Posted by: Dude of Lee Street | June 21, 2009

Chibloggo pt. deux

Hey everyone,

First off: Happy Father’s Day to my dad, and to everyone’s fathers out there. I wish I could be home in KC right now. I put a great video at the end of this post.

Once again you can follow my everyday life via twitter if that’s your thing, and I have some new pictures on my flikr if you want to check that.

Pretty self-explanatory.

Pretty self-explanatory.

Moving on. Sorry that I haven’t updated this thing more often, I’ve just been exceptionally busy.

Last week I started (and completed) the first round of my immersions classes at Second City. I spent the mornings in Improv. Comedy classes and the afternoons I had Comedic Writing. I was unsure how quickly the classes would progress, and more importantly how quickly our class would come together (most importantly in the improv class) as an ensemble, which is a key in improv no matter what level you are at. As the week progressed, we came together really well, better than I had expected. Everyone in the class was so talented, and it was a pleasure working with them. I’ll miss those who are leaving, and look forward to working with everyone else in the upcoming week. I feel as though I was able to learn a lot and progress in what was a short, but very intensely paced amount of time. I’m excited for next week to even further what I have learned while I am here.

My comedic writing class is where I feel as though I’ve learned the most, though. Our exercises, practices, group work, and just plain writing have all pushed me through into a new place with my writing. I have many drafts finished of sketches, all of which have promise. My ability to write has always come easily, but now I am focusing it in, allowing me to write at a different level.

Most importantly, the classes have allowed me to meet some talented, amazing people, all of which have differing viewpoints about comedy. It is a great feeling to be amongst people from differing backgrounds but all working towards the same goal. Workshopping writing and creating characters or scenes with these people has been such a learning experience for me, and equally a pleasure. I’m hoping to keep in touch with everyone, and even work with many of them in the future.

I’ve tried to catch as many shows as I could afford since I’ve been here, as well. One of my coaches, Rachel Miller, performed last Thursday, doing a long-form improv show called Podcast. The show was great, it was a nice feeling to see your teacher performing in her elements, watch her personality shine through on the stage. After her show, I caught a show called Messing With Friends, starring improv guru Susan Messing. This was one of the best comedy shows I’ve ever attended. Susan Messing has won Chicago’s Best Improv Comic multiple times, and for very good reason. Her show was a self edited long-form improv show based on a single audience suggestion. Both shows took place at The Annoyance, a smaller, indie-esque theater that I grew quite fond of very quickly. Both shows changed my outlook on the possibilities and techniques that improv can entail.

The Legend himself.

The Legend himself.

On a non-comedy note, last Tuesday was the 20th Anniversary of Buddy Guy’s Legends, and there was a great show. Buddy Guy showed up, performed, and then mingled with the people around his bar. Charlie and I got to meet him, it was, from a guitar players perspective, an awe-inspiring thing to see a legend that close.

Buddy and I.

Buddy and I.

Last night I saw Jimmy Fallon do stand up. To start, my expectations weren’t all that high, but his show ended up being quite funny (more than his late night program) and all in all it was a fantastic night.

Tonight I am checking out Brother, Can You Spare Some Change, the e.t.c. show at Second City. After last week, seeing the great mainstage show, I have high expectations for this one as well. There is also an improv. jam after the show, which should be a good time.

As for my stand up comedy, Chicago is an interesting place. I have done a couple of shows. The stand up community in Chicago is much different than the improv community. The stand up community is a very “know people” group. Your treatment is very greatly affected by who you know, rather than who you are. Since I was new in town, I often got slighted by hosts of shows, ignored by comedians, etc. Crowd responses, however, were always solid and positive. I got a lot of good feedback from the crowds, those who came to see a show and laugh. Fellow comedians spent shows in silence near the front of a crowd, not really showing emotion for any of their fellow comedians. I suppose the competitiveness of stand up intimidates most of them, so they don’t want to give positivity towards other comedians. But I have a lot of good to take from stand up in Chicago. I met some good people, wrote some new jokes, and had great responses from crowds.

Chicago has been great. I have less than one week left. There are some people I really want to get back to Columbia to see, but plenty I have left to do here in the Windy City.

Since it’s Father’s Day, here’s a nice video of my dad, arguing a call in family four square:

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Kyle

Posted by: Dude of Lee Street | June 14, 2009

Chibloggo Pt. One

NOTE: I tweet minor, relevant updates on a very regular basis, so follow me on there. I also take way more pictures than I blog, so check out my flickr page regularly as well, if you please.

Hey everyone,

Here is my first post from the amazing city of Chicago. I am going to be here until June 29th, and am hoping to make a larger commitment to keeping the four regular readers of this site interested and engaged. If you did not know, I am in Chicago taking some summer immersions courses, which are essentially week-long, intense, fast-paced classes. I am taking two improv and two comedic writing classes. Most importantly, the classes are being taught through Second City, the comedy (and most definitely improvisation) capital of the world. The alumni list of Second City is remarkable and, to be quite honest, just a bit ridiculous. It seems unfathomable that so many great names came from one place.

