I’m honored to be asked to teach and perform at this amazing festival in San Jose. Hope to see you there.
I’m so honored to be asked to reprise my role as Fred Mertz in the 100th birthday celebration of Desi Arnaz. The annual Lucy Fest celebrates Desi’s birthday in style with three performances at the Willow Bay Theater in Jamestown, NY.
Desi’s character Ricky is played by Bill Mendieta, and as always Diane Vincent and Rhonda Medina’s Lucy and Ethel celebrate the work of comedy pioneers Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance. Tickets are available HERE!
I’ve been fortunate to work with all of these great folks before in different incarnations. I performed with Bill Mendietta in I Love Lucy Live on Stage in Las Vegas and in Hollywood at the Greenway Court Theater, and I have performed with
Diane and Rhonda in several Lucy Fest performances. What we’ve been working on in rehearsals has been magic!
I’m so excited! It’s finally in theaters. I was honored to be a part of this award-winning family film. I play opposite Lauren Holly in the tale of Marshall The Miracle Dog in Marshall’s Miracle. I’ll be appearing in person at the LA premeire at Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills.
Click HERE for a list of theaters near you and see the trailer below. I hope you’ll share this blog post with your friends on social media and help this independent film with a great message. Do you have a story about a courageous dog? Please share it below.
I spent last week at the Chatauqua Institution, teaching improv, and now I’m in Jamestown, NY for the Lucy Fest. I’m speaking and rehearsing for some shows where I’ll once again reprise my role as Fred Mertz. I’ll post some pics soon from Chautaqua, and tell you all about it next week. I’m looking forward to staying more in touch this year because it’s become easier for me to do so. Let me know what you’re up to this summer. I’m also looking to teach and perform and more events like the one below. If you know of any opportunities like that, let me know in your comments below!
It has been a whirlwind of energy and excitement this last weekend with the opening of I Love Lucy Live on Stage. Opening Night was fantastic and we’ve already had several standing ovations. I’m not going to brag about the show, because that would be immodest…so I’ll let some critics brag for us!
“Most entertaining stage production I’ve seen in years – including Broadway!!!”
– William Keck, TV Guide Magazine
“an absolutely brilliant and utterly engaging tribute to that iconic television show.” – The Examiner (READ MORE)
“…more than just another rerun.” – LA Times (READ MORE)
“A real first class production ” –Live
“This show is fun stacked on top of fun stacked on top of fun.”- Hey Melpomene (READ MORE)
“zany fun, an old-fashioned entertainment vehicle where everyone knows their parts (including the audience)” – The Imitated Life (READ MORE)
“when humor is solidly developed, a 1950 joke can float just as well in 2011 if the delivery is good. And this show delivers – real GOOD, as Ricky would say.” – Review Plays.com (READ MORE)
“My smile stretched from ear to ear throughout. I didn’t want this blithe sensory feast to ease.” The Examiner (READ MORE)
I’ve been warned not to listen to what the critics say, so I take it all with a grain of salt…Okay, a couple of grains of salt. I’ve been called a lot of things before, but never “credible”. I know it’s a good thing, but it almost sounds like a booby prize. So, you should read the reviews and see what I mean. If you’d be so nice, please return to the blog to see what else I was going to spout off about.
So I’ll spout! Let me tell you that if you ever need to get a passport, go to a Federal Building. I’ve been running around like a chicken with his head cut off because I listened to a librarian who claimed to know what she was talking about. She told me that an expedited passport (12 business days) was the quickest you could get a passport.
Why do I need a passport you ask? I’ll be travelling to Vancouver to film a holiday movie called Santa Pups. I play a baker in a town that “loses it’s Christmas Spirit“….that is, if I can get my passport tomorrow at 11am. Santa…save me now!
Turns out that you CAN get a passport the next day at the Federal Building. I had gotten one rather quickly in the past, but I assumed that 9-11 security had made it more difficult since the librarian at the Pasadena Public Library told me that there was no faster way. Turns out, librarians often conveniently neglect to mention that you can get one for an extra charge at a Federal Building so that they can collect the $25 fee. Which just gives us another reason why I hope Fahrenheit 451 comes true. BURN THE LIBRARIES!!!! Now I know why the thing I’ve been doing most of my reading done on is called a KINDLE!
Libraries shouldn’t use the Dewey Decimal system, they should use the Don’t-ey system. If you’re John Coleman, please leave a comment.
So I spent the day online with the State Department getting to the bottom of the matter and I had to drive from Pasadena to Westwood by 7:30am. If you’re from LA, you know that means waking up at 5:00am.
I made it through the oddest security in the world. It started with a check-in outside and then a long line that took even longer than most TSA airport security lines. It took so long because the lone security guard was playing detective, AND most of the people in line to get a passport seemed to never have gone through security ANYWHERE, EVER. They were surprised to be asked to take their belt off, and all of them seemed to empty their pockets at the very last moment instead of emptying pocket contents into breifcases, bookbags or purses. Well, they’ll have their come-uppance. Soon they’ll be dealing with security at Heathrow airport or maybe El Al. God I hope none of them are travelling to Vancouver.
