jaime moyer

The DCH Diaries: Three Days Steeped in Excellence

Lady Town's Maribeth Monroe and Jaime Moyer By midnight Saturday night, my smile muscles were hurting. This past week between us, Gary and I had seen eight troupes, two Ewing teams, a Student Lottery, the sketch review Sixth Floored, been to two classes, the Jam, and a workshop, all capped off with the inestimable Lady Town Friday and Saturday. Even then, I hated seeing the lights go down on Jaime Moyer and Maribeth Monroe at the close of their set on Saturday night.

It was the Grand Opening of the brand new location of the World Famous Dallas Comedy House (DCH). What a treat to experience the best of the best of what DCH has to offer.

For a couple dozen of us, Jaime Moyer’s Saturday workshops were a highlight. Jaime is an old friend of DCH. Her Lady Town cohort, Kate Duffy, originally scheduled to teach a workshop, had pressing concerns that kept her from making the trip. Jamie, already tapped to conduct a class for experienced improvisers, graciously agreed to hold another session for the fledglings.

Not only is Jaime a gifted improviser and actress, she is an inspired teacher. (Don’t you just hate people who can do it all?) Her two-and-a-half hours of solid direction, practical exercises, and on-the-point notes were priceless.

Jaime set out to help us improve our listening skills. Frankly, “Yes, and” scares me. Even though our instructors drill the concept into us (“Do not plan. Do not write a script in your head. Do not have expectations. Stay in the moment. Listen and respond.”), I still tend to initiate scenes in a feeble attempt to control them. I need to learn to trust my scene partner and trust myself.

Lady Town's Jaime Moyer and Maribeth Monroe

All of Jaime’s exercises were terrific, but I thought one was particularly effective. One student takes center stage and performs a simple action. A classmate steps forward to interpret the action. A wave of the hand might elicit, “Ben, you missed a spot,” or “Thanks for washing the car, son.” Turning the pages of a book inspires, “Mom, let’s look at the photo album,” or “Cheryl, I see you’re copying that report.” The scene partners exchange a line or two followed by a tap-out and a new interpretation of the same action, to be repeated a dozen or more times at breakneck speed. The initiator must listen carefully, because she has no idea how her simple action will inspire each successive scene partner. Remember the exercise “Expert”? It’s like that, only the game changes with each tap-out.

For me, it was nerve-racking—all that thinking-on-my-feet. But I came away impressed that I had done a pretty credible job of staying focused and responding in the moment. A lot of the credit for that goes to Jaime’s consistent and unconditional support. She left us feeling like we could all be great scene partners.

To Amanda Austin and crew: It was a fantastic weekend. The new theater and training center are awesome. With all the headaches you’ve suffered these last months, I don’t know how you managed to bring it all together, but you pulled it off with grace and a hell of a lot of style. Thanks for providing us such a special place to learn and play and for nurturing our wonderful community. Many happy returns!

Carron Armstrong is currently in Level 3 and has been obsessed with improv and DCH ever since she discovered that someone can actually take classes to learn this stuff. She is currently negotiating to purchase the naming rights for the brand new stairs added to ease access to the stages of DCH’s Main Street theaters (Thank you, Amanda and Kyle). During the day, she’s a lawyer.

Two Great Performers, Two Great Workshops

We're celebrating our grand opening May 15-16 with a ton of great shows. And to add more fun to the celebration, we're offering two workshops from Ladytown's Kate Duffy and Jaime Moyer. Kate DuffyIgnite Your Improv Instincts w/Kate Duffy Saturday, May 16 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Quit worrying about what to say and just be present. This workshop focuses on getting you living in the moment with your scene partner through a commitment to listening, truthful reaction, and a commitment to physical space. Know who you are and how you feel and the rest takes care of itself.

 

Jaime MoyerAMP it UP! w/Jaime Moyer Saturday, May 16 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. This workshop is designed to boost your scenework and take it to the next level. If you've been feeling a little stalled, this is the class for you! We will be working on "extreme yes", heightening, and not adding too many ingredients to the soup. Perfect class for that boost you may have been needing! At least one year of improvising and study required to take this course!

Click on the workshop titles to register, and please visit our calendar to see all our upcoming shows at our new location, 3025 Main St., in Deep Ellum.

