Monday, July 28, 2014

Trivia & Prizes! What do we have and what is coming up!

At every Spoof N Cinema and First Time Film Club screening, brought to you by Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, we ask trivia questions and give out awesome prizes.

But how do we come up with those trivia questions? And how do we curate the prizes? Excellent question. And luckily I have the blog to answer just that.

Coming up with trivia is actually a bit tricky at times! We try to base at least one or two of the questions on the movie we just watched. For 3 Amigos we asked which of the Amigos got his first job presenting magic tricks and making baloon animals at Disneyland? (Steve Martin, of course... right?) For Splash we asked a Tom Hanks question- Tom Hanks famously won back to back Best Actor awards for which two films? (Philidelphia & Forrest Gump... maybe slightly less easy?) We sometimes ask Price is Right style questions about the film's budget and gross.

For a Knight's Tale on Thursday the 31st our questions may be trivia about Heath Ledger.
Like... Heath famously sang in this 1999 Shakespearian Re-do (also starring Julia Stiles & Joseph Gordon-Levitt?) That might be a good answer to look up.
There's potential for a Game of Thrones question and a Firefly question, since William Thathcher's besties Roland & Wat are played by Mark Addy A.K.A. King Robert Baratheon and Alan Tudyk A.K.A. Wash.

Of course I also like to ask questions about upcoming events. Maybe I could come up with a good Kevin Smith or Clerks question? Our new Midnight Movies, Munchies and Brew series will feature the original 'Jersey Trilogy.' Clerks on August 9, Mallrats on November 8 and Chasing Amy on February 14th. Clerks would be the perfect candidate for a Price is Right style Budget Vs. Gross question. Right?

Of course, I famously come up with questions that are a bit stumpy for the audience.... even at Phoenix Comicon my Star Trek question was baffling. Maybe to tease Tom Hanks in the Burbs 10/30 I can just ask the old Oscar question again? What do you think? Go easy or be challenging?

The prizes are so good, though! I think the questions SHOULD be a little bit challenging. What do you think?

In a typical prize pack we have contributions from National Comedy Theatre that include tickets to our Friday & Saturday night Competitive Comedy Shows, tickets for 2 to upcoming Spoof N Cinema Screenings (The Big Wheel is coming 8/28) and tickets for 2 to future First Time Film Club and Midnight Movies Screenings (Clerks, The Burbs... you read that part, right?)

Bookmans always contributes amazing prizes, including $10- $25 gift cards, t-shirts, posters, back packs and tote bags, toys & games, DVDs and even, for nostalgias sake, VHS tapes.

You really do walk away with quite a booty and now Cheba Hut is providing prizes for Midnight Movie screenings including gift cards, t-shirts and coupons.

So... it's all very exciting. Do you have an opinion about the easiness or stumpiness of our trivia questions? Is there something you would like to see in the Prize Packs? Got a trivia question idea? Let us know!

We look forward to seeing you at A Knights Tale on 7/31- followed by a LIVE Podcast! Get tickets!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Finding My Thing, A Blog By Thursday Night Troupe Player Frenchie