But anyways, I’m not going to dwell on how fantastic Second City is, but instead move into what is taking up my 19 days here in Chicago. In fact, my blog will be briefs about what I am doing in Chicago, and length about why I am doing it and how I feel, that sort of thing. That will come in the forthcoming days.

Let’s start from the beginning: Last Thursday Austin and I took the train to Chicago. The Amtrak. That was a poor decision. There were two distinct points in the train ride. One: At one point the train was traveling so slowly that we were actually passed by a stray cat I spotted outside. Two: We traveled backwards for five minutes. I took some footage on the train and, due to slow speeds, edited it on there, as well. Here’s what I did when I was bored:

The first night we were in Chicago, we joined up with Charlie (with whom I am staying) to take in a Comedy Sportz (with the z) show. They were made up of seven improvisers, split into two teams and a referee, and did short-form improv. involving the crowd and scoring and whatnot. It was a lot of fun and a great first show to take in.

After that we went to a karaoke bar, had some drinks, and sang Love Shack on the karaoke machine.

Charlie and Drew relaxing in Grant Park

Friday consisted of a trip to Grant Park, where the free, annual Chicago Blue Festival was taking place. We heard some good music, saw some very interesting people, but most of all relaxed and got shunned by Charlie due to our lack of frisbee skill. We then went out to eat with Charlie’s family and some friends, and ended up watching the Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 at his Aunt’s house while enjoying High Life Lite, which I found out exists.

A bus belonging to a traveling Blues Band

A bus belonging to a traveling Blues Band

Saturday, Charlie’s internship with XRT Radio required he spend some hours under a tent distributing swag and selling t-shirts. Austin and I took advantage of this and explored Chicago. We explored Chicago to the point that we ended up in Indiana.

Sunday (today) was the Cubs game. I was excited (and Austin uncontrollably ecstatic) to see Wrigley Field. The game was a blast as Ryan Theriot hit a walkoff single.

Then I made my way to Old Town Chicago, to Second City, where my time here in Chi-Town really started to come to. After the Cubs game I parted ways with the crew and was forced to navigate myself the 3-4 miles to Second City, using only my wits, a transit pass (amazing birthday gift), and a mediocre Edge Network iPhone. This may sound like a joke, but the idea of a city this large mixed with my having to travel places I’ve never seen on public transportation with names I’ve never heard of intimidated me. I felt a great sense of pride and accomplishment when I finally made it to Second City. Once I had arrived I began to feel overwhelmed. Something I had worked extremely hard for, something that could help shape who I am going to be “now that I’m a grown up,” was actually happening. I had finished my pilgramage to comedy’s Mecca, but now I didn’t know what to do. It’s an odd feeling when something you want so badly is actually before you. I sent a frantic text and was comforted by my sister. We had what was basically a meet-and-greet, even less than an orientation, and then all made our way to the Second City Mainstage Show (great).

This blog is so dang long, I’ll talk more later. Thank you dearly for reading. Check out my flickr.

Love,

Kyle.

Posted by: Dude of Lee Street | April 23, 2009

Some Stand Up

A few months ago I performed some stand up opening for Tommy Johnagin. Check out video of some of my set:

-Kyle

Posted by: Dude of Lee Street | April 20, 2009

Fantastic.

So I got more than one message asking me if I put up this sign. I did not, but whomever did needs credit. Simple, effective, and funny. And hopefully true.

6087017

-Kyle

Posted by: Dude of Lee Street | April 20, 2009

Where We Be…

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The cake was shaped like a shoe, but did not serve well as one.

So there has been a huge lack of posting by the Dudes this calendar year. I attribute this to a multitude of possible reasons. The purpose of this post is to inform you as to why we’ve been letting all of you, our faithful readers, down, and also to let you know that we fully plan on increasing the amount of posts in the near future. On top of that, we are going to create a new layout, so be ready for that. That being said, without further ado, let’s just get right into the thick of things.

I (Kyle) have been consuming myself with too many jobs for my own good. Some recent exciting news in my life, though. I won a cakewalk a the TOMS walk the other day. My victory was a surprise, for my family has been cursed in the cakewalk department for as long as I can remember. In all honesty, I remember my father spending $75 at the John Nowlin Elementary School Carnival in attempt to win a cake from the cakewalk. My sister is two years ahead of me in school, which gave my father eight elementary school carnivals to try and win a cake. He was once given a cake out of pity, but it was chocolate, which makes him vomit, so, though he accepted it graciously, he threw it away the second the giver turned their back. I am convinced my parents decided to birth my little brother so my dad could have six more years of cakewalk opportunity.

