Living in the South

27 01 2015

Best things about living in the south:

fried okra

the weather

the wonderful people I’ve met

(they don’t necessarily come after okra and weather, but I just had more okra today, and it’s really on my mind)

fried lots of things, actually

sweet tea

the weather: it’s worth mentioning again, as it is the middle of January and I am only wearing one pair of pants

ubiquitous bicsuits

ubiscuitous

mountain hikes

and seriously, y’all:  the weather





From the Homesick Files…

5 01 2015

And then comes the day after all of the holiday hubbub when you’re at the gym trying to work out, and that Tony Bennett song comes on and you remember walking on State Street, that great street. And you close your eyes, but you’re not in Chicago, you’re in Cumming, Georgia. And the suburbanites at the Y are looking at you funny, because you’re walking in between treadmills with your eyes mostly closed trying to imagine you’re somewhere that you’re not and attempting not to cry.

And you make it all the way outside and you’re sitting in your car, thinking now—NOW I can cry a good cry. But the soccer mom next to you is sitting in HER car and it’s just not far enough away. So you make it all the way home and you sit in the garage, the dark garage in your car (you have a garage now–isn’t that weird), and you cry a nice homesick cry for the friends you miss and the routine that’s no longer yours, and even your favorite little cafes and whatnot. Yep, a good homesick cry.

And then you pick yourself up and you go get your mail and you find a little something from a dear friend in Chicago and it’s perfect. Lovely and perfect. And everything’s gonna be okay.





This post has one title; I have two.

12 11 2014

Every artist is familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of being too far away from creative projects for too long; I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t find something soon enough down south. But, boy, I sure did arrive in Atlanta at the right time. the-brink-improv

Right about the time we moved down here, I met two creative and friendly people who had just founded an improv theater together. Kristy Oliver-West and Ian Covell are Co-Founders of Atlanta’s new improv theater, “The Brink Improv.”

While gettin’ used to a new life and a new home, it has been really helpful to have fun improv stuff and fun improv people to ground me. And now that The Brink Improv has its own space in Decatur, Ian, Kristy, and I have been making lots and lots of plans! I am absolutely overjoyed to announce that I have been made both the Co-Artistic Director and the Associate Education Director of The Brink Improv!

Just getting the chance to start playin’ with fun people right away was already a relief!   (I got to play in “The Soapbox, The Brink’s weekly Armando-style show, mere days after arriving here. And in addition to being the Director of Business Outreach, Kristy also formed Brickhouse—a new, great improv team—and asked me to be a member! Plus, I’m currently directing a FANTASTIC group of actors in “The Day Before Tomorrow,” an improvised show in the style of a disaster film, which opens later this month.)  But man, oh man!  Now I have a title–more than one, even!  I feel fancy.

Ian (my Artistic Director cohort and the Education Director) and I have sat down and have started creating class offerings and show schedules for the The Brink. Stay tuned, y’all. 2015 is going to be a very exciting year!





Advanced Scene Study Class at The Brink

19 10 2014

the-brink-improvWell, I must have done something right, because the lovely folks at The Brink have asked me to teach an 8-week AdvancedScene Study class on Sundays starting a week from today!  We’ve already got quite a few folks signed up for this class, but there are some spots still open!  If you’ve been studying/performing improv for a while now, and want to take your scene work to the next level, then this class is for you!

This new 8-week session next Sunday (10/26)
  • Class is from 1:00pm-4:00pm and will begin on 10/26
  • This session of classes will last 8 weeks (10/26-12/14)
  • Amanda Rountree has been performing improvisational theatre professionally since 1992, teaching since 1998, and directing since 2002.  She recently moved to the Atlanta area from Chicago, where she was a faculty member with the Second City Training Center.
  • DESCRIPTION: Learn how you can nurture the skills needed to create grounded scenes that can sustain themselves for longer than just a few minutes.  In this workshop, we will focus on breaking out of any habits you may have formed that can hinder grounded work, while we explore the small steps we can make to do truly sustainable, dynamic scenes.  Come ready to dig in and play!
  • How to Pay for Class
    • ONLY 18 SPOTS AVAILABLE! If there is overwhelming interest we MIGHT add another time slot…but don’t hesitate to claim your seat now!
    • All students are required to pay a $25 reservation fee (it will be applied towards your tuition)
    • Here is the link to do that: Preview Image
    • Your reservation fee is non-refundable as it HOLDS A SPACE in a class that we are no longer able to offer someone else.
    • The remaining balance of $144 is due on the first day of class. Please make checks payable to: The Brink Improv
    • Your enrollment in the class will not be guaranteed until payment is received.
     