Finding My Thing
by Frenchie Lynn Augustin
                I’m the youngest of four kids, three of which are living versions of television sitcom tropes: the smart and perfect one, the trouble maker, and the parent charmer. Not only am I the youngest of four kids, I’m also the youngest of four kids where the closest age gap between them and myself is eight years.
That means that, literally, almost every four years of my life, someone was having a baby, someone else was graduating from college, another someone was learning to drive, and I was stuck trying to get attention by doing things like making impressions of famous paintings with my dinners (you should have seen my Mona Lisa. It was my master-peas.)
                 This isn’t to say that I was completely ignored by my parents. My mother made it her mission, as with all of her children, to make sure that I was good at something that sounded fancy: playing the piano, taking voice and dance lessons, et cetera, et cetera. I never really had a say in anything I’d be doing, but that finally changed in the fourth grade when I asked if I could be in a musical being put on by a camp in our town (“Big” was the musical, in case you were wondering. The lead wasn’t as charming as Tom Hanks, but at the age of eight, I was sure he was just as dreamy).
                Now, I’m not sure if it has anything to do with being the youngest of four kids eager to find her sitcom trope but I’ve always been a little silly and I liked that. Being silly made my parents laugh at my antics, it made people want to be friends with me, but mostly, it was something I could do that other people couldn’t. It was my thing.
                While being silly one day at Big rehearsal, one of the directors came up to me and said I’d be great in a scene with bit role as a toy store worker who would pop in with something the owner didn’t want, look confused, and then  leave: my first big break! When show time came, I popped on stage then made my confused reaction and the audience laughed. I made people I didn’t know laugh. “It was probably a fluke,” I thought. But it happened again, and again at all of the shows I performed in. Making people laugh wasn’t just something I could do; it was something I could do well.
                Once I realized making people laugh was something I could do, I wanted to do it as much as possible. And thank goodness it was the early 2000s, because lucky for pre-teen me, Whose Line Is It Anyway was on television and if I knew what a calling was at the age of eleven, I’d tell you that improvising was mine. I begged my mother to let me take an improvising class for teens and she agreed. I took the class and I fell in love with improv: thinking on your feet, creating amazing things out of thin air. I loved it. Eventually, the class ended. But my passion for comedy, my need to make people laugh, never went away.
                When I came to Arizona for college, I thought was finally free. I didn’t have to keep up with my sitcom creation siblings or try to get my parents to pay attention to my antics. I could just be without worrying about anyone else. I thought. But I found myself trying to keep up with the Jones’ in a different way – other college freshmen who knew what they wanted to do with their lives, friends getting jobs and internships and getting into relationships. I found myself feeling like a kid again –wanting to feel like there was something special about me. For a while I didn’t know what to do until a familiar feeling whispered in my ear:
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Make ‘em laugh.
                I did have something that made me feel special, something that I could do that I loved: make people laugh. Soon, I started doing stand-up and eventually I auditioned for and became a part of National Comedy Theatre’s Thursday Night Improv Troupe and now, I don’t have to search for something that makes me special anymore. Comedy makes me special. Making people laugh makes me special. Being in a group of people with the same passion I have makes me special. I think that’s why I love comedy so much, why I love being a part of NCT: it means so more than just making people laugh. Every time I walk on stage, I’m making people laugh, but I’m also telling myself, “Hey. You’re good at something. You have something to be proud of.” And as good as the laughter of an audience feels, having something to be proud of yourself for feels even better.
               

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We Are Noise Makers... What I Learned in Kevin McDonald's Improv Into Sketch Workshop

I had the priviledge of participating in this past weekend's Improv Into Sketch Workshop with Kevin McDonald, of the Kids in the Hall.

The goal of the workshop was to improvise and then take those scenes and, using methods developed with Kids in the Hall, shape those improv scenes into workable, funny sketches. ...And they HAD to be workable AND funny, because we had all agreed to perform them on stage that very night- in front of a Sold Out audience!

We didn't get to choose our partners, we were destined to work with whomever randomly joined us on stage.  Some of the participants had many years of improv experience and knew each other well. Others had zero improv experience and were just trying out comedy for the first time.

We didn't get to choose what our Sketch would be about- we had to improvise it based on a suggestion from our audience of workshoppers. And once the improv was done, that was it-- that was thraw material we had to work with and that was the Sketch we would perform that night. What's the twist? Not all of the improvised scenes went well. Some of them weren't terribly funny and even the ones that were funny were full of things that wouldn't work in the long run. The point was, we would work with it. Whatever the scene, we would workshop it and make it good.

It may not seem like the ideal set up for comedy. It may not even seem like a situation one would want to put themselves in- committed to performing on stage in front of a big audience and you don't get to pick what its about or even who you're with... yikes! 

What struck me is how like life,  all of life- not just comedy, that set up actually is. We don't always get to choose our partners or our circumstances, do we? It seems that can either complain and distress about this fact, we can even choose to wait until a better situation comes along to take action, or we can take what we are given and make it awesome.

And we did. Each Sketch got better and better through out the day. Even the worst improvisations were developing into stronger sketches each time we presented them. We worked together, each offering ideas and critiques of each others scenes.

And the result was that each sketch went great. Each sketch found a voice, found the comedy, and found laughter from the the audience.

It would be easy  to say it was magic, and it was... but a lot of what makes things look like magic is effort, support, trust, team work and determination.

