comedy writing

Well, It Was Nice Knowin' Ya, World!

New York Fashion Week models show off Chanel’s new contamination prevention Ready-to-Wear collection in preparation for the Ebola apocalypse When I first became aware of the existence of the Ebola virus a couple of years ago, my first thought was, “Oh, whaaaat, damn I’m glad that’s not a thing in the United States, that would SUUUUUCK.” Now, let’s skip the part where I acknowledge the slightly sociopathic nature of that thought process and go right to the part where we all realize that, oh sweet baby Jesus, yes, it’s probably coming to the States like any day now.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, Ebola is the virus that, with a fatality rate of over 97% in some strains, has broken out on a massive scale in West Africa and killed over 670 people as of last week. Its symptoms include headache, sudden fever, intense weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney and liver failure, oh, and your average run-of-the-mill BLEEDING OUT OF EVERY ORIFICE. Commence Panic Mode: Now. And please stay under your rocks, your uninfected bodies may be our only chance at repopulating the Earth once the rest of us are wiped out.

Now, I’m sure there are some of you out there thinking, “But, Sarah. Stahhp it. Ebola is only spread by contact with the bodily fluids of those infected! We’re so medically advanced, come on. There’s no way our hospitals would let that spread around here.” To which I say, “You’re right! If we’re only talking about the strain going around right now. But what about the one that’s airborne and would almost certainly lead to the end of the human race?” To which you say, “Okaaay, but that one can’t even be spread to humans..” to which I say, “YET!” I’m sure by now my watertight logic has convinced you that we are up against the imminent collapse of society and certain, painful death. Good! We’re on the same page. That is.. if we don’t all go missing in mysterious plane accidents or contract the Bubonic Plague first. Ebola or the Black Death? This is one particularly messed up game of Would You Rather I never thought I’d have to play.

Ring around the Rosie is all fun and games until someone gets the Black Plague.

To anyone with half a brain (which will surely be eaten soon by bubo-covered zombies or maybe aliens I’m not gonna make any assumptions here), it’s pretty clear that this is the end of the world, not only as we know it, but period. Since I, for one, am ready to accept my impending doom, I’ve decided to compile a list of all the things I want to do before I die. A deathbed bucket list, if you will. Like that Tim McGraw song, only not horrible. 1. Sell everything I own. Like in the Game of Life when you retire and cash in all your LIFE tiles, because no one knows what the hell else you’re supposed to do at the end of that game. 2. Smuggle drug money over international borders a la Piper Kerman. 3. Get sent to women’s prison. 4. Try prison hooch. 5. Become the leader of the secret prison hooch operation and make a small fortune. 6. Sacrifice said fortune to the aliens who have come to scavenge our planet for any useful resources, having gotten word of our species’ inevitable destruction. 7. Live a full and happy life as an intergalactic nomad with my new friends from the Planet Zorg.

Sarah Mowery is a level 3 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She lives alone with her cat and in her free time enjoys applying dialogue from The Lord of the Rings to real life situations. You can check out more of her comedy stylings HERE!

In Defense of Safe DJing

By Sarah Mowery Dangerous in the wrong hands.

Right now I’m listening to my favorite mindless yet groovy playlist. A little bit of Biggie and CCR mixed in with some Lana Del Rey and plenty of Rolling Stones, with just a hint of early 00s nostalgia, a healthy dose of Motown, and, of course, “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen since, as we all know, no playlist is legally allowed to exist today without “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen.

It’s what I listen to when I need to be able to focus without being distracted by the urge to sing along with any of that maddeningly catchy Top 40 or, my personal kryptonite, Country. This playlist’s juxtaposition of modern and classic keeps me on my toes while seamlessly flowing together into the perfect stream of in-the-zone music.

This playlist is good for many occasions. It’s a people pleaser. It both allows people to converse without distraction and provides for those satisfying “I love this song!” moments that make you feel proud to have compiled such a perfect collection. It’s got something for everyone, and it’s not divisive like playing, I don’t know, Pitbull might be. It’s the playlist you can subtly put on in the background without anyone being like “Dude.. WTF is this.” It’s just cool enough that no one is going to question your taste in music, but just mainstream enough that you don’t look like the hipster douche no one wants to be around. We all have some version of this playlist, and after noticing some questionable music choices made by friends and acquaintances at social gatherings, I’m here to say that maybe we need to rest on this playlist a little more heavily. At least in public.

