Archive for the ‘Performing’ Category

What playing “Set” reminded me about Improv.

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

I was turned on to the game “Set” by an improv blog. They said it was a great way of working the muscles that find patterns. It was a free app and I was looking for something to do without using too much of my data plan so I started playing it.

For those of you that haven’t played “Set” let me tell you quickly what it is (If you have played, jump to the next paragraph). Set is a game where where you are shown 12 tiles, each tile has a shape (diamond, triangle or square), a number of shapes (1, 2, or 3), a fill (empty, striped, filled in), and a color (red, green, or blue). Our job is to find sets where all the components are the same or different. So you could have 1 empty red square, 2 striped red squares, 3 filled in red squares. They are all red squares but different shading and numbers.

I started playing and it was very challenging. I would focus long and hard. I would start, for example, looking at a color, then the number of objects, then the shading, and then the shape. If I didn’t find a set, I would move on to the next tile and start again. Using this systematic approach I would get between 2-4 sets in a two minute span (not great). It was a lot of work.

I kept practicing and then something happened. I stopped trying to tackle it systematically and started to try to see the whole board. I would let the “set” pop up. I would still concentrate, but on the big picture. I wouldn’t try to go tile by tile. I let go. Using this method I started getting between 7-9 sets in a two minute period. It was easier and more fun, because as I got closer to my best score I would have to remind myself to let go and see the whole board.

As this idea turned around in my head, my thoughts turned to improv. My first thought was that this was an obvious connection to finding patterns in long forms. I needed to concentrate, but let the themes pop up to me, rather than trying to mine them or worse, manufacture them. So, I need to focus on the scene when I am playing and on the big picture when on the side and let the set (theme/pattern/etc.) pop into my head. This helps me stay in the moment and find patterns easier.

Then I started to think about listening. When I am on stage and I am thinking about what is the pattern or theme, I am running a narrative in my head talking to myself. I am listening to my thoughts and not listening to the scene going on, on stage. Split focus doesn’t work. If I am listening to my thoughts, I am not listening to the scene. Not hearing the scene on stage makes it even harder to find a pattern emerge from it. I have to watch the scene and trust that the pattern or theme will reveal itself to me.

Playing “Set” did help me with my pattern recognition, but not by making me more practiced. It reminded me to watch and listen to every moment on stage like the audience does, always open to a pattern may reveal itself to me. Knowing that there probably is a connection is enough. If it reveals itself to me, I can act on it. If not, I can just hope that someone sees a pattern that I don’t.

Improv is about what is easiest and most fun. It is much easier to watch the scenes I am in and assume that a pattern will emerge, than to watch the scenes focusing on trying to find the connection. Thanks “Set” for reminding me to let my brain find the connections instead of trying to create them!

Frank Sinatra’s February 1963 Playboy Magazine Interview

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Is this about singing or improv?


By: Joe Hyams


Playboy: Frank, in the 20 years since you left the Tommy Dorsey band to make your name as a solo singer, you’ve deepened and diversified your talents with a variety of concurrent careers in related fields. But so far none of these aptitudes and activities has succeeded in eclipsing your gifts as a popular vocalist. So why don’t we begin by examining Sinatra, the singer?


Sinatra: OK, deal.


Playboy:Many explanations have been offered for your unique ability–apart from the subtleties of style and vocal equipment–to communicate the mood of a song to an audience. How would you define it?


Sinatra: I think it’s because I get an audience involved, personally involved in a song–because I’m involved myself. It’s not something I do deliberately; I can’t help myself. If the song is a lament at the loss of love, I get an ache in my gut, I feel the loss myself and I cry out the loneliness, the hurt and the pain that I feel.


Playboy: Doesn’t any good vocalist “feel” a song? Is there such a difference…


Sinatra: I don’t't know what other singers feel when they articulate lyrics, but being an 18-karat manic-depressive and having lived a life of violent emotional contradictions, I have an overacute capacity for sadness as well as elation. I know what the cat who wrote the song is trying to say. I’ve been there–and back. I guess the audience feels it along with me. They can’t help it. Sentimentality, after all, is an emotion common to all humanity.