Those are my thoughts! And here are a few more take-a-ways from A Weekend with Kevin McDonald....

"We Are Noise Makers" Unlike drama or tragedy, comedy KNOWS when it has done a good job- because the point is to get the audience making noise! If they aren't making noise, we aren't doing out job.

"Make Every Moment Wonderful" When looking at your sketch, endeavor to make every moment wonderful. Even the little moments that are easy to skip past- they can be wonderful too. Let's apply this theory to all of life, while we are at it!

Photos are courtesy of SuperFan Diane Banyai! Thanks Diane!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Live Podcast at a Knights Tale Showing! Included with your Ticket!


Things keep getting better and better for First Time Film Club!
We got our new, BIG screen. We got an awesome HD projector. We JUST got an awesome HD Blu-Ray player and its all thanks to our partners at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange!

Now we have something new and exciting to announce for our upcoming First Time Film Club screening of A Knights Tale... we will be doing a LIVE PODCAST after the Trivia & Prizes with the gang from Educating [Geeks]!


Our First Timer, Zeke Hill, and our Super Fan, Krissy Lenz, will sit down with two of the Educating [Geeks] panelists for an interactive discussion of the movie. What did we love? What made us cringe? What life lessons are we walking away with? We will hash it all out!

You can drink in all of this exciting, geeky goodness by simply hanging around after the movie! ITs part of the show now!

I mean, seriously... for only $8 you can come see Heath Ledger change his stars while Paul Bettany makes some of the best midevil hype-man speeches ever- oft pantsless. THEN you can participate in the fun of Bookmans Trivia and Prizes! THEN you can hang out for the interactive podcast!

Get tickets now! Right Here!

We are really excited about this partnership with Educating [Geeks]. We met them by chance at Phoenix Film Festival's Geek Day
(where we also met the AZ Ghostbusters, exciting announcement coming soon...)

When the girls told me about the premise of their podcasts "On each episode of Educating [Geeks], one of our hosts or a special guest will be on the program to receive “Education” on some aspect of geek culture they’ve never had a chance to experience. Will it become our hosts new favorite thing?  (Or… Will they go all Otaku?) Or will it just not be their cup of Earl Gray (hot) tea?"

I was like... thats EXACTLY what First Time Film Club is all about! But.... with movies!

It seems like a match made in nerd heaven, and you can be part of our first joint outing- hopefully the first of many to come!

Really though, get tickets! Here! Now!



A Knight's Tale (2001, rated PG-13)
featuring Live Podcast, Trivia & Prizes!
Thursday 7/31 7:30pm, $8 Rated PG-13
Get tickets online at www.nctphoenix.com/showtimes.html

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Get Excited! Its July!

This month there is so much SUPER COOL stuff happening. It is bonkers! And you're going to want to be part of it!

First, we spend this weekend celebrating America the best way that we know how... laughing our faces off! Surely, that is what our forefathers had in mind?

At Patriot-A-Palooza we celebrate the unique way in which NCT has reveled in democracy since 2008... with the "democratic round of applause!" It may be the only time in your life that your vote actually contributes to the results in real time! Exciting...
Friday 7/4 & Saturday 7/5 at 7:30 pm & 9:45 pm.

Celebrity Guest Stars at Movie Showings?
On the 19th we're inviting you to a once in a lifetime opportunity to see an hilarious movie, right alongside one of its stars & creators! Brain Candy is super funny, silly, strange and a cult classic! Laugh along with one of the Kids in the Hall during the movie and then stick around afterwards, Kevin will show us the unseen alternate ending and interact with YOU for a Q & A!
Brain Candy (R)
Saturday 7/19 2:00pm, $12- $14
Get Tickets.


Super Cool Really Advanced Workshop Opportunity that Culminates in YOU on STAGE with Kevin McDonald? Yep.
Kevin McDonald: Improv into Sketch Workshop & Show
$180, 8 hours of workshop & Show included                      (ages 18+)
Sunday July 20th     10:00am- 6:00pm


We still have spots available, so call today.
Please inquire or register by emailing workshops@nctphoenix.com or calling 602-374-5638

Oh, and the SHOW part... lets not forget the SHOW part- because this show is going to have something to offer for everyone.
 An Evening with Kevin McDonald: Stand up! Sketch! Improv Comedy!
Sunday July 20th at 7:30pm  $14  (Rated R, not for All Ages)We start with Stand Up comedy, then Sketches created by the workshop crew and curated by Mr. McDonald, then IMPROVISATION with the crew from National Comedy Theatre... and then we put a bow on it with interaction from YOU (The Audience) as Kevin sits down for one more intimate Q & A.