Ashtag Week #3: Fifty Shades of Kardashian Royals

By Ashley Bright During last weekend's Ladytown show (which was spectacular), the Kardashian phone game was mentioned. Since I vowed to addict myself to a phone game in the last edition of #ashtag, I have decided that this will be my game. I have downloaded Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, but I have not yet put any playing time into it. So, consider this paragraph the amuse-bouche to next week's Kardashian meal.

Let's move onto this week's meal. One of the top searches is "Fifty Shades of Grey." The trailer for the movie has been released. I have not and will not read this book, but I have just subjected myself to the trailer for this article. Soft-spoken girl gets caught up in a whirlwind BDSM romance with a handsome, rich man. We get it. I cannot imagine the movie contains much more than the two-minute trailer, but I'll never find out.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" was originally written as fan-fiction of "Twilight." I am now going to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince you to watch "Twilight." It is one of the funniest movies of the past decade. I have seen this movie quite a few times because I have forced it on a large number of friends. I do give them the courtesy of fast-forwarding through the unfunny parts. The original "Twilight" has a fairly low budget, which adds to a lot of the comedy. When RPatz first meets whats-her-face, he gags. I mean he covers his mouth and gags. At another point in the movie, he gives her a very speedy piggyback ride up a mountain. The low budget effects really add to the hilarity of this scene. In a very dramatic scene where he is going to reveal how the sun makes him a "monster," he slowly turns around to reveal the monstrous effect: skin with golden sparkles. He is covered in golden glitter. There is also a fiercely choreographed baseball scene in a thunderstorm. I could go on, but I feel like I've overdone it with the "Twilight." If you don't believe me or want my chaperoning for fast-forwarding, please let me know. I haven't seen it in a couple of years and I'm due a good laugh.

TWILIGHT: An All-American Comedy Classic

Onto the top hashtags of the last week. We've got #ratchetmonday as our #1. I have figured out that ratchet refers to a busted, unattractive woman. I cannot figure out what happens on Monday. The hashtag seems to be used mostly to say, "hey, it's #ratchetmonday" or "hey, get ready for #ratchetmonday." I cannot find evidence to prove this hashtag is used like a #tbt (throwback Thursday), which just accompanies a picture, but I am going to assume that is #ratchetmonday's purpose. Although, I thought that Monday was for #mcm (man-crush Monday).

This dude has WAY more YouTube views than I'll ever have.

One of the top YouTube videos of last week is titled "Serenading the cattle with my trombone." It is four minutes of a man sitting in a lawn chair on a pasture, wearing a cowboy hat, and playing "Royals" by Lorde on a trombone. The cows appear to really dig the music. They come up over a hill like moths to a flame. They all gather up near the seated man with their tails swinging around, in what I imagine is delight. Another top video this week is "Sneaking Lion Cub Gives Dog Fright." That's two popular videos with titles that spell out exactly what we see. This sneaking lion video is only twenty seconds long. I didn't find it that funny, but perhaps I just found the dog's reaction to be appropriate and not too surprising.

As I said at the top, come back next week so I can tell you all about my immersion into the Kardashian game, along with my discoveries of anything else Internet trendy.

Ashley Bright is a graduate of the DCH Improv Training program and a level 2 sketch writing student. She interns for the DCH blog. You can see her performing every weekend at Dallas Comedy House. 

A Most Interesting Interview with the Ladies of Lady Town

By Ashley Bright This week I had the honor, privilege, and joy to interview Jaime Moyer, Kate Duffy, and Maribeth Monroe, the ladies of Ladytown. Do not miss them this week as they'll be performing on Saturday, August 2nd at 10:30pm. Jaime and Kate are also teaching workshops on both Friday and Saturday. Registration and tickets still available!

We drive past the "Welcome to Ladytown" sign, what's the tagline? How about on the "You're Now Leaving" sign?

MM: "Welcome to Ladytown! We're a sure thing!" "You're now leaving Ladytown! Was it good for you?"

JM: "Ladytown - Population: Six Boobs" "You're Now Leaving - So it wasn't a nightmare after all...You're welcome."

KD: "Welcome to Ladytown - We May Show Our Ankles" "You're Now Leaving - We warned you"

If Ladytown were made up of three historical/famous men instead of you three ladies, what men would they be?

MM: Don Rickles, Jerry Lewis, and Rob Ford. Cause we're dirty, misogynistic, and love a hit off a good crack pipe.

