I know it’s shocking, but I do have other passions and hobbies outside of Disney. It’s not often that I actually get to enjoy these, however, since watching “Seinfeld” reruns while laying in bed often wins the battle of what I should do with my freetime. This is doubly true when it’s raining like it did this week in L.A. yet somehow I made it out of the house not once but twice this week to enjoy some of my other loves. Though, as it should come as no surprise to you at this point, both events did have some sort of Disney connection to speak of.
On Thursday night I drove out to Pomona to see the amazing Ryan Adams in concert. What’s the Disney connection there, you ask? Well, Ryan is married to a Disney princess. No, seriously — his wife is Rapunzel herself, Mandy Moore.
I’ve been a huge fan of Ryan Adams for over 13 years but never actually got around to seeing him in concert until this week. I can’t even tell you the last time I went to a concert, and I almost didn’t go to this one due to my aforementioned love of my warm bed. Luckily the promise of having someone to go with and the ability to get a ticket on StubHub for face value was enough to lure me out to The Fox to see the show.
If I can’t remember the last time I went to a show then I definitely can’t remember the last time I stood in the front row for a show, but that’s what I did on Thursday. I anticipated watching opening act Jenny Lewis from there and staying for a couple of songs of Adams’ set before escaping the crowd I assumed would be pushing in on me. To my pleasant surprise, the crowd kept their space and I was able to enjoy the entire show mere feet away from one of my musical heroes.
Both sets were as awesome as expected and I even got some decent photos and videos to relive parts of the show. But, to show you just how lame I really am, perhaps my favorite part was how quickly and easily I was able to get out the parking lot (that I paid $1 to park in — One. Single. Dollar.) after the show had let out. It was a perfect night, indeed.
Two of my other passions — stand up comedy and television — combined the next night as I got to see one of my favorite up and coming comics, Ron Funches, at a taping of “Undateable”. Though the show airs on NBC — returning March 17 after “The Voice” — the show was executive produced by Bill Lawrence, who has a long history with ABC TV (“Spin City”, “Scrubs”, “Cougartown”), directed by Phill Lewis (AKA Mr. Moseby from “The Suite Life…”), and Bridgit Mendler from “Good Luck Charlie” joined the cast of the show as they shot their first episode of season 2 last night. While I’ve been to talk show tapings, worked on many TV shows and even been on stage for a TV show that was filming in front of a live audience, I had never actually been in the audience of a sitcom taping.
Though they still move much much much faster than single camera shows, multi-cam sitcoms still have about five hours to shoot, and “Undateable” episode 201 was no exception. In spite of this, “Undateable” is a fun show to see live as most of the actors are stand up comedians and often improv lines. Since almost no show gets a scene in one take, you end up seeing the same scene multiple times but are still expected to laugh as if it was your first time. However, when you’re expecting one punchline and the actor says a totally different (and often dirtier) one, it gets an even bigger laugh thanks to the element of surprise and that’s what “Undateable” delivered.
I’m not really one to get starstruck, but being a huge fan of “Scrubs” it was wildly exciting to have Bill Lawrence come into the bleachers and take questions from the audience. What was even better was how genuinely nice and fun Lawrence seemed to be. When he introduced director Phill Lewis and asked if anyone knew who Lewis played on “Scrubs” a few members of the audience (myself included) excitedly shouted, “Hooch!” He then followed up with, “And Hooch is, what?” to which I even more emphatically yelled, “Hooch is crazy!” Lawrence then said that it meant everything to him that we knew that, but really it meant everything to me to that he acknowledged it.
Despite the long shoot time, the show was a ton of fun. As I mentioned, Ron Funches is a comedian I’ve been a fan of since I first saw him at The Meltdown a couple of years ago. A man so sweet and cuddly that the first question he was asked was if they could give him a hug, Funches is also hilarious. I did feel a little bad for putting him on the spot, but I got him to perform my favorite bit of his that involves him singing and analyzing the “Muppet Babies” theme song.
Apparently Disney was feeling left out of my exciting out-on-the-town adventures this week, so tonight I indulge them by visiting The Walt Disney Studios to see a D23 screening of Into the Woods. I guess even with a well-rounded portfolio of passions, you still have to give it up for your number one.
Be sure to follow Kyle on Twitter: @kyleburbank and be sure to come back next week when he might actually write about Disney in The E-Ticket Life!
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV