My DCM 15 Experience
This was my 4th DCM and it was definitely unlike any other DCM I’ve ever experienced. My first DCM I dragged someone who’d never been to UCB before and we only went to a handful of shows on Friday and Saturday night. My second DCM, I rolled solo and again only went to shows on Friday and Saturday night. My third DCM, I volunteered at the party space during the opening shift, causing me to miss some great shows like Press Conference and The Stepfathers most legendary set to date, but it also gave me time to bond with my friends, party it up, and see a ton of amazing shows.
This year was different for a couple of reasons. Everyone’s schedules were super scattered (3 out of the 4 of us were volunteering/working and none of our times overlapped), I worked all of Saturday night/Sunday causing me to miss a majority of the weekend’s best shows, and for the first time, I cared more about having time to bond/party with fellow improvisers than I did about going to shows.
It was still an amazing marathon.
Now, for me, the Del Close Marathon started on Wednesday with Billy Merritt’s Pirate Ninja Robot workshop. I genuinely have never had more fun in a workshop in the 2 years that I’ve been taking classes at UCB than I did in Billy’s PNR workshop. It was so active and so engaging and I got to learn the Ninja form, which is sort of the stuff of legend. Also, I discovered that I’m actually a Pirate (with occasional Ninja tendencies), which is the opposite of the answer I would have given you prior to this workshop. Huh!
Thursday I worked at my part-time job early in the morning, and then hit the road directly from work so that I could set up shop on Alissa’s dorm room floor and then go and intern at Beast for Harold Night Time Machine. As always, it was epic and delightful to see some of the older teams resurrected, but most of the Time Machine teams this year were still too recent for me to consider resurrection-worthy (I mean, Sandino is still together!) After Time Machine, we actually closed up Beast so early that I had time to trek up to Chelsea to catch the 2nd half of CageMatch (which I haven’t seen since July!) After CageMatch, we went to McManus and rubbed elbows with/had knowledge and personal stories imparted on us by some of the improvisers that we’ve always looked up to. God, I love that bar.
Friday was the only day I was able to see shows, and I made sure I saw shows. I hopped in line with Hollie around 12:30 and waited to get into the theater for Press Conference and then didn’t leave the theater until after NY Mets Monoscene. 12 hours of shows. Hot damn. I knew that this was the only chance I was going to have to enjoy my traditional DCM experience of doing nothing but sleeping and seeing shows, so I wasn’t going to let a looming extremely long box office shift the next day derail me from leaving the theater before 4am. I probably could have left after Pie Babies, but I’m glad I didn’t.
Saturday, I woke up earlier than I expected (that’s to say I woke up before 3pm) so I showered and then headed down to the East Village to catch the 2nd half of Improv4Humans before I headed over to T80 for my box office shift. I am so glad that I chose to watch an hour of I4H over getting an hour of sleep. The final I4H set was Amy and Ian joining Matt. They then invited the kid from the Missouri improv team on stage (if you haven’t heard his story, the short of it is that this kid lives in rural Missouri where there’s no kind of improv classes or anything to be found for miles and miles. His friend brought him to an ASSSSCAT in LA where he met Besser and explained his rural predicament and hoped Besser had some advice on starting an improv community on his own, so Besser sent him a copy of the handbook and told him to study it and use it to teach his friends and assemble a group and if he did, Besser would fly them out to DCM and give them a slot. And they did.) and everyone cheered and the theater basically erupted with excitement for this kid and his journey and it was really special and still makes me a little misty just thinking about, honestly. He also got to do some scenes for I4H with the UCB 3, so, like, how cool, right?
Saturday night, I trudged over to T80 for the first of 2 box office shifts there over the next 24 hours. About an hour in, I knew that I had either caught some sort of cold or that my body was already starting to shut down due to lack of sleep and way too much physical activity. I left my post for a few minutes to wander around the East Village collecting Zicam, Tylenol, and coconut water. The meds started to make me feel better and so did my co-workers at T80 who I had a genuine blast with.
After box office, I knew I didn’t have enough time to nap before my team (Hey Everyone, Get In Here) had to go on, so I headed directly to Beast where some of the other interns were already hanging out. 2 beers and half a hash/weed brownie later and I was Shannon O’Neill-level high. It was fun at first, but then I started panicking because I was so out of control of my own actions that I was afraid I wasn’t physically going to be able to make it on stage to perform. Everyone seemed to be moving in fast-forward, but time seemed to be moving in slow-motion. It would have been much more fun if I didn’t have the responsibility of performing to worry about (I’ve never even performed tipsy before!)
Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity (but was really only an hour) we went on stage to do our set. I guess I wasn’t the only one who was messed up out of their minds on either drugs, alcohol, or just lack of sleep delerium because we had no idea what the fuck we were doing. (Also, because I asked Mike Sapp why he was about to perform with us and he said it was because he had to babysit all of us idiot interns to make sure we didn’t make fools of ourselves on stage. It didn’t work.)\
I think we moved through our first couple of group scenes really quickly because all I remember is looking at the clock and seeing we still had 8 minutes but everyone was already tired of the normal scenes so we pandered around a bit, and they even did a scene where they pimped me out to the audience for not having said anything yet (in my defense, everyone is much taller than me and kept jumping in front of me for every scene) and it was both awkward and a little awesome. We even got to a point around the 7 minute mark where we saw Shannon O’Neill (who was still flyin’ high on Molly) standing on the side of the stage and we pulled her up to perform with us in hopes that maybe she could save our set. I don’t remember many specifics from the set other than wishing I wasn’t on stage for at least the last 6 minutes, but I vaguely remember it turning into basically an improv master class with Shannon O’Neill.
As soon as our set was over, we all congregated back in the bar for a bit before heading out into the sunrise to go collect some sleep. I only got about an hour of solid sleep over a 3 hour period before I had to be back up to get ready for my 2nd box office shift at noon.
Box office on Sunday was rough if only for the hangover/lack of sleep. I got to work with Claire, though, and we got all sorts of yummy food throughout the day, so that was a plus! All in all, I was glad to finally be done with box office by 8pm Sunday night.
I then moved my car to a spot that allowed me to not have to wake up and move my car before 11am on Monday and headed back to the dorm to get ready to hit up the party space where we danced, drank, and partied until we couldn’t function any more. I was sad I decided to not try to get into the 11pm ASSSSCAT given the lineup and monologist, but also glad because I wouldn’t have physically been able to carry myself to the party space after having to stand in the back of the Chelsea theater to watch it.
I’m just so genuinely in love with this entire community and the fact that it took me under its wing and gave me a home. I love every connection I’ve made here, every friendship that was started because of this theater (or, more times than not, at DCM specifically), every opportunity that I’ve already been given because of this theater. I just want to live inside of the magical inflatable chair that is the UCB community and never leave. You guys inspire me and now after this fantastic weekend, I’m ready to start my sketch 301 class, work on getting my packet ready for Maude writer submissions, and find a job that will allow me to move into the city and closer to the community post-haste.
Commitment was the theme of this DCM, as Amy announced during Press Conference, and I’m committing myself to UCB forever and ever amen.