Playboy: Of the thousands of words which have been written about you on this subject, do you recall any which have accurately described this ability?


Sinatra: Most of what has been written about me is one big blur, but I do remember being described in one simple word that I agree with. It was in a piece that tore me apart for my personal behavior, but the writer said that when the music began and I started to sing, I was “honest.” That says it as I feel it. Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest. If you want to get an audience with you, there’s only one way. You have to reach out to them with total honesty and humility. This isn’t a grandstand play on my part; I’ve discovered — and you can see it in other entertainers — when they don’t reach out to the audience, nothing happens. You can be the most artistically perfect performer in the world, but an audience is like a broad — if you’re indifferent, endsville. That goes for any kind of human contact: a politician on television, an actor in the movies, or a guy and a gal. That’s as true in life as it is in art.

What classes have done for me.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

It is really quite interesting how blocked you find yourself after you do something that is out of your comfort zone. What I mean by “blocked” is that your fullest potential is not being accessed. I’m a shy guy and I used to not initiate conversations, but in level 2 I learned skills that helped me change that by helping me understanding my character. The character work that we developed in level 2 helped me change some things that were blocking me. I did not change my personality; instead I focused on my strengths, which helped me be more outgoing. Taking classes at the Bovine I have learn to think on my toes and has actually enhanced my problem solving skills, which is such a great tool to have in a commercial world. Another I have learned is to control that thing in the back of your head that judges your every thought. I censor what needs to be censored and say what I feel needs to be said. It really is a great relief to have that freedom.

Why Should I Do Relationship Scenes?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

In their book “Distributed Creativity: How collective creations emerge from collaboration.” Keith Sawyer and Stacy DeZutter state “Social encounters that are more ritualized - like formalized greetings between customers and store clerks - or that are controlled by a single individual, like a business meeting - are less likely to manifest collaborative emergence.”

In improv we say “Scenes that start at the beginning, focus on transactions, teaching scenes, first day scenes, or scenes with a gun in them are more difficult for us to discover the fun in them and make them improvisational.”

When we play in relationship scenes, we give ourselves more latitude to get lost, get creative, get improvisational. The demonstration of “collaborative emergence” connects with the audience on an intuitive level. So, the byproduct of this not knowing what is going happen and consistent moving forward is comedy and laughter.

So when we say “play the relationship”, we say that because it is easier improvise. Always do what is easier and more fun!

Got your back!

From Colin Stanley

Friday, March 21st, 2014

The only picture I could find of SWARM. I have no idea of what this scene is about.

The only picture I could find of SWARM on stage. I have no idea what this scene is about.

Endings are times of sadness and celebration. Last night my improv team SWARM performed for the very last time. I’ve been performing with SWARM every other Thursday night at the Bovine Metropolis Theater in Denver for about a year. I feel profoundly lucky to have been able to play and get weird with these amazingly talented improvisers. I also feel proud for sticking through the growing pains that the team experienced and I feel that our last few shows count as some of my all-time favorites.

SWARM started as an improv MEGATEAM. It was massive in size, I think 16 players at the start. This proved hard to manage, and our form became the focus of most rehearsals. Our first shows felt awkward and overwhelming given the large cast. Soon team members started dropping out and the cast dwindled, and we continued to struggle. SWARM seemed to lack a “group mind” and often before shows, cast members would ask each other for a reminder of how to execute our form. Our form consisted of four quadrants, each containing a separate scene, which would eventually converge on a common phrase and signal us to break out of the quadrants and continue long form improv scene-work inspired by our common phrase. Got it? Good because we sure didn’t. Instead of playing and having fun, we were wrapped up in our heads about doing the form “right”, or at least I was. Needless to say, we had some less than stellar performances. I think our quadrant divisions on stage is a good metaphor for our division in group mind, or not, I’ve never been good at metaphors.

My time with SWARM was taking its toll on me. Until that point, my improv career had been mostly full of good experiences and now I was feeling frustrated with my own and my team’s performance. I didn’t get into improv to feel frustrated and stressed, I got into improv to have fun and do weird things with weird people on a stage in front of strangers. It was during this time that I was considering leaving the team and focusing my creative efforts on other projects. The only thing keeping me from quitting was my fellow cast members whom I adore. I didn’t want to abandon them.