See, I don’t listen to this playlist all the time. When I’m in the shower, I have another playlist. It’s got a lot of Ke$ha in it, so what? I know all the words, OK? I like to dance in the shower, OK? And if I’m also using a mixture of Jack Daniels and multicolor glitter as body wash to fully embrace the spirit of the Ke$h then I guess that’s none of your business, is it?

This is normal, right?

When I’m on a road trip, I have another playlist. It’s not so much of a playlist as it is the soundtracks to High School Musicals 1, 2, and 3: Senior Year, so what? I am wont to reminisce on my youth, OK? Sometimes I need to listen to every song twice so that I can sing it once as Gabriella and then again as Troy, OK? And if I occasionally swerve off the road a little because I’m doing the full choreography to “We’re All In This Together” then maybe you should stop judging me and take a second to reflect on your own life, OK?

Those types of playlists are just as crucial to our sanity as the perfect Master people-pleaser playlist is, but they aren’t meant to be whipped out and flung around carelessly like a Christopher Walken impression at parties. They’re for personal use when alone, or with a small group of close friends, or at your cult gathering. Times when you really know the other people and their taste in music.

The perfect Master people-pleaser playlist is great because, like a t-shirt and jeans, it goes with everything. Hey, sometimes it’s even good for the office! But your “60s Afro Funk + Best Jazz Standards!!” playlist is more like a really tight speedo. It’s cool that you can pull that off and all, but no one wants to deal with that right now.

I’m all for freedom of expression, but when it comes to dictating what music is going to be put in other people’s ears, I think it’s only fair we all exercise caution. So next time you’re on iPod DJ duty at a party, or in the car with people you only kind of know, or at a place of business/retail and you get the urge to bump that dope new Andrea Bocelli track you just found, maybe just don’t. Maybe just stick with Drake and call it a day. You can blast Italian opera to your heart’s content when you get home. Being appointed DJ is not a right. It is a privilege with which comes great responsibility. Don’t abuse the power of the iPod. DJ safe, and always remember the Golden Rule: No Nickelback, please.

Sarah Mowery is a level 3 improv student at the DCH Training Center and an intern for the DCH blog. Find more of Sarah's comedy stylings HERE. 

Why Are We Not More Concerned About This Airplane?

by Sarah Mowery It's been over 5 weeks  since an enormous airplane with 239 people on board disappeared from the sky with absolutely no explanation and --HOLY EFF, WHAT???!?! Why is no one talking about this??

I’m going to jump straight to the point here: I am scared. Mostly for myself and for Justin Bieber because Lord knows we would not be equipped to handle a disaster, but also for everyone else.

It seems like this whole situation is being glossed over. Like everyone sort of wants to get the update on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, but, in the end, it’s just another 660,000-pound aircraft vanishing into the Indian Ocean. Like, sad, but nothing we can do about it, so let’s just call it Season 7 of Lost and move on. Like, you would never say it out loud, but it doesn’t really affect you, so, yes, you hope they find that black box, but you’d also rather just pretend that plane never existed.

But a closer look may reveal that it DOES affect us. Because planes don’t just fall out of the sky. If they did, people would still be travelling across oceans on giant, or should I say “Titanic,” cruise ships, and we all know what happens when those things get involved *cough ICEBERGS cough*. Since you can in fact fly directly through sky icebergs, I have yet to come up with any feasible explanation as to how this 242-foot flying object managed to get lost without a trace in a world where my little sister was able to use Google Street View to bust me for having a boy over to my house. It doesn’t.

You see, my concern is that people are so accustomed to hearing bad news that they just write it off when something big like this happens. “Hey did you hear about that school shooting?” “Yes, it’s awful! I can’t believe it. What did you bring for lunch?” “Tuna salad. Oh my god I just got a USA Today news update about the total number of child soldiers that have been killed in Africa since 2000, how sad is that?” “So sad. When will people learn to be compassionate? Wait does your news update say anything about Kim and Kanye’s wedding being postponed?”

I’m not saying that people don’t care about what’s going on in the world. I do believe we care, but we can’t let ourselves care too much, or else we would implode from the sheer amount of things there are to worry about.

