DBI Travel Mishaps at NCCAF

So yesterday was an interesting day for those of us in Death By Improv. Half of us came down on Wednesday, the other half came down yesterday. First at around 9am I text Brown (the other half of Improv Kerouac), Tim and Eric, checking to make sure they had started their road trip. Turns out they were just getting on the NJ Turnpike then. So that put them at least an hour behind already.

Then at me, Mick, Michelle, and Ron (those of us already here) went to lunch at the Southern Rail, where I stuffed my face with loaded fries, some tomato bisque, and an avocado sandwich, which while not my usual fair, was quite tasty. And I give Tim a call, around 12:15, and find out they are almost through Maryland. Okay, making good time, right?

3 hours later … I talk to Tim again, and find out that they hit a bunch of traffic by DC, had just finished their lunch stop, and were about to get back on the road. So still by DC at 3:30 had me worried enough, until 10 minutes later i get the text “Brown got on 95N.” Pretty laughable mistake, but it could happen to anyone, right?

Over the course of the next hour, they attempted to turn around and fix where they were going, but kept accidentally heading to Baltimore apparently. I get a text saying “My God, we are fucked. we’ll get there by 8:15 if we’re lucky.” They turned around on the Beltway 3 times. There by 8:15, for a 9pm show, it’s tight, but it’ll happen. (stage one, denial)

At this point, it’s now passed 4:30, and they are sitting in DC commuter traffic. I call Tim to find out if they are even moving, and Eric gets on the phone. Eric is trying to make it as laughable as possible. I tell him don’t take any stops, just put the pedal to metal and get here. His response, “don’t worry, brown is now wearing stillsuit so his sweat and urine will just be filtered back into his mouth as drinking water under the hot Arrakis sun.” Really? Dune jokes? I’m a sci-fi dork, but wow.

At this point, Mick takes the phone from me, talks to Eric for a bit, while I sit on the computer and start saying how I’m going to shoot them all in the face when I see them. (stage two, anger)

Next I talk to them around an hour later, to see if traffic has cleared at all, and not much luck. Around 6:30 Tim tells me they are moving fine, and are “just passed the marine ship thing.” He meant the Marine Corps Museum at Quantico. I suggest that maybe Tim should drive, since I know he will have no problem speeding, whereas Brown might be being more cautious, even given the time constraints. And I call Zach Ward asking if we can be moved to the end of our time slot to allow them a little more time to get here, which he says we’ll have to take up with the stage manager at call time. (stage three, bargaining)

By now, Mick, Ron, Michelle and myself have gone over to ArtsCenter West, to check in, and to watch the 7pm show. I start to feel pretty bummed. Can barely eat my pizza. (stage four, depression).

Then I start running into Philly people, wind up explaining our dilemma to a couple of them, and to the stage manager, and the absurdity of the whole thing makes me realize that if we have to do a 4 person show, oh well, that’s what it’ll be. I scarf down my pizza (stage five, acceptance)

We then watch the 7pm show (see my next post for the review/recap of that). I’m still checking in with Tim periodically to f:ind out where they are, in the off chance they could still make it. At 9:30ish, the 4 of us go to find a place to start warming up, and I actually start to loosen up. Mick says to me “I’ve actually never seen you this animated during a warm-up before. It’s scares me”

10:25 rolls around, and Katie, the host, introduces us “I don’t actually know how many guys are about to get up here, since half of them may be stranded on the side of I-85…” We get up and have a really fun show. I shit the bed on our DoWop song, but other than that, I think it was really strong all around. I go to introduce our last game of the set, knowing that we’re almost out of time, and I say “Ron and Michelle will be playing a Character Coaster.” And then I hear “How about Tim or Eric?” THEY MADE IT. For the last 3 minutes of the set, but they made it. Brown was parking the car, and probably having a massive panic attack.

Interesting thing, Eric drove down for just those three minutes. Last month his friend called him up and asked him to be in his wedding in Seattle this weekend. So Eric figured, get down here Thursday, play the show, crash at another friend’s place down here, and then fly with him to the Seattle on Friday. So basically he had a 14 hour drive to the airport. I’m sorry Eric.

We then got drunk. The ride back to the hotel was fun, cause Mick, Ron, Michelle and me came over in the hotel shuttle, figuring we’d take a cab back. Instead, we all piled into Brown’s car, 6 of us in a Ford Focus, with Ron (sober) driving, as I drunk navigated.

DBI, doing things the hard way since forever.

-Hochman

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