Posts Tagged ‘granny cart gangstas’

Weekend Reflection

Had a blast this weekend. Closed our show, “The Ladies & The Tramps” with a great crowd! I can’t wait to have our post mortem. Producing this show was both stressful and exciting at the same time. I still remember back in November, pitching to my co-producer the type of unfiltered show I wanted to have. I thought, what if we lived in a world where you didn’t have to be polite? Do you always have to tell your friends that their baby is cute even when they’re not? What would happen if people were no longer polite and just downright honest? It would have required a team of writers to really focus and imagine this world and what kinds of experiences would we go through…but, we really didn’t have that kind of time. We’re not full time writers who can knock out A+ sketches every hour. We all work regular jobs and only do this at night. It’s kind of like having two jobs and yet, still having to take care of your personal life at home.

I so wish I could switch my life upside down. I would love to do sketch comedy full time and get paid and do my regular job whenever I feel like working. I put an awful lot of work into my hobbies but how I can get paid for it is another story. It’s all about the hustle, I guess. I would love to do Granny Cart Gangstas full time. Take us on the road and tour the show. This year’s show was a little different from our previous shows. First of all, it is our first multiple run show. We normally do one night stands so having a 6 night show was a real commitment and we had to be picky about who will participate. My favorite part about producing this show was the laughter. I loved hearing people laugh Then we knew our jokes landed. It was no longer just funny to us, it was funny to other people. Not that we needed validation for our material but we enjoyed making people laugh and it showed with our content.

My favorite pieces had to be the ones with the Will Friedle related arc. It was so fun to do and I loved seeing people say it was their favorite on the surveys we handed out. I didn’t plan it out any particular way, it just kind of landed that way and I’m ever so glad it did. Other pieces I enjoyed were “Feminist Date” which was about a couple who were getting hot & heavy while spewing out all the realities of women’s inequalities in life. Someone wrote that we “raised awareness” which we did not realize we did. Other comments that made me smile included “Hilarious” “Hella funny” and “Was impressed with acting/skits.” Of course we did get comments that told us people were offended by some of our humor but we dove into this project knowing full well what we were getting into. We knew some people would be offended or uncomfortable which is why I told people in my Bindlestiff interview not to come if they were the type to be easily offended.

In the end, I’m proud of that show. I’m proud of all the blood, sweat, tears and money that we put into it. I’m proud of all the players that said, “Fuck it!” and went balls out on all the parts they played, offensive or not. I’m proud of how we put everything together ahead of time. I’m proud of how all the players stepped up and took their places in the face of exhaustion and malady. It’s not easy to put on a show for us seeing as rehearsal time has always been our weakness. Finding time for our separate lives to converge and rehearse even for an hour is quite challenging but we somehow make it through.

The day after our last show, I got to experience seeing my short film, “Accident” on the big screen at the I Hella Love Shorts Film Festival. If I could rewind and rewatch that film, I would have not worried so much about how the sound might be or how the color might look or whether or not the moments that intended a reaction were accurate. I can’t help it, it’s my baby. To be honest, as this was the first film festival to accept my short after countless rejections, I waited for this festival to send me an email to tell me they made a mistake, that I really didn’t get in. I’m guessing this is probably the only festival I’ll get into but it was truly an irreplaceable experience to see your own short film on a big screen. I’m so glad I was able to go. Anyway, that was my weekend and it was great. Can’t wait to work on my next project, There’s the Moon And Then There’s You.

2015 So Far

Happy new year, world! I know, a little late but hey, I normally celebrate Chinese New Year which hasn’t happened yet so there. Anyway, my year started off pretty terribly actually. I woke up one morning at 4 am and couldn’t go back to sleep without oversleeping for work so I decided to browse for flights to London. My friends and I are planning on visiting London, Paris and Prague in June. The prices had been hovering around $600 – $900 so I thought I would see if they went down as prices sometimes do on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Lo and behold, a $300 non-refundable flight to London! I couldn’t believe my luck. I bought a ticket for me and my friend so now, all I needed were tickets for the other countries. I went to work and when I checked my email, I had received my confirmation for the flight. However, it was then that I realized that the flight was actually going to London, Canada! Crap. All over my face. There’s a London in Canada?!! Oh my god… Thankfully, I was able to get them to cancel it but not before I was charged a $250 fee for canceling so ultimately, I’m out $250, which is a LOT of money for a not rich person like me. So now, I’ve decided to hand off flight searching to my friend in case of any further mishaps.