JM: Tom Selleck, Paul Newman, FDR

KD: Sammy Davis Jr., Rodney Dangerfield, and Curly from the Stooges.

Katy Duffy's Alternative Lady Town

If the three of you were lost in the jungle, how would the duties be split up? Making shelter? Food collection? Defense from monkeys? Etc.

MM: Honestly, I think we would all just freak out and get eaten by the monkeys. Jaime would last the longest cause she's charming as fuck. But we definitely wouldn't go all "Lord of Flies" on each other. Mostly because only one of us read that book.

JM: Maribeth would figure out where to get the best fronds, I would cook the fish, Kate would make rope. I think we could make it work, from our keen observations of "Castaway" alone.

KD: I'm pretty sure we would all die. I come from a long line of indoor people. I think we'd sit on a log laughing and eating the rest of our supplies until we died peacefully from exposure. We'd probably be embarrassingly close to shelter and help. People would say, If only they had just walked a few more feet....I also hope in that short period of time though we really bonded with those monkeys, Jane Goodall style.

Is there a scene with Ladytown that still incites giggles among the three of you no matter how long ago it happened?

MM: It's never easy to try explain scenes that have already been improvised, but here goes. I think we have the most fun when we are all playing versions of the same character. In improv it's referred to as "peas in a pod". We once played Dutch Hookers in the red light district of Amsterdam sexily attempting to sell our "puppies" to Johns. We would snap back and forth between disgusting chat with each other and then attempting to seduce men into buying us. It was a very weird and very funny scene.

JM: Hands down, a bridal shower scene with three two-faced friends, at one point I remember begrudgingly writing Kate a personal check for the gift.

KD: I love the bridal shower scene so much, but I also really loved the scene where Maribeth was our lisping drill sergeant. I could hardly keep it together. I love any scene where we play 3 of a kind.

For her birthday, I took a large magnet from the freezer section of a national grocer for my roommate; "Meals For One" now hangs across our fridge. What is the nicest thing you've done for a lady friend?

MM: So....you stole from a grocery store just to remind your friend of how lonely she is? Jesus. I guess I should start kidnapping babies and parade them around in front of my barren girlfriends. I've been doing this "bestie" thing all wrong!

JM: I hope the best thing I've ever done is be a good listener. And also recommending my lady friend watch the short-lived, four episode, 2-minute or so each series "Fancy Catz" on YouTube.

KD: I will hang with your kids while you go do you for a while.

Lady Town is performing this Saturday Night at 10:30PM. CLICK HERE for advance tickets!

Take workshops from Jaime Moyer and Kate Duffy this weekend, too! CLICK HERE for more workshop info! 

Ashley Bright is a graduate of the DCH Improv Program and a level 2 student in the sketch writing program. She performs every weekend at DCH. And check out the feature on Ashley in the Advocate Magazine HERE. 

Lady Town is coming to OUR TOWN!

Sometimes, you just get lucky. You find  five dollars in your hoodie from last winter. Or your apartment complex is passing out sausage biscuits when you leave for work on Friday morning. Or maybe, just maybe, three of your favorite improvisors agree to come back to Dallas for a weekend of workshops and shows. Ladytown comes to town August 1st and 2nd!

If you didn't find  $5 (or you're not wearing a hoodie today because it's freeeezzzzzing) or you're rich and live in a house where you can make your own sausage biscuits, that's okay. Because we here at DCH have snagged LADY TOWN for you for one hot weekend.

Maribeth Monroe (Workaholics), Jaime Moyer (Jennifer Falls), and Kate Duffy (Second City) are making an appearance here in Dallas August 1st and 2nd. Workshops and show tickets are on sale now! These ladies are all favorites of DCH, but they've never been here at the same time. And this is going to be amazing. Their shows sold-out quickly in the past, so get tickets and register for workshops while you can.

SEE THE LADY TOWN SHOW! Saturday, August 2nd @ 10:30PM CLICK HERE FOR ADVANCE TICKETS!

 

REGISTER FOR WORKSHOPS! 

Brush Up Workshop w/Jaime Moyer  Friday, August 1st  4-7PM CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 

What the %&*#% Are You? w/Kate Duffy  Friday, August 1st 4-7PM CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 

Ladies Love Cool Improv w/ Jaime Moyer Saturday, August 2nd 11-12PM CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 

Throw Out the Rules w/Kate Duffy Saturday, August 2nd 11-2PM CLICK HERE TO REGISTER