Texas

DCF2016: Love Me Tinder

It’s almost that time again! Obviously, the most wonderful time of the year, Dallas Comedy Festival (DCF) kicks off on Tuesday, March 22. To help you put together your festival schedule, we want to make sure you get to know as many of the fabulous out-of-town acts as possible that will be dropping into Dallas Comedy House. Love Me Tinder

Heckle Her, an Austin-based production company, creates not only comedic (and sometimes musical), but also bold works for both stage and screen. Adrienne Dawes, director, producer, and badass lady behind it all, told me all about Love Me Tinder, the sketch revue she, along a troupe of talented performers, is bringing to Dallas for DCF!

Describe what your show, Love Me Tinder, will be like.

Love Me Tinder is a fast-paced, musical sketch comedy revue about dating and relationships in the digital age. We have a deep dish Chicago influence but are all Austin-based performers, writers, and musicians. We aren't affiliated with any specific theater or training center (WE BELONG TO NO ONE). I put together this ensemble because I wanted to see great comedy and great music in the same sketch show . . . with a diverse ensemble. There was nothing like it in Austin at the time, so I made it myself!

OK, because of the nature of your show, I have to ask – any fun (maybe fun isn’t the right word?) Tinder/online/digital dating stories you’d be willing to share?

I'm only on Tinder for the trollin' and celebrity sightings. It amazes me the level of misogyny and racism that men believe will attract women. It's pretty rare that I swipe right . . . even rarer that I've actually messaged with someone . . . the rarest, I've met someone in person. There's just too much opportunity, I think, for the crazy, racist, misogynist sh*t to reveal itself . . . and I can't with that. I don't care how often you Crossfit or pose in tuxedos at your friend's wedding or hold tiny teacup puppies next to a rainfall. You can't be a dumb a**hole. End of story.

Please visit the Dallas Comedy Festival blog to learn more about Love Me Tinder and to purchase tickets.

Megan Radke is currently a Level 3 student at DCH. She is a copywriter and social media manager by day and an essayist and mediocre musician by night. She is a constant consumer of books, music, film, and all things comedy. She is also great at racking up copious amounts of credit card debt with spur-of-the-moment travel.

(Image: Shelley Hiam)

Comedians in Bars Drinking Alcohol

This blog series features interviews taking place at the Dallas Comedy House (DCH) open mic with me and some of the funniest stand-up comedians in the area, most of whom just happen to be my best friends! Read to learn about your favorite local funny people and about the curious emotional makeup of people who like to go onstage alone every night to get laughed at. Angel Rosales: Serious Comic

Angel Rosales is one of the funniest people in Dallas. His Twitter, @angelcomedian, is evidence of his dark, biting sense of humor and aptitude for writing terse, brilliant one-liners. But Angel doesn't coast on his natural hilarity - he works incredibly hard to write the strongest material he can and deliver his best performance even at the most sparsely attended open mics. His commitment to making excellent work hasn't gone unnoticed. He consistently works as a host for the Hyena's night clubs in Dallas and Fort Worth. A naturally charismatic guy and a dedicated craftsmen, Angel is the kind of guy who makes me want to be a better comic. I sat down with him and we had a beer and talked shop, and fellow worker bee Sean Alexander of Creww Media directed and produced.

Lauren Davis is an improviser and stand-up comedian from Dallas, Texas. She can be seen weekly performing improv with her troupes LYLAS: Girl on Girl Comedy and Please Like Us, as well as doing her stand-up act at clubs around the area.

DCF2015: Field Day

Field Day It’s here! The Dallas Comedy Festival is here! Which means all of our out-of-town groups are here! Or on their way here!

AND since we are talking so much about HERE, HERE is one more group for you to get to know a little better before you see them on stage at the festival!

Meet Field Day, a team of four from beautiful Austin, Texas.

Selfishly, I’m using these interviews as a way to live out my never fulfilled dream as a traveling reporter. So far, I’ve been to Little Beach in Maui, a tiny studio apartment in Austin, and the Chez Amelia Bedelia. That being said—and since this interview is obviously taking place in person and somewhere interesting—where are we and name five things that you see?

We see a homeless person, a building that looks like stairs, a dude with headphones in his ears working on comic books, Congress Avenue is blocked off, and the Capitol of Texas!

