Oh, wait, it’s 2014?

Hello, WordPress, my old friend…
I’ve come to talk with you again…

I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t posted here since CSzRVA’s Festivus weekend, but… um… I guess I’ve been doing most of what used to be my blogging on Facebook (my profile there is public, so 99% of my posts are, too…).

So, to quickly catch up:

  • The annual Christmas trip to visit the family in Chicago was enjoyable.  My nieces and nephews are growing up way too fast (one, actually, decamped from our Christmas to visit his grandfather in Florida – poor kid, roughing it in the sun…), and it’s amazing how fast a week can disappear.  I did get a chance to visit CSz Chicago, and had a good time – it is intriguing to me how different their show feels after 6 months learning the CSzRVA format (hold that thought).
  • I got to voice the craziest CSzRVA show of the year in the final hours of the year.  For New Year’s Eve 2013, the show expanded to feature THREE teams (including the expansion River City Chaos, who I hope we see again), a guest ref from CSzDC (hold that thought, too)… and I got to count us into 2014.  Good thing I’m obsessive about keeping my watch accurate to real time. 🙂
  • And it looks like the first part of 2014 is going to keep me busy… between CSzRVA and an increase in the number of games I’m producing at Main Line (we ran into scheduling issues, and I tend to be the buffer against that, not that I’m complaining because money), I’m pretty much using my apartment to sleep and that’s it.  And that’s not a bad thing, really.

OK, now to expand a bit:

CSz Chicago: There’s a bit of speculation here — but my theory is that everything that feels different about a CSzCHI show from a CSzRVA show is driven by the fact that they need and/or want to get a lot of shows in.  They’ll run three shows a night during the holidays, so they really can’t let a show go past 90 minutes.  In Richmond, we run 1-2 shows a night and we can go 105 minutes without really stressing the schedule and, in some cases, we’ve gone 2 hours without major problems.  So what’s different?  Fewer fouls, less between-game interaction, and they use a 9-game format where we generally go 10 (and can handle up to 12 games in a show easily).  Basically, everything that accounts for those extra 15 minutes is out.  Don’t get me wrong, they get as much out of those 90 minutes as they can… but it does feel different after voicing and learning the longer format.

New Year’s Eve: To call Rachel Garmon a “guest referee” is kind of a cheat.  Sure, she’s not in Richmond, but she’s part of the family (one of our alums, she’s now running the theatre at CSzDC, among other things) — and I have to tell you, running the board for that New Year’s Even show reminded me of a different time (if this was a movie, we’d be cuing a flashback now)… during my first time with CSzRVA, I ran sound for one-and-a-half runs of their musical parody shows.  Rachel was our stage manager back then, and even then, I was always impressed by her ability to keep calm while all around her (OK, just me) were losing their heads.  Move forward almost a decade, and there she was, the one source of calm in the midst of three-team mayhem.   I’m still impressed.  She’s also become quite the fitness fanatic — she’s one of my two friends who ran a total of almost 50 miles in 4 days at Disney World recently… and she’s talking about taking the next step (an Ultra Marathon, which I think means 50 miles in one day).  Did I mention she has asthma?   Bottom line – I enjoy working with her, and would jump at any opportunity to do it again.

Some other stuff I probably should mention…

American Idol XIII: It’s going to be a challenge to blog this season — although with the move (FINALLY!) to 30-minute results shows, which might be the prelude to eliminating them altogether in season 14, it’ll be a little easier.  With basketball games and CSz practices on Wednesdays, I’ll rarely be home to liveblog at least the first third of the live shows.  That said, I’ve put too much time into Idol to give up now.  I may change the format from a liveblog to a post-results recap, but I’ll find some way to keep writing — it’s as much for me to keep active with the blog as it is to maintain my promise to watch Idol so you don’t have to.

CSz Tournament: ComedySportz runs an annual worldwide tournament — three nights of shows, surrounded by three days of seminars and several more days of… um… networking — and it’s been a goal to eventually go to one.  Longtime readers may remember I’d penciled in the 2005 tournament in LA before certain… unpleasant events.  So the question did come up as to whether I was going to Milwaukee for their 30th Anniversary and the 2014 Tournament.   My answer was “no” for a couple of reasons — last year’s two trips (NYC for Jeopardy! and Chicago for Christmas) dented my travel budget badly, although that could have been managed… and frankly, I’m not sure I need to go yet.   When the CSzRVA contingent goes off to Milwaukee, it’ll be the first time in my two runs with CSz where I was actually part of the ensemble at the time.  I joined CSz after the 2004 tournament, left before the 2005, and rejoined after the 2013.  So although I have, technically, a couple years experience… I feel like that’s a very technical technicality [yes, three “technicals” in one sentence – I probably should be ejected from this blog].  The reality is, given the list of people who want to go, I’ll have far more impact staying home and helping to keep our theatre running than I would in Milwaukee.  Of course, the seminars are meant for on-stage players, so it’s not like I’d have a lot to do beyond watching shows.  Yes, that may be a problem at any Tournament.  I’ll deal with it eventually… right now, I’m just pushing that question out by a least a year.  Besides, I do have to keep some money available in case Sony calls…

And I can’t wrap this up without a quick shout-out to my friend Jody Matzer, who’s trading in his role as a founding member of West End Comedy for an burgeoning acting career (as J.E. Matzer).  He’s been an extra in several Richmond-based productions (including “Killing Kennedy” for History and “Turn” for AMC), and will be a featured supporting player on “The Heart” for the CW, which premieres next month.  Keep an eye out for him – it’s taken him a long time to be an overnight success… 🙂 I wish only the best for him going forward.  I really hope I get to say “I knew him when…” someday.

To steal a line from Keith Olbermann… “OK, I’ve done all the damage I can do here”.  See you next time (or all the time over on Facebook, right?).


Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, slightly less occasional improv player/ref/tech, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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