We got an email in January letting the cast know that SWARM reached its run limit as a house team at the Bovine and would be disbanded in March as per theater rules. At that same time, something changed with SWARM. We stopped trying so hard to “fix” SWARM and started to just take advantage of the stage time we had left. We started to have fun. We started to play. We started to have killer shows!

I don’t know if it was the knowledge of our imminent demise that led to SWARM finally clicking, or if it just organically correlated with that news. Either way, I’m glad it happened because it taught me a wonderful lesson. Your stage time as an improviser is limited, so don’t spend it thinking about form. Form is impersonal, cold, and unemotional, which is everything that good improv isn’t. Focus on your teammates, because they are the interesting part of a scene. Audiences come to see people with passion and bravery; they didn’t come to see people standing in quadrants.

I was blessed to improvise with the cast of SWARM and I will look back fondly on my experiences on stage with everyone involved. I’m sad that it’s over, but so happy that we ended on a high note.

Remember, it’s never too late to start having fun!


Wellness: Comedy as Medicine

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

This is an article that was on the 5280 Magazine website.

We couldn’t agree more!

Wellness: Comedy as Medicine

Come and laugh!

The Bovine.


Act, jump, call.

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

An Open Letter to The Bovine Community

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

The Bovine Community is embarking on a great experiment.  You will decide which teams play on Friday nights and which play on Thursdays.  It is in your hands.  The people are what make this community: the students, players, coaches, teachers, etc., you are The Bovine.  So you decide.

It’s up to you to see groups, laugh, learn and find the positives in every group.  Go and see all the groups and enjoy them all.  If a group has a bad night, go and give them a second chance.  Have fun, see improv, make The Bovine better.

It’s up to you to decide which groups uphold the values that you decided were the important to create a fun environment at The Bovine (see last blog).  It is up to you to decide which House-Team:

Inspires you and pushes the art form.

Creates the most fun atmosphere at the Bovine.

Is the most supportive on and off stage.

Embodies the concept of Group Mind.

Is consistent and yet constantly improving.

You have 2 months to see all the groups.  Watch all the groups and vote this March.

You are the community.  You are The Bovine.

You decide!



Eric Farone
Artistic Director
Bovine Metropolis Theater

The Constitution of Bovine Metropolis Theater House-Teams

Friday, January 6th, 2012



We The People of the Bovine Metropolis Theater shall strive to create unique performances that are FUN for the Audience and for the Players. At The Bovine, group mind means more than individual performances, where truth creates laughter, and where connection is valued above comedy.


The mission of the Bovine Performers, Coaches and Producing Team is to positively influence their immediate communities and the world through connection, acceptance, being present in every moment, and having FUN!

We value FUN — fun for our Players, fun for our Audience, and fun on and off stage.  All rules and guidelines are designed to reinforce the value of FUN as decided by the members of Bovine House-Teams, Coaches Council and Producing Team as of September 2011.  FUN can be had by all, through embracing the core values of the Bovine Metropolis:

The Bovine Metropolis’ 6 Values

1) Group Mind: The concept that the group is more important and powerful than the individual. That as individuals we are in service to the art of improvisation and the group;

this helps us discover something larger than the sum of the Players.

Group Mind is demonstrated by:

Showing up to rehearsals and shows on time

Willing and ready to have fun

Being positive and accepting

Enjoy being a part of the group

Valuing and listening to the input of all members equally

Supporting each individual in the group and helping them succeed

Promoting the idea of Group Mind

 2) Coaches: Individuals who provide an objective eye, an insight to individual development, and help foster an environment where group mind can flourish.

Coaches can demonstrate this is by:

Showing up to rehearsals and shows on time

Willing and ready to have fun

Teaching and mentoring improvisers

Communicating effectively in person and in writing

Committing to the individual and the group’s improvisational development

Being accountable and keeping high standards for the group

Focusing on the success of the Bovine Metropolis Theater

3) Creativity and Improvisational Development:

Being committed to surprising yourself and your audience with your choices, actions and improvisational forms.  Individuals who push themselves and the art form in an effort to expand the art while entertaining the audience.