Cool spot. Just because it’s fun, if you guys were a 1990s pop group or sitcom, who would you be?

We would be Seinfeld. Our troupe member, Chris, would be Kramer (because he's the loud one), Judith would be George (because she's the most neurotic), David would be Elaine (because he's the most negative), and Lindsay would be Jerry (because she's more stable than the rest of us).

But since you’re not called Seinfeld, you're called Field Day. Tell us where you got the name and how you came together.

We locked ourselves in a room for 40... minutes to figure out a name, and having a "Field Day" sounded like a lot of fun. Hence the name! We all met through the Hideout Theater in Austin.

Go in order around the circle, and say something you like about the person to your right.

David says Chris is loving, charismatic, and committed. Chris says Judith is brave, honest, and caring. Judith says Lindsay is electrifying, supportive, and beautiful. Lindsay says David is solid, chic, and brilliant.

Now that we are in sentimental mode, how do you think improv is relevant to day-to-day life?

It isn't. Do other improvisors know something that we don't?!

Guess you’ll find out when you get here? Speaking of, we are looking forward to welcoming you to Dallas! Anything important that we should know about you guys before we do?

We wear denim!

Field Day performs Friday, March 27, at 6 p.m. with Pure & Weary and David & Terry. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

What We're Loving: Aural Pleasures, Pleasant Surprises, Overwhelming Choices

Each Friday, DCH performers, teachers, and students offer their recommendations for what to watch, read, see, hear, or experience. This week David Allison drops science, Jonda Robinson makes a shocking admission, Rachel Hall can hear words, and Ryan Callahan sets a hook for next week. radio dial with lightsWell my name’s rapping David And I’m here to say I like listening to rap music on the radio like e-ver-y day

Oh, didn’t see you there! Sorry about that, I was just trying out the new skills I’ve earned after listening to rap on the radio for the last week and a half. For all you uncool listeners still checking out “rock and snore” music on the other stations, let me tell you about the awesome music of 93.3 and 94.5. What they do is take a fresh beat, lay down an informal poem, and voila, rap music!

Radio stations 93.3 and 94.5 changed their programming on 11/15 to exclusively play hip hop from the nineties, aughts, and today. Obviously hip hop stations have been around forever, but this is the first one that I’ve seen that combines the nostalgic fun of listening to songs from your childhood and rap. I’d highly recommend giving the station a listen.

So next time you’re in a car check out rap music it’ll take you far- away from here back in time to a yesteryear so just to recap my name’s David I like to rap and realize nothing rhymes with David - David Allison

bb9271ceee885807c899b0a98b406f3b[1]I’m about to use a phrase I don’t get to use very often as of late: I really enjoyed the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live. This season has been a little rough, but I faithfully tune in, like a sports fan who knows her team will probably blow the game but watches anyway, hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Well, this past Saturday the team at SNL pulled out a win in my book with their Thanksgiving episode, featuring Cameron Diaz as host and musical guests Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.

First of all, anytime Lil’ Baby Aidy is on the scene, I know I’m going to enjoy it. She and her girls were back with “Back Home Ballers,” touching on all the perks of coming home for the holidays--having access to a stocked fridge because your mom went to Costco, doing a load of laundry for just one sock, and your mom putting out “bowls, bowls, all type of bowls.” My favorite part is when Aidy has to deal with the neighborhood paparazzi and make small talk with Jean, because her reaction is about the same as mine in that situation.

Another highlight for me was the “High School Theater Show,” and I can’t even really explain why. Maybe it was the fact that it reminded me of the seriousness with which I took not-so-serious things in high school. Maybe it was the biting commentary on the death of Main Street, censorship, and our addiction to social media. Or maybe, just maybe, it was all those boxes. Either way, it made me laugh, and I enjoyed seeing so many members of the cast on stage together.

