December 2015 Newsletter

Frank Buxton, 85, is the world’s oldest living improviser performing outside the walls of a retirement home. He plays with The Edge on Bainbridge Island (founding member) and is still really good. Having recently returned to performing improv myself, I am experiencing its rejuvenating powers.

So, here are a few tips to feeling young:
1. Hang out with Frank Buxton, and listen to stories about Buster Keaton. He’s got ‘em.
2. Work with someone younger than you.
3. Live in your mother’s basement.
4. Wear your hair in a Man Bun.

Number 4 I am uncertain about:
Time jump. 1966. I am 13. I have curly hair that I hate, and my big sister convinces me to let her treat it with “Curl Free”.  It works, kind of. The hair is straight, but does not seem to fit my head.
Cut to: morning patrol duty. I see Colleen Conroy walking towards me from the Mission Pharmacy side of 19th & Aloha.  She’s the one. I have the flag, and the white belt, with the sash. No helmet today. Just the hair. And….and she laughs at me. She laughs at my hair.

So, you can see, I’m vulnerable here, with the Man Bun. The Patrol Boy Incident left an indelible mark, like  a tree, fallen across your path. Something you have to navigate. The longer you wait, the more slippery that log might be. Unless you wait till the tree decomposes. Have I waited long enough?

Man Bun Cons:
1. It might appear that I’m experiencing a crisis, the man bun being a poor man’s substitute for a red convertible.
2. I told both my barber and my improv partner that I would never embrace the man bun.

Man Bun Pros:
1. It covers up my bald spot.
2. My daughters are lobbying for the top knot. They swear it’s not a trick; that they aren’t trying to  “even the score”  for dents I may have put in their childhoods. They tell me it is cool. I trust them.

But I trusted my sister too. Can I trust my family this time?

SMITTY & MILES  Winter Wednesdays
I was not cool in 1966, and am not cool today, but  last Wednesday night was as close as I’ll ever get without a man bun. Pattie and I  did an hour-long set with jazz guitarist Milo Petersen. Milo and the great Floyd Standifer performed several times with Seattle Improv in the 80’s . Wednesday felt brand new and ancient at the same time. Thanks Milo! He has promised to come back.

Smitty & Miles is performing, every Wednesday this Month, 7pm @ West of Lenin WITH GUESTS:

Wed, Dec 16th, with Porchlandia: Molly Arkin and Britney Barber, and they are really, really funny.
Wed, Dec 23rd, Joe Guppy will be there, acting as a therapist, for a couple that Smitty & Miles play every week. Very interesting
Wed, Dec 30th, The Edge featuring Cookus Interruptus’ Cynthia Lair, Bhama Roget, & Susan MacPherson, plus Ken Balenger. I will twist Frank Buxton’s arm. It makes me feel young.

Improv Workshops

Freehold 8-week class
Mondays, 6:30 – 9:30, January 25 – March 31 (no class Feb.22 – Freehold Faculty Fund Raiser) This is a basic class.
Freehold: 206-323-7499

One-Day Workshops
January 16, Saturday, 9:30 – 3:30   $95
Basic Improv
Stay Young! rejuvenate your brain! This class includes the first exercises most improvisers learn. It’s about listening in a slightly different way, and responding in a slightly simpler way. These exercises are really worth knowing. Call or email me to sign up: 206-551-4622
Location TBD

January 24, Sunday, 9:30 – 3:30    $95
Narrative Improv
You’ll practice five or six “isolating” story exercises. Some advance, some color, some add depth and some add experience.  Fun and interesting. Great for writers of all kinds. And anyone else. Call or email me to sign up: 206-551-4622
Location TBD

My Last Year with the Nuns
Want to watch the film? You can! Just click here to order a DVD or watch it on your computer! Or subscribe to Fandor. Wait! Hold on!  The DVD would be a nice Christmas present! Right?

All Saturdays (all but 2) in February, March, April and May are booked!  Yay! Lots of Fridays are free though!

In the Workplace
In 2015 I was invited into some great rooms of some amazing companies making the proactive move to choose and articulate their own cultures. Thanks for letting me help be a part of that.

The secret code to let me know that you read my newsletter is either “Man Bun, Yes!” or “Man Bun, No!”
And I welcome any Man Bun wisdom you may have. Have a great Christmas!  Matt

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