Anyway, I’m excited for next weekend as I will be walking the runway again for Kearny Street Workshop‘s “Celebrate Your Body” Fashion Show at SOMArts Center. I had my fitting yesterday with Natasha of Halmoni Vintage. She is such a wonderful person, so kind and beautiful inside and out. I’m very proud to model for her first runway show. Other designs will be from Patria Native Land, Madeira, Thuy Custom Clothier, and also Kini Zamora Clothing who was a finalist on Project Runway. Check out what Celebrate Your Body is all about. They will be honoring Thick Dumpling Skin at the show, which is a body positive website run by Lisa Lee and Lynn Chen.

Other things under way are our next Granny Cart Gangstas sketch comedy show in March! We had a meeting Friday night and compiled our content together. Here is a glimpse of the titles:

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Oh, did you catch that? Yes, it is true. I wrote a short sketch about Will Friedle. Couldn’t help it. I can’t wait to start rehearsing for it. I let one of my friends read an unfinished outline of it and she was already laughing less than half way down the page. It involves cake, a dog, and a ninja. My goal is that by the end of the show, everyone who came to the show is going to google Will Friedle when they get home. Sigh…it’s just wonderful when you can merge your artist life with your fan girl life.

Another show I’m working on is called “There’s The Moon And Then There’s You” written by Christina Ying. This is the first feature length play I’ve ever helped produce. I am in charge of the Indiegogo campaign for it. Pretty ironic since I don’t know the first thing about raising money, but there is a first time for everything. I did do one for myself for “Accident” but it’s different when you’re doing it for a project you didn’t write.

Anyway, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my lazy Sunday. Hope you do too!

No Happy Endings

Just had our 2nd Granny Cart Gangstas show, No Happy Endings, last night! We were blessed with an audience of 84 people in a theater that seats about 50, which is pretty surprising considering we were competing with PINK Saturday, birthday parties, and traffic. We also decided to screen “Accident” to test the audience reaction in preparation for submission to film festivals! In addition, a couple of us got the chance to be interviewed by SF Bay Guardian for our show. Check out the interview! We were also one of their Saturday’s pick! Amazing and flattering. Keep on the look out for our short film at film festivals in a town near you as I will be submitting it everywhere!

Our audience!
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Lessons From Sketchy People

Last night, Granny Cart Gangstas(GCG) did a show, “Sketchy People,” together with another comedy troupe, Taste Better Wit. Initially, we were supposed to work together on something collaboratively but time did not allow that. Our first GCG rehearsal was only two weeks before showtime and we only rehearsed about twice a week. It also didn’t help that our rehearsal locations were so far and traveling took up about the same amount of rehearsal time if not more. So here are three lessons I’ve learned from this show.

1. Learn to improv
During the time crunch, there were many times where we had to make do, sometimes make stuff up on the spot. One of our troupe members was only able to make one rehearsal, the last full rehearsal before our show date. Since she wasn’t there at the previous rehearsals, a lot of us ended up in multiple roles and we had quick changes in between sketches. Our solution was to have her entertain the audience during transitions long enough to allow us to change our outfits. We needed her to do a 2 minute improv piece and she had 2 days to come up with something. After that rehearsal, doing the line up, and adding a piece last minute on day of show, there were more quick changes than we anticipated so she had to come up with 4 transition pieces which she did while we are brainstormed together. Making fun of the internal aspects of improv such as Contact Improv, playing Props and Interpretive Dancing seemed to be the way to go and she got plenty of laughs! Mission accomplished.