I enjoyed a lot of other parts of the show as well--the "School House Rock" cold open, Kate Mckinnon’s Angela Merkel on Weekend Update, Kenan’s poetry interpretation of Friends, the Night Murmurs ladies, and the always entertaining Bruno Mars. If you haven’t been checking out SNL lately, I’d recommend you give this one a chance. - Jonda Robinson

Innovo_Audio[1]Growing up I was always very voracious reader. Getting me to read was never an issue for my parents. I always read above my reading level, and by the time I was in seventh grade I had already Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Twice. Not to brag (even though I totally am) but I was incredibly smart. My parents never forced me to read so I’m not sure what fueled my adolescent love of hard books and libraries but I think I’ve narrowed it down to two extremely important moments in my life.

1) Watching I Love Lucy for the very time as a kid. The very first episode of Lucy I ever saw was “Lucy thinks Ricky is trying to murder her.” In this episode, Lucy is captivated by the murderous novel she is currently reading. She gets so caught up in the book that her reality becomes distorted causing her to believe that Ricky is trying to kill her. Being that into a piece of literature, minus the part where you think your husband is going to kill you, is pretty awesome. If you haven't seen this episode immediately drop what you're doing and do so; or stop being my friend.

2) I really wanted to be a lawyer. Again, I have no clue why but it even at the tender age of four I knew being a backup dancer for MC Hammer probably wasn't going to happen.

Unfortunately around the time I became a teenager, joined the band, discovered Saturday Night Live, and realized that the no one would ever love me the way the Backstreet Boys would, reading fell by the wayside. In fact, if someone told to read a cool article in whatever girl magazine was popular in the late 90s or early 2000s , I would proudly proclaim I didn't know how to read. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a few since then but it’s definitely not something I make a habit of. I am not proud this at all. I’ve admired those with bookshelves full of worn books due to the amount of times their owner has read them. My bookshelves are just full of DVDs, vinyl records, and textbooks from school. Not cool.

This would have remained true if it wasn't for a very late, but oh so on time, discovery. Books on tape. Where have they been all my life? For the record, I know audio books have been around for quite some time; I just never paid it any attention. Books on tape have shown themselves to be the greatest invention since the scrunchie. Yes, I believe the scrunchie is up there with wheel, fire, and the stoplight. If you’re a girl/boy who has long hair, has ever had long hair, or a man with daughters, you will agree with me. Books on tape are the equivalent to that strange piece of advice you get from an uncle but always brushed off until something big happens and you realize he was right.

Who came up with this beautiful idea? Does he or she have a Pulitzer or whatever other great literature awards there are yet? They should. It is because of this super hero of knowledge that I have “read” the most amount of the books ever. Literally, I feel like I have listened/read so many books right now that I could successfully take down Ken Jennings in double Jeopardy. Three-to-five collective hours of listening to someone read to you throughout your drive to work, getting ready for the day, or preparing for sleep and you’re done. This is amazing. Never again do you have to worry about having the proper lighting or your eyes getting tired. Audio books are the answer. Now all I have to do is buy the actual book to place on my bookshelf. That way I’ll have a visual representation of how learned I am. - Rachel Hall

100bullets[1]Choosing only one thing to love this week is simply beyond my abilities. There are too many entertainments pulling at my heart. The penultimate episode of Sons of Anarchy was so good that I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat. Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice beguiles me with its flaky charm and barrage of jokes,. The comic book adaptation of Frank Miller's Robocop 2 screenplay has kept me company on a few cold New England nights. A visit back home for Thanksgiving rekindled a passion for Azzarello and Risso's 100 Bullets and led me to their other works, like Spaceman and Jonny Double. To praise one would be to slight the others.

December also brings the annual tradition of best of lists. Also know as "Hey, Ryan, here's a bunch of stuff to buy. Immediately. Why are you waiting?" These lists often serve to remind me of all the great things I've read and watched this year, while simultaneously shaming me for not having watched or read everything that someone might be considered good. You know, in case someone mentions a book or movie at a party and they ask what I thought of it, and I have to say I don't know of it, like a idiot. I live my life to avoid moments like that. Not-knowing is the worst. I can only assume you live the same way. That's why, starting next week, and for the rest of the year, What We're Loving will take a look back at 2014. Hopefully we cover all the bases of goodness so you won't be left feeling like an idiot on New Year's Eve because you never heard of Elect H. Mouse  State Judge. - Ryan Callahan

 

Doing Dallas: Well, Kinda

Each week, this Virginian will try a new Dallasite activity and blog about the experience. Ben Rector

