The improv festival was amazing fun. I had a great time in Toronto, both performing and shooting. The first BIJ set was at 10am on Saturday morning, which was a tough time slot. Some of the team had been at the theatre all night for the marathon, playing in the open jams and stuff. It’s amazing everyone’s eyes were open for the 10am set. We managed to get through it though. It wasn’t the best show we’ve ever done, but it was still entertaining.

My second set was Asshat Posse with Nada at 11:30am. We didn’t have much of a plan going in, just to play it slow and real and to edit organically. I think it went very well. Our biggest laughs were from a scene in which we talked about tits and ass a lot. Oh well. High brow improv doesn’t work well that early in the day I guess. A couple people came up later and told me they enjoyed the realistic characters and relationships, and the organic edits, so I guess mission was accomplished.

I was very happy with the Crazy Eights set, especially considering we had a few new players on board. It didn’t take much explaining to get everyone on board, and we basically got everything organized about 15 minutes before we hit the stage. I’d encouraged bench players to initiate hard and fast and they did so very enthusiastically. My other goal was to give the scenes time to develop, and avoid gags and cheap jokes. That kept the pace of the show very quick, but also allowed some character development and exploration. Not too bad for a show that has been on hiatus for a year.

Sunday’s BIJ show was good too. It was at 6:30pm, winding up towards the end of the marathon. There was a full house, and that really helped our energy, I think. The 25 minutes seemed to fly by, and when the lights were pulled, I was quite surprised. It had only felt like maybe 15-20 minutes. Maybe that’s a good sign? I don’t know. In any case, I think it went pretty well.

In between performing, I was doing a lot of shooting. Stage shooting is a lot like outdoor shooting. You’re really at someone else’s mercy for lighting. It puts me in a whole different frame of mind. Although I wish I could have more control over which lights go where and how bright, it’s kind of refreshing sometimes to give the reigns to someone else and just follow their lead. I did have to push the camera pretty hard though. I shot at minimum ISO400 and sometimes had to bump up to ISO800. I had the image stabilizer turned on all the time, because I was usually shooting at 1/80 at 200mm.


Having Olya around for the weekend to help with the shooting was a major load off of my shoulders. It saved me tons of running around, and let me concentrate on work and stuff earlier on in the week. It’s really great to know there’s a talented photographer helping me out so I don’t have to worry about the quality of the work. It’s a major bonus that she’s so energetic and enthusiastic all the time too. Thanks Olya!

All of the fun made it a bit easier to take the bitter part of the weekend. Emeril fell victim to random crime early on Sunday morning. Culver’s neighbour woke me up at about 8am to tell me that Emeril and Culver’s truck had both been burglarized. She had heard the noise and come out to find the guy crawling around inside my car. She shouted at him and he took off on his bike. I spent the next couple of hours giving the police all the details I could.

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You can see the forensics officer going all CSI on Emeril in the background. They took some digital pictures, but didn’t dust for prints. The other cop said I didn’t want them to dust for prints because it makes a “fucking mess.” I probably won’t hear anything more about this, even if they catch the guy. The cop described him as a “crackhead nobody.” I felt really fortunate that I had brought all of my camera equipment and laptop in for the evening so I could work on the photos in the morning. Otherwise, all of the festival photos would have been lost, and I’d have some major headaches replacing the camera gear through insurance. As you can see, though, my shirts got a bit stomped by the perp as he went through the car looking for valuables. In the end, I lost about $5 in change, and had to pay $270 to repair the window.

Now, at least for a few weeks, life returns to normal… whatever that is. Plus, Hesi’s back! Welcome home Hesi! 😀