Teams and individuals can demonstrate this by:

Creating and performing new forms

Taking chances and pushing themselves on stage

Inspiring other individuals and groups to push the art form

Produce shows that are surprising, yet still enjoyable and understandable from an audience prospective.

Actively pursue opportunities to learn about the art through workshops, classes, and discussions

Actively creating opportunities and times to play with others.

 4) Enthusiasm for Bovine House-Team Performances:

By encouraging people to see Improvisation, we grow the art form, increase the energy in any given show, and we show pride in our efforts, team and the Bovine theatre community.

Teams and individuals can demonstrate excitement by:

Positive and joyful participation

Promoting shows and events through social media

Word of mouth

Email, posters, postcards, etc.

 5) Support of the Individual, Team & Bovine Community:

Creating and maintaining a safe and supportive environment helps builds trust on and off stage.  Fostering a sense of play encourages more risk taking during performances.

Teams and individuals can demonstrate this by:

Fully participating in shows, rehearsals, and warm-ups

Attending Improvisation shows when not playing

Having “mistakes” on stage become golden gifts

Being positive and professional before, during, and after a show

Serving as an example to outside groups

 6) Being a Part of the Bovine Community:

Having the opportunity to grow as a Player and a group, to learn from each other by being part of a larger community. Having a shared language, rituals and understanding.

Teams and individuals can demonstrate this by:

Understanding you are a member of the larger Bovine Community

Sharing experiences and insights with individuals

Positively supporting all groups whether you are a member or not

Be excited to attend events at the Bovine Metropolis Theater

Exude love for the art of Improvisation

 Article I.

The Bovine House-Team Community

Section 1.  Bovine House-Team Players 

Players must be cast on a team by audition

Players must attend 4 out of 6 rehearsals

Players must attend 4 out of 6 shows

Players must follow the theater/show’s rules and guidelines for play.  If they are asked not to play one night by the producer of a show (for any reason), this affects their overall attendance

If a Player can’t change performance nights with their team, the Player will be assigned a new team on the same night or asked to re-audition at the next cycle.

We want Players who are dedicated to improving as performers, are happy to be performing at The Bovine Metropolis Theater and are excited about their group. Playing on a Bovine House-Team is a privilege, not a right.

Players may ask their Coach for a Hiatus.  A Hiatus is a period, of no less than 2 weeks and no more than 6 weeks, where the Player is taken off “Active Player” status, but still a member of the Bovine House-Team.  On Hiatus, a Player may not perform with the Bovine House-Team.   Before a Player is taken off Hiatus they must attend at least one rehearsal before performing with the Bovine House-Team again. The team’s coach will determine when a player returning from hiatus has attended enough rehearsals and is ready to join the Bovine House-Team on stage.

All Players are responsible for holding up the standards of the theater, including but not limited to knowing and applying the following living documents:






Section 2. Coaches

The function of a Coach is to be dedicated to rehearsals, shows and giving effective notes in an effort to advance the players and the team.


