Posts Tagged ‘thanks’

DSI, “A Comedy Temple”

“Located in Carrboro, this 100-seat, black-box theater is basically the city’s comedy temple – and people flock to it.” (Full Article)

I just came home from a relatively quiet holiday to a great FLOOD of supportive messages and notes about the article in the News & Observer. THANK YOU! Thank you for the very opposite of #inboxzero.

In fact, the picture above I stole from Laurie Ruettimann, who posted a candid frontpage “over the sofa” shot on Facebook. I used to be amazed at the accolades and support DSI would receive, but over time that has transitioned to healthy pride. I am extremely PROUD of my company, the funny people who have worked to help build what the N&O calls a comedy temple (with the church of improv, I’m happy with “temple”).

My company has taught more than 1000 students since we started teaching classes in 2003, a program that truly turned into a multi-faceted Comedy School. And hundreds of those very students continued with DSI to become active members of our performing company. They are the reason we are open today.

They are who I give thanks for Every Year.

Also, I’m HONORED to share the DSI stage with Del Close, our inspiration and guru of modern improv.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a short Thank You. Now I’ve got to run and get myself to the theater. Despite the incredible Turkey Hangover, The COMEDY Must Go On — We have shows at 730pm and 930pm!

But first, a personal thank you to CARRIE GORN, our ROCKSTAR publicist! YOU’RE AWESOME!

Harold for MFA Students

Tomorrow will be my last DSI Comedy Training Workshop at UNC (Carolina) for 2010 — I cannot say enough about the opportunity to share Improv as an Artform with MFA students in the Professional Actor Training Program. I am reminded daily why I do this work and how valuable the skills are as a foundation for any artistic expression. In 6 intense days 8 new students were exposed to Harold.

Thanks to Del Close for that opportunity. Thanks to Del for a lot.

Del talks about Harold in 1986.

My DSI Thanks

My turkey was mostly digested (and two pieces of pumpkin pie), The Godfather Marathon on AMC started over again, and I was at my desk working at my home-office – which many guests insist should be called an office-home after they see it – when I sent the following message to my current company of 45 performers at DSI Comedy Theater, thanking them for another incredible year:

“It’s been amazing to see our shows and teams take off over the past 12 months and for the company to simply enjoy the benefit of SO MUCH talent on stage and support off stage. We have so many things at the theater to be thankful for, and so many new friends this year, but I just wanted to take a minute to say to everyone, You’re AWESOME. Truly. Nothing we do could happen if we didn’t all jump in 100% to help make the theater run the way it does.

We are a family of incredible talented and supportive friends that work together, play together and give back to the community in really meaningful and inspiring ways. Because of our dedication to the team and our philosophy of play the community we live in benefits from our creativity and generosity. Positivity, Trust and UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT are what made our Theater thrive. So thank you. I’m looking forward to another incredible year.”

DSI was born out of the Dirty South Improv Festival (now the NC Comedy Arts Festival) My company started teaching improv classes and producing comedy in North Carolina in 2003 and now, three Training Centers later (so much painting!), we have taught over 800 students. We have performed more than 1000 shows in our own theater (so much vacuuming!), and over 300 shows in other venues.


My company and I have donated time and expertise to help raise money for organizations all over the Triangle. Our Annual 24LIVE Comedy Marathon (now YLAUGH) has benefitted the IFC Shelter, The Women’s Center of Chapel Hill, NC Children’s Hospital, WCOM, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA. Food drives for tickets have been incredibly successful and allow our Fans to help us help the community. DSI Comedy Theater was a major sponsor of the Anderson Park Disc Golf Course with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Sunrise Rotary Club. We have provided corporate training, communication services, event facilitation, and custom entertainment at significant discounts to The ArtsCenter, Self-Help, Local Motive, Reality Check 2009, Leadership Triangle, Chapel Hill-Carrboro LeadershipLineberger Cancer Center and more.

DSI Comedy Theater currently offers 5 shows per week, FREE – $10. Our Comedy Training Center opens new classes every month in standup and improvisation. A member of our DSI Faculty coaches GIUSEPPE, our DSI High School improv team, every Friday after school. Our DSI Witness News writing staff has work featured On Air at WCHL 1360 every weekday (and podcast), over 120 episodes and counting.

And our 10th Annual Comedy Festival is just 2 months away.


How Thankful am I? More than I can explain.

I couldn’t have accomplished half of these things over the past 9 years without my DSI Family. I am constantly amazed at what people can accomplish when they work as a team. We teach agreement – We teach unconditional support – But when I see those fundamentals put into action like I have with my own company it can still make me overwhelmed by the power of improv. Our philosophy of play and constant discovery built this theater. I am thankful for a company of performers and staff that constantly works to improve themselves. Always. DSI figures things out while they’re happening – “Fall, then figure out what to do on the way down.” Right Del? – Well, we jumped. And whenever we jump we always look up. Interesting thing about constant discovery (and constant jumping), it NEVER feels like we hit ground. So either I was out of my mind when I decided to open a theater or else working towards a goal where you enjoy process as much as product, surrounded by so many positive people, it just feels like you’re floating ALL THE TIME.

Happy Thanksgiving.