Please do not feed the robots

Here is the weird HUGE schedule for the next couple weeks as we prep for the improv festival and get the bar area built (and a couple other surprises) – we will be working furiously to get everything ready in a few short days but there are still a couple dates to get your improv fix ::

Monday – June 13th, 8pm – Show X

Tpt is shooting a segment on HUGE Theater and we would love to have everyone there to enjoy the show and be part of the taping.  Hopefully the TpT camera crew can get in a turf war with another crew shooting nearby…Tickets are 2 for 1.

Tuesday – June 14th – Dark :: No Fight Club

Wednesday – June 15th – Dark :: No Drop-in class, No show

Thursday – June 16th – Dark :: No Show

Friday – June 17th – Dark :: No Show

Saturday – June 18th – Dark :: No Show

Sunday – June 19th, 8pm – Improv A Go Go

Monday – June 20th, 8pm – Show X – with special guest!

Tuesday – June 21st – Dark :: No Fight Club

Wednesday – June 22nd – Improv Mixer – No Show

Thursday – June 23rd – Twin Cities Improv Festival begins!

a Rut becomes a Groove, becomes a Grave

HUGE updates ::

Inspections –

After being open for a few months, someone apparently realized we had yet to undergo a couple of important inspections and sent the appropriate people our way with clipboards in hand.

Thankfully, we are not in trouble or at odds with the city over anything. They are doing their due diligence and we are making (mostly small) changes to comply with their requests.

Beer and wine –

This is the one everyone asks about, and the one that we never seem to make any progress on regardless of how many steps in the process we go through. Luckily we are coming to the end of the whole thing with a vote at the City Council meeting on the 27th of May.

Should they vote to approve, everything then goes to the Mayor’s office the next day and a whole new cycle of paperwork kicks in while we get approval to order from vendors and have to (very quickly) acquire the permitted coolers and electrical mods to store/serve the beer in question.

All told, the soonest we can sell would be June 5th – thanks to some weird rule about the license not taking effect until the following Saturday. I was hoping we would be raising a toast at the IAGG Anniversary Show but we should be all set for TCIF!

If you live in the area it would be great if you could call your city councilperson and tell them you would like to have a beer at your favorite new improv theater, to better enjoy “the arts”


We drink, we dry up and now we crumble into dust.

Something new every day – that has been the mantra at HUGE during the daylight hours.  We don’t mess around.

I do actually try to get something new done or added to the theater every working day I have there, big or small, partly as a way to keep myself from getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of things there still are to do.  Sometimes it’s as small as a fishbowl full of cell phones, sometimes it’s new software on the tech booth computers to make running shows easier.  This week we made the “last” big addition to the theater by expanding into the backstage area.


You couldn't have come at a better time

A quick blog update. It happened! You guys donated $5000!! That’s incredible! Here’s me handing my check to HUGE Theater President Butch Roy.
HUGE Theater President Butch Roy receives a check for $5000 from Jill Bernard. We need to work on our check-receiving faces.

(We need to work on our check-receiving faces.)

Thanks, you guys. I said earlier that people might’ve felt bad about making me spend my own money, but the truth is, it is worth well more than $5000 to me to know people want HUGE Theater to succeed. There are many of you, and you’re from everywhere and all walks of life. It’s incredibly gratifying. My heart is warmed. I cried, I laughed, I did a little dance.

Okay. Onward.

Insert Obscure Song Lyric Here

Butch normally writes these bloggie thingies, but I thought I’d hop in here for a second.

Through March 31, I’m offering $5000 of my own money as a matching grant, to try to get some traction for HUGE.   It’s true, I’m not rich.  I haven’t had a day job since I got laid off two years ago, ironically, shortly after making this video about how much I love my day job.   Since then I make money playing ComedySportz and teaching at improv festivals around the country, and doing the occasional voiceover or commercial.

I have a little bit of savings, my father gave us all our inheritance early.  He doesn’t need the money, he grew a big beard and lives in a trailer and volunteers at train museums in warm climates.  Logically, I should be saving that money for my retirement, because improvisors don’t get 401Ks.   Somehow I’d rather spend it on helping HUGE Theater.  I want there to be a home for scenic improvisation in the Twin Cities.  It’s important to me.

Here’s the question though.  Why does HUGE Theater need a big wad of cash right now?  Well.  We’re buried under construction debt, crowds are still at a tiny getting-to-know you size, and we’re still in the part of the beer-and-wine license process where the city takes your money, not where you make money.  We’re getting there, but we’re not there.