  • Communicate with the performers regarding scheduling of rehearsals and performances
  • Communicate with the Producer for your show, about scheduling issues, and known absences
  • Run rehearsals, making sure that 4 out of 6 are lead by the assigned Bovine House-Team Coach.
  • Attend shows or make arrangements to watch, and give notes on 4 out of 6 shows
  • Give notes that are focused on increasing the fun for every Player on the team
  • Be the primary disseminators of information from the Coaches Council to the Active Players
  • Participate in auditions to fill open slots for your team, when needed
  • Make sure all Players follow the rules of the Bovine and the show in which they are performing
  • Run the day to day business of their team without having to go through the council
  • Build Group Mind through being positive and accepting
  • Support the Bovine Community by attending shows and being active outside the Bovine House-Team
  • Foster an environment of support through being enthusiastic and giving honest, immediate feedback.
  • Help promote and generate enthusiasm for groups, shows and the theater in general
  • Push Improvisation skill-building through the teaching of technical skills, proficiency, and taking risks on forms and new ideas
  • Coaches are selected by the Bovine’s Executive Producer in tandem with the Artistic Director.  The basis for selection is willingness to enact the principles and guidelines set down in this document and the evaluation of the prospective coach in their abilities to create and foster a fun and supportive team, group mind and to aid individuals in their growth of the art form.
  • Each Coach chooses the form for their team based on the cast or personal vision.  Each Coach determines, based on their own vision and on Players available, how large their team will be.  Teams need to be at least 1 Player and no more than 16 Players.
  • Each Coach keeps records of the member’s attendance, determines what constitutes a Quorum to have a rehearsal, and is authorized to compel the attendance of absent members or ask them to leave the Bovine House-Team in an effort to create Group Mind.
  • Each Coach casts their Bovine House-Team.  The Coach may ask Players to transfer to a Bovine House-Team that plays on the same night if, in their determination, the individual Player is not contributing to group mind because of play styles, skill set, or other factors.  If a Player is not contributing to group mind because of attendance to rehearsals or shows, then they will be dropped from the team and asked to re-audition.
  • A Coach is an outside observer to give objective feedback to the group, for that reason Coaches must not perform with the team they coach. Coaches may play on a Bovine House-Team on which they are not the Coach.


Section  3. Coaches Council

The Coaches Council is made up of all the Coaches of active Bovine House-Teams.  Their goal is to improve the quality of play on the Bovine stage for all troupes, across all shows and to have the best teams and Players be rewarded with more playing time. The Coaches function as a group focused on increasing fun.

The Coaches are the most direct way in which the Bovine mission of teaching and mentoring improvisers is achieved. The Coaches Council enthusiastically takes on the responsibility of fostering an environment of creativity and collaboration, where improvising individuals learn to build group mind in order to create mind blowing performances.

The Bovine is a “teaching theater” where improvisation skills, etiquette, and professionalism are all taught by example and experience.  The Coaches Council serves as the leading example for other Bovine improvisers.

The Coaches Council members are responsible for all aspects of Bovine House-Teams, including, but not limited to, casting, coaching, team creation and re-evaluations of team fit. The Coaches Council meets each Quarter to look for ways of improving the Bovine House-Teams.

The Coaches Council runs all auditions for Bovine House-Teams.  Coaches who are looking to expand their cast must do so through the audition process. No players may be added without auditioning.

 Any problems arising between Coach and Players or between two different Bovine House-Teams or between Bovine House-Team and The Bovine must be addressed by the Coaches Council.  If no resolution can be reached by the Coaches Council, the Producing Team is asked to resolve the matter.


Section 4. The Bovine Metropolis Theater Producing Team

The Bovine Producing Team includes the Executive Producer and the Artistic Director.  They may include any advisors or employees they want to add to the group who will serve in the best interest of The Bovine Metropolis Theater.

The Producing Team has a fiduciary responsibility to the Bovine Metropolis Theater.  They serve the needs of the theater, keeping in mind that the Bovine Metropolis Theater is set on creating an atmosphere of fun, trust, encouragement, development, and pushing the art of improvisation in a sincere aim to make the world a better place. This is accomplished by fostering collaboration through the fun, study and practice of improvisation.


Article II. The Bovine House-Teams

Section 1.  Bovine House-Team Creation

Bovine House-Teams represent and reflect all the values of The Bovine Metropolis Theater. They are the heart of the theater.  They make the Bovine a fun place through the practice and implementation of The Bovine Metropolis’ 6 Values. 

Coaches be the starting point for all teams.  If someone wants to coach they need to let the Bovine Metropolis Theater Producing Team know that they would like to be considered for a coaching position. When a Coach is approved and joins the Coaches Council, they start the process of creating a new team. They go to the next scheduled audition as a Coach and cast their team.  With few exceptions, new teams are given first choice for Players.

Bovine House-Teams be are given a night to perform and put on a standard performance rotation.  All newly formed, re-named teams will start on an off night.  Once the team is cast, they will be given a 3 month rehearsal process before being put in the standard rotation of performances.  After 6 months of its inception (3 months of performing), and after at least one more round of auditions, the team will be “set”.  All active Players on the team at this 6 month mark will be considered “Original Members”.