But this plane’s disappearance is different than genocide or sexism or animal cruelty because we can’t identify the problem. Show me a nation of women being paid less than their male counterparts and I can tell you exactly what the problem is and lay out some possible solutions. Show me a beat-up puppy, and it won’t be long before we’ve got the ASPCA on the way. We don’t have to be up in arms all the time about problems we can identify, because we know that someone out there, if not us, is working on a solution.

Malaysia Airlines 370? Yeah, I can’t really identify what’s going on there, but here’s what I’ve come up with so far: Outcome = 239 people almost certainly dead at the bottom of the ocean. Problem that caused outcome = Engine failure? Pilot asleep?  Isolated thunder storms? Bermuda triangle type deal? Kraken? All of the above? I do not know! And since the problem can’t be identified, meaning that no one can be getting very far coming up with a solution, we all have an extremely valid reason to be freaking the eff out, starting 5 weeks ago and ending whenever anyone can explain to us what REALLY happened to that plane.

I am afraid that the lack of riots on the streets and total pandemonium surrounding this issue must mean that Big Brother’s plot to control our minds and make us void of all human reason and emotion is nearing completion. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t one of the signs of the Apocalypse planes falling out of the sky and everyone just kind of going on with their day? Yeah, that’s definitely in there, right next to the one about Courtney Love leading the charge on solving the world’s greatest mysteries.

So start doomsday prepping, and go see an improv show. Lord knows we’ll all need the laughs when the world as we know it comes to an end.

Sarah Mowery is a Level 2 Improv student at DCH and a blogging intern for DCH media. You can also read more of her comedy stylings HERE. 

Getting Stuff Done

Getting Stuff Done(?)  By Sarah Mowery

GSDWe've all heard of writer's block. It's that thing where you stare at a blank screen with your fingers all QWERTY'd for three hours, trying in vain to remember how to put words together in a sentence. You agonize over the perfect phrasing, hoping beyond hope that something - anything - will come to you. It doesn't. Of course, after all that stress and anxiety, the first full paragraph you manage to pound out earns you a nice 2-hour Netflix break.

Writer's block can rear its ugly head in the middle of all sorts of important writing endeavors. Papers. Emails. That murder mystery novel you've been working on. Texts to your housekeeper. Post-its reminding yourself to take out the trash. But writer's block is not the only type of "block" we experience on a day to day basis. No, not at all.

I'm talking about mild to moderately severe General Task Block, more commonly known as GTB.

Not sure if you or a loved one suffers from GTB? The following scenario was carefully crafted by real scientists to illustrate the horrifying effects of the newest illness sweeping the nation:

5:35 p.m. Get home, unbutton pants, and sit down to do some work. I'm going to be so productive tonight!

5:38 Turn on computer, check Facebook.

5:45 Read article on CNN. Something about Ukraine. Gotta stay up on those current affairs!

5:50 Take BuzzFeed quiz to determine what cereal I am. Rice Chex? Ha. No.

5:53 Take cereal quiz again. Lie about answers to get less boring cereal. Rice Chex again.

5:57 Pull up (insert project to be worked on).

5:57 Stare at computer screen.

6:03 Stare at computer screen.

6:14 Stare at computer screen.

6:15 Remember hilarious YouTube video that would really motivate you if you just watched it real quick for a good laugh.

4 Enrique Iglesias music videos later...

6:48 Oh, look, dinner time. I'll be more productive if I've eaten something. That's science!

8:02 Finish eating full meal prepared from scratch. Ready to take on anything.

8:06 Check Facebo -- NO! Time to get down to business.

8:18 Type one sentence. Time for dessert.

Does this sound like you? You might have chronic GTB.

In fact, you probably do. With all the distractions that are constantly thrown in our faces, it seems nearly impossible to get anything done. Heck, sometimes I sit in my car for a good ten minutes before I can even remember what I got in it to go do in the first place. Luckily, one of the defining symptoms of General Task Block is that you always manage to get stuff done eventually. Studies suggest that the light you soak up from all the staring at blank screens stimulates your brain to the point that everything eventually just happens effortlessly.

Ha! Ohhh.. If only that were true. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go start some laundry catch up on some reading play with my cat while I think of an ending for this blog post.

Sarah Mowery is a level 2 improv student at DCH as well as a student at SMU. You can read more of her comedy stylings HERE.