company

oliverFranzia is a troupe that leaves us ordinary folk wishing that some of their innate coolness would please rub off onto us. They’re a bunch of comedy BAMFs, who don’t care about formats or rules; they’re just down to create memorable scenes with bold characters, causing audiences to laugh til they pee. If there’s a Disney film with an almost equal no-f---s-given attitude, it’s without a doubt Oliver & Company. It may be tad underrated, but it’s a classic none the less, and furthermore its coolness is undeniable. Three words: Billy Motherf---in’ Joel! Disney couldn’t get any smoother with a cast that starred the Piano Man himself, as well as friggin’ Dom DeLuise, Cheech Marin, and Bette Midler, #blessup. Also, you haven’t experienced cool until you’ve found yourself wearing a sausage scarf and badass Ray Bans, parading down 5th Ave with your own dog posse...I assume the members of Franzia have probably had parallel experiences.

The Monthly Junk = Fox & the Hound

foxandthehoundOK, I know what you’re thinking here: “Why would you choose like the saddest, most tragic Disney film ever to represent the two most cheerful, positive ladies at DCH?” I’m not suggesting that a Monthly Junk show will make you openly weep and ponder the nature of social conditioning and human behavior (although, I’m not NOT suggesting that either). At the core of this Disney film is a story about friendship, and at the core of Monthly Junk is a friendship that gives these gals their special onstage chemistry. It’s a friendship that transcends the stage and infuses everything these two do together. I mean, “Best of Friends” is the song that everyone thinks of when they hear Fox and the Hound, it also happens to be the song that comes to mind when I think of The Monthly Junk, though a version of the song that’s far less sad and much more upbeat...maybe an EDM remix with a sick drop (Does that exist? I need to know. The world needs to know!). Two ladies, who are the best of friends, making us laugh and cry (tears of joy of course) and laugh some more.

Glistlefoot = Peter Pan

peterpanA bunch of lost boys (and of course the incredible, fierce lost girl Darcy Armstrong), who can’t be tamed and like to get weird and wild on stage, like a rambunctious gang of unsupervised kiddos in a magical faraway land where grown-ups don’t exist and pirates and mermaids and fairies roam free, yeah, that pretty much sums up a Glistlefoot show. Thus, Glistlefoot is Peter Pan. This former Ewing troupe always seems to put on a hilarious, surreal set, often venturing into whimsical and absurd territory. I’ve heard that the recipe for magical flight, as well as a strong improv game, includes faith, trust, and a little Glistlefoot dust...not sure of the exact ratios/measurements on that, though; will have to confirm and get back to you.

Boink Bros = A Goofy Movie

goofymovieThere were many reasons why I chose 1995’s A Goofy Movie as representative of Boink Bros, but mainly because of that one scene where Pauley Shore’s character eats straight up cheese whiz right out of the can. He piles the cheese on his hand, proclaiming it the Leaning Tower of Cheeza (does anyone else remember that?!)...for some reason, I just associate that with the shenanigans and boinkenings of Boink Bros. A Goofy Movie (which, arguably, along with Encino Man may have been the height of P. Shore’s career) featured the voice of Pauley Shore. And any movie that features simply the voice of Pauley Shore, rather than the whole live human Pauley Shore, is dope in my book. Boink Bros are also dope.  Two dope dudes, doin’ dope improv. That’s a lot of dopeness.

Empty Inside = Muppet Treasure Island

muppettiBecause puppets. Of the Disney movies involving puppetry, Muppet Treasure Island is by far the best. Why? Because Tim Curry, pirates, hilarious jokes, and all the yo-ho-ho and a bottle of fun. It’s a Muppet masterpiece. A humor extravaganza. I highly recommend it. Of the DCH troupes that involve puppetry, Empty Inside is by far the best. I highly recommend these humans and their puppet babies as well.


Clover = The Aristocats

aristocatsBecause “everybody wants to be a cat.”

Nuff said!

(Click here to see why Clover are like a bunch of kitties)

Feel free to post your suggestions for other editions of DCH Reimagined in the comments below. Until next time, peace out girl scouts!