Each Bovine House-Team is given an 18-month run, with the following exceptions:

1.        A team that is moved to a “premier” night by Election, continues the duration of its original run or 12 months, which ever is longer.

2.        A “premier” night team that receives top honors in voting at the end of its 18-month run is given its own weekly show with time, day and run-duration determined by the Executive Producer.

All Bovine House-Teams will be retired at the next audition date after its 18-month run.

Run-times begin on the date of a team’s on its first performance.

Section 2. Bovine House-Team Maintenance.

When vacancies happen in a team, the team must wait until the next audition cycle to fill out its ranks through audition.  If a team falls below 50% of its Original Members it is renamed, moved to an off night, and allowed to add new players from the next audition cycle.  The new team finishes the original team’s 18 month life cycle.  If a team falls below 30% of its Original Members it finishes out their scheduled run for the quarter, and at the next audition it is retired.

No Bovine House-Team may cancel more than 2 rehearsals in a scheduled 6 rehearsals time frame.  A Coach canceling rehearsals due to schedule conflicts with the Coach, low attendance in rehearsals, etc. (exceptions include emergency performances, recognized holidays, Acts of God, etc) results in one of the following actions as deemed appropriate by the Couches Council:

Expanding the teams members through auditions

Redistributing the Active Members on the team

Replacing the Coach

Retiring the team

At least half of all Active Players on any Bovine House-Team must be at any and all performances.  If less than half of Active Players are at any given performance, the team may still perform that evening, however, when a Bovine House-Team has 2 performances in any quarter where less than half of the Active Players perform, the matter will be brought to the attention of the Coaches Council.  The Bovine House-Team in question is either sent to an “off night”, expanded by audition, or retired, whichever is deemed appropriate by the Coaches Council.

Each Bovine House-Team must keep notes of its shows, rehearsals, and ‘Ah-ha moments’, and on a set rotation, each team is required to publish insights, ideas, and opinions on the Bovine web site blog.  These blogs may be written by the coach or by an Active Player as selected by their team. Blogs should inspire, give insights, and opinions that could help the Bovine Community or Players with the art of Improvisation.

A Bovine House-Team can request a new Coach if they find that their Coach is not providing the leadership, accountability, focus, standards, time, communication, and vision that the group requires.  At least 80% of the group must agree that a new Coach is a necessary action.

The Bovine Producing Team can remove any Coach or Player for cause at any time.  Cause being defined as someone who is not adhering to this document, or is in some way creating a hostile and/or unsafe environment at the theater.  In addition, if he/she fails to support the individual, the team, or the Bovine Community in its effort to improve improvisation, create fun, and build the community, is also cause for removal as decided by the Bovine Producing Team.

If a coach leaves a team, the Coaches Council must look at the options available to determine. Whether the Active House Team should be assigned a new Coach or be retired.

Section 3. Casting

We believe that auditions are a seminal part of our beliefs at The Bovine.  Auditioning is the only way an improviser may become a member of a Bovine House-Team.

Casting will be done at least 2 times a year once during the Winter and once during the Summer, with extra auditions scheduled as required with a 2 month advance window as determined by the Coaches Council.

Players must audition every time they want to be considered for a new team, with one exception:

Players who are Active Members of a Bovine House-Team may ask for a lateral transfer to a different team.  Players can ask to move from one team to another team playing on the same night at any time.  They will then be placed on a Bovine House-Team without the need of a re-audition, as determined by the Coaches Council that would be the best fit for the player, teams and the theater.  Players who ask for a lateral transfer to a different team on the same night, may also not have a team to go to if due to Group Mind, size limitations, etc a good fit cannot be found on the same night and then would have to re-audition.

Players who are on a team which has been retired must audition to be placed on a new Bovine House-Team.

A Player may audition for both a “premier” night and an “off” night.

Section 4. Selections

There are multiple nights for teams to play.  The Bovine Metropolis Theater wants to ensure that the Bovine House-Teams that are doing the best work get rewarded with the most play time.