There was an older asian couple in front of me. Very sweet and not very threatening looking. The security guy (who appeared to have gang tattoos) pulled out the asian woman’s make-up kit and said, “Do you put this on your face? This is very heavy. This makeup. You put this on your face?” She spoke English, she just didn’t know how to respond to this very odd line of questioning, so she didn’t. I had heard hear and her husband talking English. But she used the old “I don’t speak English” approach to avoid answering a very forward and very bizarre question.
“Maybe the make-up case was heavier and seemed somehow suspect. Maybe the guard wasn’t so odd.” I thought to myself for about five seconds.
But when I stepped up to security with my back pack full of safe and acceptable belongings, he started in with the weird questions. As he looked through my bag (which contained no metal and mostly paperwork) he started asking, “What kind of bag is this? Is this a back-pack or a combination bag?”
If you’re like me you have no idea what a “combination bag” is, but I answered quickly. “It’s a backpack.” Then he let me go on my way. You don’t know how bad I wanted to start muttering in Korean instead of answering such an obvious question.
So with fingers crossed I’ll be heading back to Westwood to the Federal Building at 11am to pick up my new passport…speaking of passports, Sam and I are going to celebrate the solution to the passport debacle with another trip to Disneyland with our new annual pass. This time, California Adventure. We may also stop off in Disneyland too to ride Pirates of the Carribean (my favorite ride) which was not in operation the day of our honeymoon.
Dead Men Tell no Tales…….
Ok, so the holiday season is upon us, so I’ve decided to catch up those who have been asking for a new blog post. I’m talking to you, John Coleman. Here’s a video I finished editing a few hours ago. The weather in St. Louis is nasty and I had to back out of a class tonight. I felt bad that I had to miss the class because it’s full of great improvisers and I’ve been looking forward to working with all of them.
I’ve been busy the last few weeks promoting our holiday show at the Ivory Theater, A Festivus Carol: O Come All Ye Playful. Here’s more info for those thinking of making it in for this history-making show.
I was on TV and radio all week and we’re gearing up for a great time. More holiday blogs to come.
Below are the speaking times and tour dates for the “Spread the Word to End the “R word”. If you read my blog regularly then you know that I’m a big supporter of Special Olympics. I’ve been really busy the past few weeks and I’m touring this week in mid-Missouri to help end hate speech toward people with disabilities.
I spoke today, along with several student volunteers and Kristina O’Neal, (Special Olympics Missouri’s first ever Seargent Shriver Ambassador) for an eager crowd of kids in Urbana, Missouri who are big supporters of the cause and feel deeply about words that demean and dehumanize. Whether it’s about a person’s culture, race, religion or disability, words that label and limit do not help. I was amazed to learn that a school administrator in Missouri denied students the right to an “End the R Word” assembly because “That’s what they are.”
What???? I understand why an assembly like this might not make sense for a school because they’re understaffed, behind on studies, or some other perfectly logical reason. But when a school administrator uses that kind of language, on the record with Special Olympics, then it becomes painfully obvious that we as a culture need to examine the prejudice that exists toward people with disabilities from rural Missouri to urban LA. The superintendent of the Skyline Schools was certainly not one of the administrators who turned down the opportunity to expand his students cerebral cortex. I can’t remember his name, but ladies…if he’s single he could put the pal in your principal. He personally thanked me for doing this for his kids. He’s one of the guys who cares.
If you had a friend that couldn’t dance, if you called them “quadriplegia victim” instead of “retarded” would that be acceptable? Sure, as an exaggeration it might sound funny for shock value or because it’s funny to word things like that. But…stop laughing…seriously. How can people be so blind?
Had a great lunch of a Big Daddy Burger at the Preston Cafe’ in Urbana, ironically named….no, not the burger, Urbana. Let me know how you feel about the use of the “r” word….do you have your own personal “r” word? What words hurt you when you overhear them in everyday speech? No word will be too offensive, I’d like to start an honest discussion about the fact that not only do sticks and stones break bones, but words can also limit, stunt and belittle.
If more schools want this assembly to come to their school, it may get extended. I’d sure love to speak with Kristina and volunteers all over the country. She’s an amazing gal. Find out more about her by clicking on her blog HERE.
Here, as promised are the tour dates for the next two days:
Sts. Peter & Paul School (K-8 grades)
Boonville High School
1:00 – 1:30 pm*
Ray-Miller Elementary School (3-5
2:00 – 2:30 pm
Kirksville High School
4:30 – 6:30 pm
Regional Center – Art Show for
Individuals with Developmental
7 – 8 pm
Truman State University
William Chrisman High School
1:15 & 1:45 PM
Truman Middle School (6-8 grades)
*(denotes tentative dates, schedule may change)
For more info, or to bring a Special Olympics Global Messenger to your school or organization, visit www.SOMO.org.
Take the pledge today and join the campaign by CLICKING HERE.
I’ll have more pics and highlights later this week. My tour will continue as I’ll be mentioning the campaign at our shows this month at Improv Trick in St. Louis. For a full calendar of events in St. Louis, visit www.theimprovtrick.com.
To keep up to date on events, be sure to join me on twitter @billchott, and subscribe to this blog! Don’t forget to weigh in on your “r” word.