Lauren Levine is a DCH graduate. When she is not trying to come up with witty things for this blog, she is a freelance writer and editor, an amateur photographer, a Zumba-enthusiast, a dog lover, and an 80s movie nerd. In addition, she enjoys all things Muppet-related, the smell after a rainstorm, and people with soft hands.

Plaid To Meet You: Danny Neely

Plaid To Meet You is a new way to introduce the community to our performers. I will be choosing performers whose plaid patterns catch my eye. This week's plaid performer is Danny Neely, whose red, white, and blue plaid shirt caught my attention. Danny NeelyDanny, great shirt. Who are you wearing this evening? This is a Docker’s shirt.

Well, it’s a great shirt. What made you decide to go with that shirt this evening? I think it matches well with my tie and cardigan.

It really does. Which troupes are you a member of? I am in Warm Milk, Coiffelganger, Empty Inside, Big Turtle, Clover, and Sauce Age.

When could we catch you performing next? Thursday, September 29, 9 p.m. with Big Turtle; Friday, September 30, 8 p.m. with Empty Inside and 11 p.m. with Coiffelganger; and Saturday, October 1, 11 p.m. with Warm Milk.

What attracted you to improv, and what keeps you performing? Improv inspires a way of thinking that you don’t readily find institutionally, or in day-to-day interactions. It’s liberating, and sure, the attention is nice. I love the culture surrounding improv. It’s supportive and dorky and welcoming.

Finally, what is one piece of advice you would give to all performers? Always poop before your shows.

Collin Brown is a graduate of the Dallas Comedy House (DCH) Improv program. You can catch him around DCH any given night.

Stress and Health

giraffe toyI was listening to Magic Lessons a week ago, and the episode hit a little too close to home. It was about a British woman who had just finished her PhD on the history of the Holocaust, but she had grown up wanting to be a comedy writer. She was so unhappy and stressed by her work that her hair started to fall out and she developed several health problems. Now, I'm not a New Age-y person or anyone who believes in "signs"... but damn, the timing of this was way too creepy.

I'm starting week three of being sick. It's not fun—lying in bed when I wasn't working at the day job, not really wanting to eat, an obnoxious amount of Gatorade, my dog standing on my aching form like he was a mountain goat for reasons known only to him. Though it did allow me to catch up on the Stranger Things craze, but that was the only positive.

However, my doctor has confirmed that this isn't a stomach bug or something related to travel. And I had visited her just a few weeks earlier for acid reflux issues, and her first question was, "Are you experiencing any stress?"

My answer: "Always."

I fall into stress like a 3-year-old in a Chuckie Cheese ball pit. I'm a perfectionist, I want everyone to get along, and I will do anything for validation or to make people like me. All of my math tests had me bawling during my school years—it was the only class I would pray to get a "C."

The tension in my back reminds me that I'm alive. That is not just a bit; that is a fact. Do you know those wooden toy structures where you press a button on the bottom and they collapse—typically a giraffe? That's what I'm like when someone massages my shoulders. Collapsible KC. (Now I'm imagining a scenario where people read this blog and immediately want to massage my shoulders, just to see if it would happen. Yes. It happens. Please don't touch me.)

Now, is stress a direct cause of the health issues? I don't imagine you can get stress cancer. However, stress can be that starter domino that leads to other health issues. Not just mental health, but your body trying to implode while you are still existing in it. Those damn survival instincts can really do a number on you to the point where even your own body is at war with itself.

Is there a situation where I don't feel stressed? Honestly, I never feel stressed on stage. I have bad nights, yes, but even on those nights, I'm still at ease. Then I get off stage and Deep Ellum walking and car traffic has me screaming on the inside, because who wants to accidentally murder someone after a show?

I don't have good advice here other than see a medical professional. And maybe find things that don't make you stress, like looking at puppy pictures or reading or watching something with puppets... like Empty Inside on Saturday, August 27, at 7 p.m. I hear they're good... no bias at all... please like me.

KC Ryan is currently a Level 5 student at DCH. An office worker by day, she spends her nights writing, improvising, recording podcasts, and having existential crises. She’s a co-host of Parsec Award-nominated podcast Anomaly Supplemental about general sci-fi and fantasy topics. Her greatest achievement so far is convincing her husband to watch Project Runway.