Austin got a new MacBook but is yet to use it to blog, even though I am sure it has an audio-blog-though-reading-post utility tool installed.

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Taking in some rays.

Adam and Charlie are both studying overseas.

Charlie traded seventeen Chicago Cubs trading cards (including two of Sosa), six pence, and fourteen hours of manual labor for a camel while he was traveling around aimlessly. He has high hopes of fitting the camel into the overhead compartment as a carry on when he makes his voyage home.

Adam is yet to get his own camel. But while he still swears that everything is bigger in Texas, this slogan may not apply to beverages.

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Also living within the walls of the house is two new residents, Brandon and Katy. Brandon plays bass and Katy is a dog. There is probably more to them than that. Plans are in hand for creating a facebook account for Katy. Unfortunately she forgot her gmail password so we’ll have to see where it goes from here.

That being said, here’s what you have to look forward to in the near future of posts:
– I will be posting the letters I received from my sister’s second grade class, my informative responses, as well as honorary posts from her involving things her kids have said.
– Katy might make an appearance.
– General Advice to live by.

Once again, apologies for the lack of posting, but brace yourselves for a new era in the internet.

-Kyle

Posted by: Dude of Lee Street | April 1, 2009

Hey! We’re Killing People! Over here, look!

So a couple of weeks ago I noticed a good amount of my female friends getting text messages saying, “Don’t go to Wal-Mart tonight. Gang initiation. Have to kill four white women.” (or things of that nature). Needless to say I thought this was a hoax. If it wasn’t a hoax, I knew this was the worst gang of all-time. I have never heard of a gang advertising their illegal activity, which happens to take place at the most public place in the world. So I went on, assuming it was a hoax, someone excersizing their right to mass-text, but then I stumbled upon this on the facebook:

(click to see the entire event)

end

So I suppose the next thing is to wait for the gang to get a twitter.

CoMoGang4Lyfe: We B Cappin wite Bichez @Walmart l8er if @Boonvillegangs or @Moberlygangs wants to come

-Kyle

Posted by: Dude of Lee Street | January 8, 2009

Me v. Late 1990s Rehab-Ridden Robert Downey Jr.

Let’s all be honest about this, out of all of the dudes who know the password to this site, I am the only one to post more than once. That is why I get to be in the driver seat of the van. Alas, I worry that you all know as little about me as I do you, so I have developed a little game that we can play. I have a title in the works, which is “Pick Whether the Following Scenario Applies to Kyle Ayers or Late 1990s Rehap-Ridden Robert Downey Jr.”

You read the brief scenario and decided who it applies to, and check your answers at the end of the post. Without further ado…

dowwny11) This person has had a physical attraction, whether it be on or off screen, to Calista Flockhart.

2) This person once ate an entire bottle of flintstones vitamins, was rushed to the hospital, and prompted the horrible pun, “Get this kid to Bed-rock!”

3) This person once asked a 45-year-old woman at a grocery store if her tramp stamp was the Chinese symbol for “stretch mark.”

4) This person took advantage of his surroundings, consuming mass amounts of cocaine and valium in 1999 to avoid filming another wretched season of Ally McBeal.

5) This person was credited with saying, “You never go full retard.”

OK! Time to see how you did…

Here are the answers:

1) Late 1990s Rehab-Ridden Robert Downey Jr.

2) Kyle

3) Kyle

4) Late 1990s Rehab-Ridden Robert Downey Jr.

5) Trick Question. Both of us. Kyle’s use just involved an embarrasing moment at the Big 12 Title Game.

-Kyle

Posted by: Dude of Lee Street | January 1, 2009

My Attempt at Self-Promotion

Hey everyone, first and foremost Happy New Year to you all, I’m sure we’ll get a New Years post here very soon.

I have come across a new video of my stand up, and thought I’d let you all in on it:

Also, here are some links to my other videos and whatnot…

Facebook Fan Page

YouTube Channel

Myspace

Let’s become friends on every virtual network possible!

-Kyle

Posted by: Dude of Lee Street | December 29, 2008

Latent Homosexual comes in at 6th!

Ok, this post is going to be quick. Over the past few months people have made their way upon the blog through many different methods. Most of which are either facebook or stumbleupon, which are my two favorite parts of the internet. But still, many other people use search engines and come upon the Dudes of Lee Street, and wordpress.com was kind enough to let us in on what terms people use to find us. I’ll let y’all in on the insight.

The top search term that people have used to find Dudes of Lee Street:

Oh! This is Devon Sawa. Duh.

Oh! This is Devon Sawa. Duh.

Devon Sawa. I honestly don’t know what that is. Hang on, let me google it. Ok, he’s an actor. Once even played Stan in an Eminem DVD. I don’t ever remember him being on this site, but oh well.

