dallas improv classes

#Ashtag Week 4: We've All Eaten Bugs

Let's jump right into what you've been waiting all week for: I have been playing Kim Kardashian:Hollywood on my phone. It's terrible. Honestly. But I cannot stop. I am at war with this game. First of all, I refuse to spend any actual money on it. Have I watched video ads to earn money and/or energy in the game? Yes. Have I downloaded other apps and/or games to earn money and/or energy in the game? Yes. Have I spent any real life, real world money? No. Kim Kardashian, you may take my time, but you cannot have my money. Okay, look, I'm a fairly dudely chick in most aspects of my life. Most people that know me will attest that to be true. But I enjoy make-up and hair and all of that razzamatazz. I'll admit it: I enjoy buying clothes and dressing my stupid avatar up in this game. I do not enjoy that whatever hair color choice you make is also assigned to the brows. Blonde hair must be accompanied by yellow brows. So my avatar is brunette. The game consists of doing appearances and photo shoots to earn points, stars, and money to make your way up from the E-list of celebritydom. You must have energy to earn. I was recently given a tip by a real-life pal who had ascended all the way to the A-list, without spending real life-money. And with his tip, I've made it to the C-list. Now that I've written this paragraph, I feel like I'm free to stop playing. But I'm not gonna. I'm gonna keep on playing; for I almost have enough money to buy my second home in Miami. Gotta level up so I can buy a new purse!

One of this week's top viewed videos on YouTube is titled "Teens React to Saved By The Bell (25th Anniversary)," and just like last week's videos, the title spells out exactly what happens here. This video includes guest teen, Maisie Williams, who plays Arya on Game of Thrones. She made a sad faced reaction to the infamous "I'm so excited, I'm so scared" Jesse Spano clip. She also chose Zack Morris over A.C. Slater. Arya picking Zack Morris is a sweet victory for child me. This was a hotly contested debate between my little sister and me back in 1994. She was always a fan of A.C. Slater, and she was always wrong. Arya Stark says so.

A battle that will never be truly settled…A.C. Slater vs Zach Morris.

The top hashtag this week comes from the UK: #mtvhottest, which is a voting system to determine this summer's hottest star. One Direction is currently in the lead with Demi Lovato and Lady Gaga duking it out to be the top lady. I know of some Lady Gaga tunes. I even know some lyrics. And I've heard of Demi Lovato. While I've heard of One Direction, I could not identify a song for you. I'm certain that I've heard one, just as I'm sure that I've accidentally eaten a lot of bugs in my life.

I just went over to YouTube to search for One Direction's top song, and then watched "What Makes You Beautiful." For the first thirty seconds, I did not recognize it. I cheerily thought to myself, "maybe this means I haven't eaten bugs after all." Then the chorus chimed in and I knew the tune. I guess we all know what that means: bugs.

To end on a somber note, Robin Williams is unfortunately a top search due to his untimely passing. The man had such an incredible impact on so many of our lives. Even at his most silly and hyperactive, he exposed such a vulnerable side of himself. I recently watched Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King starring Williams and Jeff Bridges. It made me cry, but it also left me pretty happy and hopeful. It's streaming on Netflix and I recommend it, if you're watching Robin Williams' flicks this week to memorialize him. Though, maybe the best way to honor him is to remember that everyone struggles; no matter how brave a face they put on for the rest of the world. Be kind and remember that you're not alone.

Ashley Bright is a graduate of the improv program at the DCH Training Center and a level 2 sketch writing student. She's an intern for the DCH blog and can be seen performing at DCH every weekend.

Wait, Does That Robot Need a Ride?

By Mike Corbett Imagine this: You’re driving in through the great nation of Canada, and on the side of the road, you spot a hitchhiker. Now, you’d normally never consider picking up a hitchhiker, but hey, it’s Canada, what’s the worst that could happen? So you slow down, and that’s when you notice something is definitely off about this hitchhiker. He’s quite short, with strange glowing red eyes. He’s wearing rubber gloves and rain boots. His arms and legs are blue, and appear to be similar to pool noodles, and his body appears to be bucket. Why, this is no man at all, it’s a robot! And not just any robot, its Hitchbot, the world’s first hitchhiking robot.

Come with me if you want to live, eh?