Won’t you combine your dollars with my dollars to get us over this hump?  There’s a lot of stupid things to spend your money on. Pick this one, this time.

Thank you.  You rock.

Let me get you up to speed, it's up to us to up the need. Upheaval tucked up the sleeve

Lots of new things still changing around HUGE – adding shows and time slots and special events all over the place

I am still startled by the immediacy that running our space brings to the process, much to the frustration of our marketing people – instead of the normal process of deciding what is going to come next, sending press releases, building some hype and then launching a new show we’re looking at Friday late nights after Overheard In Minneapolis and it always feels like there should be MORE. People hang out, the night clearly isn’t ready to be over yet – so we can add a show. Right NOW. No lead time, no ability to promote properly.  BOOM.

Such is the weird, chaotic process in the beginning – once we find the flow of all the evenings we will be able to follow the normal process for the next round of programming…hopefully.  Trying to get a couple months ahead while still trying to catch up from the build and keep up with daily operations can be daunting.

So, be patient with us and be sympathetic for our marketing people.  But now, the updates!


their numbers were few but they did the job of many

Credit where credit is due blog ::

Some things are changing at HUGE, many of which will be announced soon and most of them are a direct result of learning the reality of running a theater – putting things in motion and finding out that the way you planned things has many unexpected problems or doesn’t work the way you thought it would – and while myself, Jill and Nels tend to get credit for helming this big, meandering beast of a project I must point out to everyone that it is far easier to not know what you’re doing than it is to work for someone that doesn’t know what they’re doing.


The early 7 Seconds taught me some of life's most valuable lessons

opening night blog ::

Been doing a lot of talking to the press about the upcoming opening and there’s something very useful about being forced to repeat over and over again what you’re doing and and why – something that I have found coming up over and over again in the press gauntlet leading up to opening is the fact that I am not a “theater person” and how HUGE would really like people to understand that improv is theater.

First off, saying I’m not a “theater person” is a lot like saying I am not a “music person” – everyone likes some kind of theater, really, whether they know it or not.  Storytelling, stand up, TV, movies, improv, busking…all these things are essentially theater, the only difference is the delivery medium.


If revolution isn't what's in store, how can you care anymore?

HUGE build blog: Waiting

The boring updates are as follows:

The drywall guy is STILL going.  The Minneapolis electrical inspector just didn’t show for the inspection last week, which pushed everyone else back as well.  The wall guy was waiting for the inspector so he can close the walls, the electricians are waiting for the inspector and the wall guy, the plumber is waiting for the walls, tile and cement to dry, the cement guy was waiting for the wall guy to be done in the bathrooms so he didn’t make tracks in the new concrete – and all of them are waiting to find out what’s next.

Except the drywall guy, who is just waiting for the cement and the drywall mud to dry.

This week I have plenty to do in the meantime, which is better than just having to be there and trying to stay out of the way all day.

The stage is now handicapped accessible with a spiffy new ramp and some steps.  The tech booth now has the raised floor which allows the technician to literally (as opposed to psychologically) look down over everyone.  The dumpster was dropped off and filled before the sun came up, with another 2 dumpsters worth of scrap wood and drywall to go.  Now I’m waiting for it to be picked up.

In the meantime, the city of Minneapolis suddenly realized that they never had their mechanical reviewer sign off on our plans before giving us a building permit so now we have to scramble to get a mechanical engineer over to the space to certify that we meet the fresh air requirements for an assembly space – because we would hate to run out of air in the middle of a show.  Although that would provide an incredible amount of realism to the Mustache Rangers’ set….anyway.

I don’t know what day it is anymore.  It’s the side-effect of not having a “job” and all that.

I know that tomorrow the electricians are finally coming back and I am picking up the paint that will eventually adorn the lobby walls and possibly tiling the bathroom (depending on the drying of the walls) and sealing up the basement walls between our space and the landlord’s space – trying to get word back on what exactly we can get away with for one of those artsy bike racks and trying to coordinate some strong arms to unload the metal doors that are being delivered next week while I am out of town.

Show X has one more week at the Bryant Lake Bowl and I remain optimistic that it will move over to HUGE without a break and soon my blogging will be all about the fun of running shows instead of the slow march that is construction.

I cannot wait.