Bovine House-Teams move from “off” nights to “premier” nights and back based on a vote held every 6 months. The vote is polled from the Bovine Community (current students and active regular performers in Bovine produced shows that are not Bovine House-Teams), Bovine House-Team Members, The Coaches Council, and the Producing Team.  Elections are held in the spring and fall, and apply to the next quarter schedule.

The voting-share break-down is as follows based on current, active members:

Bovine House-Teams:        30%

Bovine Community:            30%

Coaches Council:               30%

Producing Team:               10%

Elections are based on The Bovine Metropolis’ 6 Values that the Founding Bovine House-Teams have deemed crucial for creating a fun, creative, and exciting environment in which to perform.  Each Bovine House-Team Player, Bovine Community Member, Coach (as part of the Coaches Council), and member of the Bovine Metropolis Theater Producing Team gets one vote for each role in which they actively participate.

Ballots consist of 6 measures, one measure for each of The Bovine Metropolis’ 6 Values.  Voters vote for the top three Bovine House-Teams on each measure.  The votes are tallied and percentages apply.  The Bovine House-Teams that receive top honors will moved or stay on a “premier” night.  Teams that do not receive top honors are placed on “off” nights.

The results of the election with regards to the Bovine House-Teams, who garnered top honors are published on the Bovine website.  The Coaches Council is given full voting details in an effort to encourage, build, and remediate teams.  Feedback on each Bovine House-Team’s strengths will help the Coaches build and encourage Bovine House-Teams.  The results will be given out on an individual basis, if asked for; however in an effort to create a more positive environment, the complete voting tallies will not be published.

In the event a ‘Premier Night’ Bovine House-Team dissolves, has to be moved (due to low performer attendance), or is retired in the middle of an election cycle, the Bovine Producing Team selects a team to move to the premier night, until the next election.

Section 5. Bovine House-Team Rehearsal and Play

The Bovine Metropolis will do its best to provide all Bovine House-Teams with rehearsal and performance space.  If a Coach and the Bovine House-Team prefers to rehearse outside of the Bovine Metropolis Theater they need to get permission from the Executive Producer. The Bovine will try to provide as much infrastructure as possible to provide allow the Coaches and Bovine House-Teams to focus on fun.

If a Bovine House-Team desires to perform outside the Bovine, the following guidelines must be followed:

The team’s Coach must ask the Executive Producer for permission to play outside the Bovine.  In general, teams will only be allowed to play at another theater when the Bovine is dark, or in special circumstances (i.e. an approved fundraiser, Improv Festivals, etc.)

Teams must consist of the current Bovine House-Team members only

If someone plays with a Bovine House-Team who is not currently on said team, they are listed as a Guest Player or a Special Guest

Teams must be identified the following way: “House-Team Name’ a Bovine Metropolis House-Team”

If more than 50% of the Active Players of a specific Bovine House-Team are playing together, it is considered a Bovine House-Team performance and the above guidelines must be followed.  Teams not adhering to these guidelines will be sent to the Coaches Council for action.



Active Bovine House-Teams at Ratification January 1, 2012

“Alpha Squad”

Joshua Kirk: Coach

Tim Camarillo

Matt Fogel

Jim Gaffney

Jessie Hanson

Miko Khan

Lannie Pihajlic

Dayna Scott

Carrie White

“Ball Pit Popcorn”

Dee Morgenthaler: Coach

Meredith Badler

Haley Driscoll

Brandon Ehrhart

Lindsay Giachetti

Jessie Greaves-Smith

Jessie Hanson

Tom Hobelman

Allison Schnettler

Micah Smidt

Andrew Smycheck


Kat Bond: Coach

Asa Erlendson

Chris Gropp

Michelle Marlowe

Laura Miner

Carla Steckman

Jeanette Cerami

Samantha Provenzano

Connor Duffy

Robert Rosenthal

Nick Trotter

“Blood and Mints”

Carl Anderson: Coach

Reid Fenlaw

Liane Houseman

Danny Kolendowicz

Jaimie Kulikowski

Jared McBain

Lauren Von Englen

Arash Zedeh

“Have A Nice Play”

