I promised a ATIC update a week back. Finally sitting down to do it!
A few weeks ago, Scott called me for what probably had to be a VERY difficult phone call for him. He was calling to ask me to step down as host of the Alley Theater Improv Challenge. He stressed that while I was a good actor, hosting just wasn't for me. In the same way Drew Carey isn't doing that great as host of "The Price is Right". You could tell that he was worried that I'd be mad/sad/angry/hateful/you name it.
I was relieved!
When I first volunteered to host it way back in February, I never expected it to be anything more than a higher-profile version of my old improv group, RASCAL. Basically inform the audience of what the talented people were going to do, get the ask-fors, and enjoy the show unfolding. Once Scott brokered a deal to have it televised, my gut reaction then was "Do they STILL want me be the host???"
I'm not putting myself down here. The fact of the matter is that I've never performed in front of the camera. I've had no training, so I was basically trying to adapt the whole time. I was uncomfortable and out of my element big time, and it showed on the screen. Personally, I'm thrilled that Scott had the business knowledge to make the change now, instead of continuing to try and "make it work".
Fortunately, I'm not done with the show by a longshot! Scott offered me the role of Producer, putting me on the same level as he and Carol. I'll continue to coordinate the performers, get all the ask-fors, probably be a guest judge once in awhile, and generally keep the on-camera show going. It's still plenty of work, and necessary work at that.
I'll also be one of the folks picking a new host. Someone with everything I couldn't provide - on-camera experience and looking comfortable on the small screen. And I plan on being the most anal retentive SOB on the panel - not just ANYONE can replace me! :)
The other part of the plan is what has me the msot excited though. The Alley Theater is going to set up a show for training inprov skills, and I'll be the instructor! Similar to the Groundlings and Second City in make-up, we're going to have a beginner's course and an intermediate course. We'll also have a performance course, invitation only, and they'll be the members of the Alley Theater's very own improv troupe. Just like the days I ran RASCAL, only generating revenue!
I'll be honest - my ego took a bit of bruising over losing the hosting job. But what I'm getting in return I already know will make me happier in the long run.