Let’s take a look at some other terms that popped up on the list…

Soccer Referee is the 2nd most searched term that leads you here. Ok.

Latent Homosexual comes in as the 6th most searched term. Hmm…

Encino Man: This is a given. Comes in at 10th.

Pokeball Sound Clip: 12th most searched.

Party at 6 Jay Cutler: Multiple times people have searched this and come to our site. I honestly don’t know where to start here. 17th overall.

fotos de devon sawa fan clube: He even makes his mark in Spanish. This is 27th most searched.

Vanilla Ninja Wallpaper: 28th

pics of devon sawa from 2008: Comes in at 30th.

devon sawa in now and then: Comes in at 36th. I can’t make this up.

Then we get to the bottom, the less-searched terms that still, somehow, brought people to our site. Terms like: Bulbasaur, Devon Sawa 2008, france virgin case couple (?), devon sawa starring in, and coming in at last on our list: jon benet-ramsay.

So that’s it, apparently we have an underlying fascination with Devon Sawa that none of us knew about. Let’s see what the new year brings in!

Answer the poll and help the blog go in whatever direction you wish!

-Kyle


Posted by: Dude of Lee Street | December 24, 2008

Best and Worst of Lake Tapawingo’s Christmas Lights

So the first night I was back in KC I realized that most of my neighbors go way overboard with their Christmas lights. Not Clark Griswald overboard, but overboard nonetheless. And I really noticed the new trend in my neighborhood: Candy Canes. Everyone had one. So I called up Layla, and she and I drove around the neighborhood and came up with a top and bottom five lights, along with one obvious winner. Check it:

The previously mentioned Layla. She drove. I took pictures. It was a good combo

The previously mentioned Layla. She drove. I took pictures. It was a good combo

Before we start, in case you didn’t believe me on the candy cane fiasco:

Everyone had these 6 foot tall lit-up candy canes.

Everyone had these 6 foot tall lit-up candy canes.

another street of candy canes

Another street of candy canes.

Here are some candy cane statistics for you:

  • 307 Houses in Lake Tapawingo
  • 801 People
  • 350 CANDY CANES! (we counted.)
  • That means each house has 1.14 candy canes, and each candy cane is shared by only 2.29 people. God Bless Missouri.

But without further ado, let’s get right into the Bottom Five. These people just wasted my time and their electricity. It honestly boggles me why they’d bother at all. What I was looking for here was an obvious effort put into having horrible lights.

We just threw these lights in this tree.

5) I call this one: We just threw these lights in this tree.

4) The one string of lights hints that they have a little spirit, but please, shut of your flood light. It doesn't count.

4) The one string of lights hints that they have a little spirit, but please, shut of your flood light. It doesn't count. Neither do the poinsettias

3) The flaw here lies in the fact that they either ran out of staples or quit trying with about two feet of lights left.

3) The flaw here lies in the fact that they either ran out of staples or quit trying with about two feet of lights left.

2) This person barely had to reach out the door to look like an idiot.

2) This person barely had to reach out the door to look like an idiot.

And our champ of the Worst Lights in Lake Tapawingo:

1) Ok. There is a large quanitity of lights here. But they only wrapped them halfway up one tree. Fantastic. So much effort was put into ruining Christmas.

1) Ok. There is a large quanitity of lights here. But they only wrapped them halfway up one tree. Fantastic. So much effort was put into ruining Christmas.

Now! Let’s move onto the best of the decent. Here are the Top Five Lights of Lake Tapawingo:

5) I know. There were better houses, many better houses, but this makes our list because of the giant Snow Globe

5) I know. There were better houses, many better houses, but this makes our list because of the giant Snow Globe

4) Consistent coloring. Nice setup. Solid all around.

4) Consistent coloring. Nice setup. Solid all around.

3) What you can't see are the two candy canes in their yard. Fo Serious.

3) What you can't see are the two candy canes in their yard. Fo Serious.

2) Honestly this house is way cooler than the lights on it. It's down the street from me five houses, and is a gingerbread-replica-house.

2) Honestly this house is way cooler than the lights on it. It's down the street from me five houses, and is a gingerbread-replica-house.

1) Across the street (exactly) from the Gingerbread House. They had nothing to do for a couple of weekends to get this stuff up. Phenomenal. And they leave it on 24 hrs/day. Sorry neighbors.

1) Across the street (exactly) from the Gingerbread House. They had nothing to do for a couple of weekends to get this stuff up. Phenomenal. And they leave it on 24 hrs/day. Sorry neighbors.

So there it is. I’m sorry for the lack of clarity with photos, but there was no way I was getting out of the car for this. Not a chance. Still wanting more? Check out this, the GRAND ULTIMATE CHAMPION HOUSE that we came upon:

We stumbled upon this house near my own (turn up your volume)

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