Why is this a super exciting event? Well, Kids in the Hall have been touring North America on their sold out Rusty and Ready Tour. One has only to follow the Kids in the Hall facebook page to hear about all of the exciting things that the Kids have going on for them right now... so come see em while you can!

BUT WAIT, THATS NOT ALL! 

July is also bringing us TWO SHOW THURSDAY! 
Two Show Thursday
Saturday 7/24, 7:30pm  $8 ALL AGES   

Two awesome comedy shows in onhe night! This month's Two Show Thursday includes the hilarious and interactive TNT (Thursday Night Troupe) where anything can happen when the audience shouts out suggestions for EVERY game. In FLD Productions Longform Show ONE suggestion will be usef thd to fuel ALL of the spontaneous hijinks!

Get tickets online: http://www.nctphoenix.com/showtimes.html 






AND the MIDNIGHT SHOW
The Midnight Show
Saturday July 26th     11:45pm $8 (18+)

National Comedy Theatre's monthly uncensored comedy show, where anything can happen. No Ref, No Rules, No Brown Bag Foul, and no one under 18 admitted!

Get tickets online: http://www.nctphoenix.com/showtimes.html


BUT EVEN THAT ISNT ALL!!!  
A Knights Tale is happening and its gotten even more exciting, with even MORE to offer!

A Knight's Tale
At First Time Film Club featuring Educating Geeks Live Podcast!
Starring Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany and Alan Tudyk (2001, rated PG-13)
Thursday 7/31 7:30pm, $8 Rated PG-13

A Knight's Tale will have you believing that a man can change his starts, a squire can become a knight, and "We Will Rock You" was a popular song in the middle ages...
Find out why this movie is everyones secret "guilty pleasure" and rock out with us at this one time only First Time Film Club event.

Prizes and trivia follow the screening provided by Bookmans Entertainment Exchange.

And stick around for a LIVE PODCAST with Educating Geeks as we discuss the movie with our Super Fan & First Timer!

Get tickets online at www.nctphoenix.com/showtimes.html






and then, being that THAT is the very last day of July... we will put July to rest. But, never fear, AUGUST news and events are coming soon!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Kevin McDonald is Coming! Again! For More! Movies! Stand Up! Sketch! Q & A and Improv!

 When sketch comedy legend and TV & Film star Kevin McDonald came to visit National Comedy Theatre last fall, he must have had a great time. We did too. And we learned so much. We had a delightful and rewarding workshop, show, Q & A and then hanging out time with Kevin. It was a once in a lifetime experience, for sure.

And now its turning out to be a TWICE in a lifetime experience for us and for YOU (The Audience)

Kevin McDonald is joining us again this July for a movie screening, a workshop and a show!

First up is Brain Candy, the Kids in the Hall's 1996 comedy cult classic. Kevin is going to be there to hang out and watch the movie with us, he is going to show us the rarely seen alternate ending and then hang around for a Q & A with everyone at the show. Its only $12- $14 to enjoy this totally unique experience and tickets are already 1/3 gone! make reservations today

 On Sunday we present Improv into Sketch Workshop... and Show!
Participants will spend the day with Kevin workshopping improvised sketches into comedy gold. Having had the pleasure of this experience once before, I can assure you that it is worthwhile and enlightening for anyone interested in learning more about comedy in general, sketch or improv in particular, and getting one on one feedback from a comedy legend... a very polite, Canadian comedy legend.
The best and most unique part of this experience is that we will perform the sketches we create that evening in a live show, with a real audience, right alongside Kevin McDonald and the cast of National Comedy Theatre!


 If you aren't the comedy performing sort but you still want to get in on the fabulous action, theres something for YOU too! Join us for An Evening with Kevin McDonald! He will present some stand up comedy, then the best of the sketches from the day's workshop, then some improvisation with the cast of NCT! Exciting stuff! And its only $12- $14! Make reservations today!