If there is one thing I’ve learned from my time in Texas, it’s that Texans have a lot of state pride. A LOT of state pride. Seeing as how I’ve never been outside of Dallas, and so have only ever experienced a tiny sliver of what Texas has to offer, I often feel like I’m missing out when Texans gush about this state of theirs. So, this past weekend I decided to take a road trip to get up close and personal with the good ol’ Lone Star State. My decision to travel may have also been slightly influenced by my having tickets to a Ben Rector concert in Waco; but, regardless. With a destination plugged into my GPS, Lana del Rey pumping through the speakers, and a bag of sweet potato tater tots in my lap, I hit the road. Here are some thoughts on my #WildInWaco weekend.

Waco? More Like Way-Co

This is embarrassing to admit, but until last year I didn’t know how to pronounce “Waco.” I definitely thought it was pronounced “Whacko,” and always heard Joey Tribbiani’s voice in my head saying “whack” whenever I read signs for the city’s exit. Thankfully, I had no such pronunciation mishaps this past weekend. Unfortunately, though, because I pass these exit signs so frequently, I assumed Waco was just a stone’s throw away from Dallas—30 minutes, tops. Nope. An hour-and-a-half into the drive I realized, I’ve been living a geographical lie.

Waco Walls: s’artsy

iloveyou

Austin is a popular travel destination for many of my friends. And, every time people go there, they inevitably take a picture in front of the “I love you so much” wall. All of their Instas and Facebook pics are always so edgy and avant-garde; like, “Look, I’m candidly leaning against this wall laughing as the sun shines on my face and I look so hipster and s’artsy.”

Since apparently wall pics are necessary to prove that you’ve actually traveled through Texas, I decided I needed a Waco wall pic ASAP to keep my street cred up. Unfortunately, all of the walls I saw in Waco were either gray or a neutral sandstone color—nothing that screamed Insta gold. Shucks.

walls so hot right now

Not one to face defeat, I refused to let anything stop me from getting a wall picture; otherwise, who would believe that I’d actually left Dallas?! While waiting in line at the concert venue, I saw the perfect opportunity: behind me stood a dull, gray brick wall. Could this be the signature wall of Waco? “Carpe diem,” I thought. Pushing my friends onto the pavement, I asked a random passerby to take our picture. “I really need a wall pic—they’re so hot right now. Would you mind?”

“I totally know what you mean. Not a problem.”

Reviewing the picture, I was worried about how the sidewalk coloring blended seamlessly into the gray brick. Would people recognize this as a wall pic, or just think we were weirdoes sitting in a corner?! Would my efforts be in vain?! Did I travel all this way for nothing?!

Thankfully, I quickly concocted a clever hashtag to make sure people knew this was in fact a wall pic: #WallsInWaco. Throwing on a filter as the finishing touch, I smiled, knowing I’d reached the pinnacle of my Texas travel experience.

What Wild Waco Wackiness We Saw

The following things were spotted during the drive and on the Waco adventure:

—A restaurant called “Health Camp”  that only sold hamburgers and shakes.

—A billboard that questioned, “Who Is Jesus?” and then provided a 1-800 number to call for an answer.

—Cows. A whoooole lot of cows. This led me to ponder for a good while during our four hours in the car if cow-tipping is a real activity.

—Dr Pepper everything. Dr Pepper baby back ribs, Dr Pepper ice cream, Dr Pepper bacon burgers…Waco is basically the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. of Dr Pepper.

—An historic café where apparently you can only eat if you’re elite.

Ben Rector, hands down one of the greatest musicians of all time.

—Butter…with toasted coconut shavings on top. LITERAL COCONUT BUTTER that was good enough to eat plain (if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right). Previously, I had only known coconut butter to be a kind of body lotion sold at Bath & Body Works. This truly was a deliciously life-changing discovery.

**Note: the magical butter came from the Elite Café.**

Wise Words for Waco

Waco, you blew my mind; thanks for the memories. Stay wild. Stay whacky. Stay wonderful.

elite cafe

eating

 

Chelsea is a Level 4 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She is obsessed with music of the 60s & 70s and her vices include vanilla lattes and Swedish Fish. You can check out more of Chelsea’s thoughts and ponderings HERE!