2. Just Go With It
More than once, I’ve been in brainstorm sessions where I am the “logical” one in the group and I’m always playing devil’s advocate. I asked questions like “How are you going to get permission?” or “It’s safer to do that in a soundstage, not in the actual woods.” or “This is impossible, we don’t have an elevator to film in!” These statements come in contrast with opposing statements such as “Let’s all go film it at Bally’s Gym!” or “Let’s film car scenes while we go camping!” or “Let’s do a parody video of the Solange/Jay-Z fight tonight!” I’ve come to the conclusion that while I am always preaching that I can do anything, I, in fact, tell others what they cannot do. In their words, I “bring them back to reality.”

Being an aspiring comedian is a bit of an oxymoron. If you’re making the effort to make people laugh, you’re a comedian, whether you label it or not. Other examples of unintentional comedians would be the “Class Clown” of your grade in high school. This person makes you laugh and you called him/her “You’re such a comedian.” Oftentimes, I find that comedy comes from real life but my troupe members sometimes find their comedy in fantasy and who am I to tell them not to live in a fantasy world if it helps hone their craft? I don’t mean to be a killjoy, just asking the right questions that need to be asked, I thought. However, I often wonder what would happen if those logical questions never get asked? What would the end product result in? Just go with it and find out.

3. Chill out, it’s comedy – missed cues
People who go to comedy shows are there to have a good time through laughter and so should the actors! This show didn’t get to really have a cue to cue session until the day of so naturally, some cues were amiss. And when a cue is missed, nothing you can do really, just hope that the tech person realizes their mistake. So while I could get upset and crazy over what happened, there was really nothing you could do. We are all human. Plus, it’s live theater. Shit happens. Thankfully, the audience was made up of all our forgiving friends who have been onstage as well, for the most part, and understand what it’s like to have a cue amiss. I didn’t get upset at the tech crew, just brushed it off my shoulder and I never dwelled on it surprisingly. i figured, what’s the point of being bitter about something you cannot change? We can only learn from it. Next time, have more cue to cue sessions.

Granny Cart Gangstas

Curtain Call

Ambition to Fruition

My friend and I have been talking for over a year about wanting to make short films that are focused on women, comedy & imagination. We were being ambitious & didn’t know if it would actually come to life. We had been throwing ideas back & forth with each other and now that Death of a Player is done, we can finally put some actual work into this project. We’ve decided to venture into the world that is YouTube. We came up with so many ideas that we realized we just couldn’t do it alone so we pulled in a few more local friends that we knew would share our vision. Right now, there are 5 of us working on this project. Once we establish an actual & credible foundation of some sorts, we’re hoping to pull the rest of our creative friends to express our vision. It’s a lot of work and I’d just rather present it to our friends when there is more structure & direction. Right now, it’s pretty ambiguous & frazzled. :0P There are so many YouTubers out there that make all these funny videos and we want in on that! The best part about us is that between us 5, we are producers, filmmakers, comedians, writers, musicians, directors, and actors. Plus, we have a spectacular community of resources that we can hit up, no problem. The best part is that we’ve worked with one another before so we know each others’ strengths & weaknesses, how to get along & how to work together to get this going.

I’m super excited. I never really thought it would actually happen. I’m usually the type of person to dream & not do. It took a long time for me to actually crank those dreams out and make them come true. I still have dreams & one by one, I’m working towards getting them to fruition. Of course, my ultimate will always be losing weight but I’m just going to let that one simmer for now. It will just have to remain a constant reminder that will nag at my shoulders each time I make a meal decision, try on an outfit, or feel an irregular heart palpitation.

Anyway, I had the pleasure of location scouting last night and I found that I really enjoy the pre-production side of things. Some people think that things just magically happen and that just simply is not true. So much goes into the making of almost anything-concert, movie, theater show, even improv has some kind of pre-production planning involved. I just really love to follow a plan. Without them, there would be chaos, confusion and consequences.

And so it begins…

Granny Cart Gangstas