 You know Kevin McDonald best from the Kids in the Hall sketch comedy troupe, now touring again with the Rusty and Ready Reuinion Tour. You might have also seen him on That 70s Show, Arrested Development, Seinfeld, or Friends. You might recognize his voice from Disney's Lilo & Stitch, Invader Zim or Phinneas & Ferb. You might have enjoyed him in films like Sky High, Epic Movie, or right there at the end of Galaxy Quest. You might also have laughed at some of his work as a writer on Saturday Night Live...
Seriously, guys! Get in on this! Who knows if this twice in a lifetime experience will ever present itself again!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Phoenix Comicon 2014 Features a Whole lot of National Comedy Theatre

I tell you what. June 5-8 is nerd Christmas here in the Valley. Its Phoenix Comicon! This year is going to be a DOOZY! Not only will Nathan Fillian, John Barrowman, Adam West, Stan Lee and Bruce Campbell be there... so will National Comedy Theatre!

Why, we have 5 panels to choose from, more than double what we have presented in years past. Heres where and when you can find us!

Spoof & Cinema Mash Up: CLONE WARS!
Friday, 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: North 124b
Spoof & Cinema like you've never seen it! This will feature no holds barred comedy as the hilarious cast of NCT creates new dialogue & sound FX LIVE in front of your very eyes!
who'll be here
  • Andi Oliver
  • Andrew Melnik
  • Anthony Thornton
  • Becca Thornton
  • Francis Zagarrigo
  • Krissy Lenz
  • Paul Broccolo
 
Spoof & Cinema Mash Up: DROIDS!
Sunday, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: North 124b
Join the NCT as they tackle the weird stories of R2D2 & C3P0 in their animated cartoon. Weird humor & new dialogue provided!
who'll be here
  • Andrew Melnik
  • Anthony Thornton
  • Becca Thornton
  • Ellen Lopercio
  • Jordan Collier
  • Krissy Lenz
  • Paul Broccolo
 
Spoof & Cinema Mash Up: EWOKS!
Thursday, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Location: North 124b
Join the NCT as they add their own mixture of humor to bad plots, cheesey acting and crude SFX to Star Wars Universe's Ewoks!
who'll be here
  • Andrew Melnik
  • Anthony Thornton
  • Becca Thornton
  • Ellen Lopercio
  • Jordan Collier
  • Krissy Lenz
  • Paul Broccolo
 
#ShipIt
Friday, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: North 223
Have you ever wanted to talk about your favorite pairings? Do you ever wonder if there is something better? Come join the Mahou Shoujo Defense Force and set sail for your favorite ships and we'll tell you why there's something better.
who'll be here
  • The Mahou Shoujo Defense Force (4 panelists)
 
Location: North 124a
It's Star Trek: the Animated Series like you've never seen it before, because the hilarious cast of National Comedy Theatre is taking out all the sound and replacing it with new, hilarious dialogue, sound effects and more.
who'll be here
  • Andrew Melnik
  • Anthony Thornton
  • Bob Caplan
  • Krissy Lenz
  • Paul Broccolo
 
10 Must See Doctor Who Stories
Thursday, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Location: North 121bc
Considering it has been named the "Longest Running Science Fiction Television Program", Doctor Who has a multitude of fascinating stories to choose from. Join our Whovian Experts as we discuss The Top 10 Must See Doctor Who Stories!
who'll be here
  • Chris Swanson
  • Courtney Lovejoy
  • Gavin Hazeldene
  • Katie Reilly
  • Melanie Hazeldene
 
Spoof N Cinema: Doctor Who
Saturday, 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: North 121bc

The Spoof N Cinema crew from National Comedy Theatre have hijacked Dr Who! Complete with all new, hilarious dialogue, plot, sound effects and more! Prizes & Trivia following the episode provided by Bookmans Entertainment Exchange and National Comedy Theatre!
who'll be here
  • Andrew Melnik
  • Bob Caplan
  • Francis Zagarrigo
  • Jordan Collier
  • Krissy Lenz
  • Paul Broccolo
 
IF you shall be in attendance, kindly add us to your conquest and come see the shows! Say "Hi!" when you see us walking around the exhibit hall, if you can pick us out from the crowd of 90,000 people!