(I Love You photo credit:  http://meredithwinn.wordpress.com/2010/09/17/a-love-list/)

Doing Dallas: Howdy, Partner

Each week, this Virginian will try a new Dallasite activity and blog about the experience. If there is one thing you should know about me, it is this: I CANNOT DANCE. Seriously. In high school, I came dangerously close to failing my “Beginning Ballet” course because I could not for the life of me do some syncopated running waltz step thing. The teacher took pity on me, though, and attempted to comfort me by announcing to the class, “It’s alright, Chelsea. Rhythm simply eludes you.” Needless to say, anytime I am presented with the opportunity to showcase my lack of rhythmic talent in front of other humans, I sprint in the opposite direction. I have no idea what came over me, then, this past week when I decided to give Texas two-steppin a try.

We came. We danced. We conquered?

It’s a Good Idea to Know What Two-Stepping Is Before Going Two-Stepping

With my lack of dance skills, I really should’ve seen this one coming. I should’ve watched YouTube videos and practiced dancing with a Swiffer for months within the safe confines of my bedroom. Instead, I threw caution to the wind and prayed that by some miraculous act of God I would step out onto the dance floor and be possessed by the ghost of cowgirls past. I mean, how hard could it be to take two steps?

Well, it turns out that two-stepping actually involves taking three steps—two quick and one slow. WHAT?!? It was the syncopated waltz step thing all over again! Standing on the side of the dance floor in full SOS mode, my Californian friend and I did the only thing we could think of to do: Google “How to Two-Step.” Speed-reading through Wiki-How pages as skilled dancers whirled by, we quickly discovered that a written two-step instructional in no way prepares you to actually two-step.

Two-Stepping Is Like Skiing Backwards

The moment of truth came when I was asked to dance. Though I confessed to my boot-wearin, cowboy-hat-sportin partner that I had never two-stepped before, he assured me it would be fine.

“For girls, it’s just like…skiing backwards. Just glide.”

“Oh. Great,” I lied. See, my skiing skills might be the only thing worse than my dancing skills. The one time I went skiing, I couldn’t figure out how to stop and plowed full force into a security officer at the bottom of a hill. Graceful, I know. While visions of this accident flashed in my head, other thoughts plagued me as well. “Is my arm supposed to be over or under his? What did the Wiki-How say again? Why is he stepping on my feet? Will he be able to tell that I have two packs of gummies in my pocket?”**

Feeling self-conscious, I was acutely aware of the fact that watching me dance was like watching a baby giraffe learn how to walk: unbalanced, wobbly, unsure. After taking an awkward, slow-moving lap around the dance floor, the song that seemed to never end finally drew to a close.

“Thanks. That was fun,” I lied again. I mean, I couldn’t just tell the guy that I’d rather stick bamboo shoots under my fingernails than dance publicly.

“Want to go again?”

“I…I have to…pee,” I lied for a third time, before wiggling off into the welcomed shadows of the sidelines.

** Note: The gummies were a snack I’d forgotten to eat on the car ride over.

Jenna with one of the many Jack Daniels statues.

Thank God for Jack Daniels

Having publicly humiliated myself enough for one night, I decided to call it quits on the whole dancing thing. Observing from the sidelines, though, I noticed some interesting things:

—There were no less than five statues of Jack Daniels scattered throughout the establishment. For this, I now rename Cowboys Red River, “Whiskey Mecca.”

—I saw a man get arrested in the parking lot. The cops threw him against the car and handcuffed him behind his back. I can now sleep easy at night knowing Law & Order accurately portrays an arrest.

—Two separate, 50-plus-year-old men attempted to photobomb our Snapchat pictures. For this, I now re-rename Cowboys Red River, “Senior Men’s Mecca.”

—Mechanical bulls are not just things of movies. They actually exist, and people actually ride them.

The night was a real Texan experience, something I can cross off my bucket list. And, though I’m never gonna dance again, should I ever return—I’ve got my eyes set on that mechanical bull.

Chelsea is a Level 4 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She is obsessed with music of the 60s & 70s and her vices include vanilla lattes and Swedish Fish. You can check out more of Chelsea’s thoughts and ponderings HERE!