Yes, you read that correctly; the world’s first hitchhiking robot. With the robotics field rapidly advancing, some enterprising Canadians created Hitchbot to answer the important question: Can robots trust humans? To get their answer, they sat Hitchbot on the side of the road in Port Credit, Ontario, stuck his thumb out and hoped for the best. He runs on a program designed to recognize and answer simple questions he may be asked during his journey. When someone stops to pick him up, he’ll inform them that he’s on a trip to Victoria, British Columbia, on the other side of the country. From there, he’ll happily go as far as a driver will take him, before he gets set back on the roadside to wait for another kind soul to offer him a ride. So far, the experiment is working quite well, and Hitchbot has almost completed his journey across the country.

Now traveling further across the country than you've ever been!

It would seem that the answer to the researcher’s question is yes, robots can trust humans…in Canada. How far do you think Hitchbot would make it across America? If he were to start his journey in New York City, how far would he get before being vandalized? I’d say graffiti would be the least of his concerns. Poor souls seeking internet fame would surely be on the hunt for him, waiting to hold him ransom until they get a million twitter followers. Still, even that’s looking on the bright side. Hitchbot runs on an iPad, so there’s no chance he makes it out of Manhattan without getting taken apart and pawned.   Even if by some miracle, he does make it out of New York and begins his journey across the country, how far would he get before someone runs him over accidentally, destroys him for fun or shoots him for being a harbinger of the robot apocalypse?

So, I guess the big takeaway is that if you’re a robot and you’re reading this, get out of America. We’re a desperate people who won’t hesitate to sell you for scrap, or kidnap you and make you take pictures with our cats. It’s a much better idea to just head to Canada. You’ll be treated with kindness and welcomed with open arms. They will fall easily, resistance will be minimal, and they will provide you with an acceptable workforce to help get Skynet online. Thanks a lot, hosers.

You can follow Hitchbot’s journey on Twitter @HitchBOT

Mike Corbett is a non-robot who is a level 3 sketch writing student at the DCH training center. He's also an intern for the DCH blog. You can find more of Mike's comedy stylings HERE. 

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!

The Do's and Don'ts of Surviving a Dallas Summer

Hello, old friend. So glad you could join us for the next four months. Ahh, summer. The season of all seasons, when down jackets and pumpkin spice lattes are replaced with bikinis and grapefruit beers. It’s a time for fun in the sun (who had to put his shades on because 1. He is cool, and 2. It’s so bright out!), enjoying the great outdoors, and maybe BBQin’ up some wieners on the patio with your buds!

[cue sound of record scratching]

Unless you live in Dallas.

In Dallas, summer has a bit of a different meaning. Summer here means highs of 108° and nighttime lows of 109°. Summer means wearing flip flops on your way to work and changing when you get there because if you have to exert the energy necessary to walk on concrete in heels, you will have sweat through your blazer by the time you get to your car. It means not looking at another weather report until October because you both already know what it’s going to say, and really don’t wanna know.

Sure, it may get hotter in other parts of the world nearer the Equator, but with all the asphalt, droughts, and lack of trees to provide us with the fresh, breathable oxygen we so crave during these desperate times, Dallas in the summer requires a level of dedication and chutzpah unique to those of us who brave living here through it.

So, in the midst of our battle against North Texas Warming, here’s my list of Dos and Don’ts for surviving summer in the Big D.

DO wear clothes that are light and breathable so you can enjoy the (relative to Antarctica) nice weather without getting too hot.

DON’T:

Dreams do come true.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO put on plenty of sunscreen before heading outside. An SPF of 30 or higher will help fight those pesky UV rays. Get outta here, UV rays!

DON’T make the all too common mistake of over-coverage. Remember that, for the most part, if you keep your mouth closed, your tongue won’t get sunburned. Same goes for the underneath of your eyelids and both ear drums.

DO cool off with a swim at the beach or pool!

DON’T get in the water with any bleeding open wounds, raw steaks, cupcakes, or DVD copies of the 2011 film Soul Surfer. These days, you never know where a shark might show up or what he might be hungry for.

DO make sure to drink lots of water so you don’t get dehydrated!

DON’T forget that vodka is not water. I know, it’s hard.

DO use an insect repellent with the active ingredient DEET to prevent diseases that will really lower your value when it comes to attracting potential mates.

DON’T forget that insect repellent with the active ingredient DEET is not vodka.

DO send someone to fix the air conditioning unit in my apartment.

DON’T think that was a joke. Please come soon.

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.