Eric Farone: Coach

Sam Gallaher

Erika Gonzalez

Brian Kaplin

Natalie Kilkenny

Macy Matarazzo

Spencer Reedy

Cheryl Pack

Jean Schuman

“Dungeon Cave”

Eric Farone: Coach

Kat Bond

Asa Erlendson

Liane Houseman

Scott Piebenga

Joshua Robinson

Spencer Rybacki

Kent Welborn

“The Fillers”

Keith Rains: Coach

James Clark

John Everett

Deb Hultgren

Josh Kirk

Kim Kutt

Christine Lederman

Jason Metter

Rollie Williams

“The Contestants”

Matt Fogel: Coach

Emma Myers

Holly Jackson

Kelly Calderon

Nicole Nelson

Tony Nguyen

Travis Grant

Meredith Young

David Schultz

Brian Lampert

“Platypus Surprise”

Spencer Rybacki: Coach

Suzanne Crawford

Tim Doran

Brandon Ehrhart

Asa Erlendson

Natasha Gleichmann

Chris Gropp

Doug Johnson

Will Nuessle

Robert  Rosenthal

Lannie Pihajlic

Andea Rutherford

Andrew Smycheck

Michele To


Things to do in Chicago when your unemployed.

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

I loved my time in Chicago.  When you are unemployed there are still a ton of things you can do to have fun and keep positive.  Unemployment itself sucks.  But combine it with the mid-west winter and no sunshine for 4 months and it really sucks.  Many years ago I was broke and unemployed in Chicago and still kept it positive.  Here are some tips from me to my friends who are moving or have moved who are looking for work or just trying to save money or just trying to keep positive.

First, join a gym or a yoga class or an aerobics class or a TM group find a church group that meets everyday.  Do something you love.  Something that is good for you mentally and physically.  If you can, make it happen first thing in the morning so you have to set your alarm, you have to get out of the house and you start each day off with something positive.  You may have to pay for this, but if you find a gym or classes that have a monthly charge and you are going everyday, you are getting your monies worth.

Free Stuff.

There are free improv sets at The Second City on main stage after each performance of the main stage show.  This means going down to The Second City on a Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday night at 10 p.m. to watch a half hour or 45 minutes of free improv, but what else have you got to do?  Plus, this is a great place to meet people with jobs who might know who is hiring.

The Art Institute is free to Illinois residents on the first and second Wednesdays of every month.  GO!  It is the most amazing way to spend 3 hours and not spend a dime and you will never tire of visiting it.

The Library.  The library has DVD’s, CD’s and books.  If you are going to spend time in a cozy coffee shop you will need something to read while your electronic device is charging.

Downtown Bars on Fridays.  Downtown bars usually have free happy hours as a way to bring in the working people of downtown Chicago.  Some suck and are just chips and salsa and some are amazing! Get dressed up in you business attire and go down to a bar keep looking for the good ones and eat for free.  Get a water and tip the server.  Also bring a copy of your resume with you, because you already look like your working and you never know.

Get the Chicago Reader.  It is a free paper and is a must read every week.

Go see live music.  Yes you will have to spend money, but going to a bar that hold 300 people to see a band like “The Killers” live working on new material is oh so worth it.

Go to the grocery store on the weekends.  A) So you can cook meals at home and save money and have home cooked food in your tummy.  B) They have free samples around noon on Saturdays, so it acts as a meal replacement. C) You can create some childhood favorites.

Stock up on your favorite warm drink.  Nothing is better on a freezing cold day blizzardy day when everyone else has to go to work than to cuddle up with your favorite hot beverage and read a book and watch the people outside your front door fighting the wind and blowing snow while you are cozy and warm.

When the Cubs start playing again, go down to Wrigley 30 minutes after the game has started.  Scalpers are still out there and you can usually get tickets for $5 or less.  Also, go to some of the bars around Wrigley, there are always people going to the game that have an extra ticket that they might hand you as they are walking out the door and into the game.  It is not unusual for the bartenders to have extra tickets or know who does.  And if the creepy guy gives you a ticket, you don’t have to sit in his section!

Unemployment is what this moment has for you.  Enjoy it.  You will be working again soon and for the rest of your life, so relax, keep positive, get out and do stuff and enjoy Chicago!