    See you in class!




Fun Improv Class for Non-Actors in North GA

9 10 2014

I am delighted to be offering this fun, one-night only improv class for adults with little to no improv experience.  If an improv class sounds a wee bit scary to you, and you live in northern Georgia, then this is the class for you!  And it will be fun, not scary–I promise!

Improv for Non-Actors
7:00-9:30 pm
Forsyth Academy of the Performing Arts

520 Industrial Way, Suite B
Cumming, GA

$25 per person
To register for this class, contact Forsyth Academy at info@forsythapa.com or 678.468.1731.

Looking for a new way to have a little fun with your friends, or to make new friends?  This workshop is geared towards those with little-to-no improv experience. Improvisation is more than just a useful tool for actors, it’s a different way of approaching life.  Through fun games and exercises, students will gain more confidence, more creativity, and more playfulness through the basic improv skills of listening, reacting, working with others, and trusting oneself.  Not only will it make you more comfortable while thinking on your feet, it’s a delightful way to spend an evening.

This is a great opportunity for you to have a fun night out with your buddies and walk out the door with a renewed sense of creativity, self-confidence, and maybe even some new friends!

In this workshop you will learn:

~How to trust yourself
~How to be spontaneous
~How to be more playful and creative in your every day life
~And much, much more

What People Are Saying

“I really enjoyed the safe environment that Amanda created.  I am really a beginner and I never felt like an outsider during the workshop.  Amanda made sure that we all walked away with a new skill and ways to think outside of the box!”  -CJ Leavens, Chicago





Sustainable Scenework Improv Workshop in Atlanta

8 10 2014

I’ll be teaching a one-day master-level improv workshop in Atlanta on October 18th!

This is a workshop for improvisers who would like to do scenes that can sustain themselves for longer than just a few minutes.  If you’ve been practicing/performing improv for a while now, but are still a bit intimidated when it comes to longer scenes, then this is the class for you!

Click here to register/pay for the class.  Space is limited–sign up now to reserve your spot!

Sustainable Scenework
Saturday, Oct. 18
12-4pm

Learn how you can nurture the skills needed to create grounded scenes that can sustain themselves for longer than just a few minutes.  In this workshop, we will focus on breaking out of any habits you may have formed that can hinder grounded work, while we explore the small steps we can make to do truly sustainable, dynamic scenes.  Come ready to dig in and play!

Amanda will be teaching her "Sustainable Scenework" master-class in Atlanta on 10/18/14.

Amanda will be teaching her “Sustainable Scenework” master-class in Atlanta on 10/18/14 at The Brink.

Amanda Rountree has been performing improvisational theatre professionally since 1992, teaching since 1998, and directing since 2002.  She recently moved to the Atlanta area from Chicago, where she was a faculty member with the Second City Training Center, an ensemble member with WNEP Theatre, and a writer/puppeteer with SNORF.   Her one-woman shows, The Good, the Bad, and the Monkey and 185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar… both had successful runs in Chicago and tours to other cities. Previously, she was a performer and instructor with Unexpected Productions and a performer and co-artistic director of Playback Theater Northwest in Seattle. Amanda has entertained audiences in seven countries and countless North American cities utilizing a wide variety of styles, disciplines, and formats.  She’s performed everything from improv games in Kentucky and improvised Shakespeare at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival to drama therapy in Japan and breakthrough formats in Germany.

The Brink Improv
3041 N Decatur Rd
Scottdale, GA 30079





the losing of someone

30 09 2014

in the losing of someone, you gain so many things

things you didn’t want

you just want to trade all of those things back for your loved one

but you can’t

your loved one is gone and you are stuck with a crappy grab bag

filled with

sadness, anger, fear, loneliness,

and a hollow, emptied out part of your heart

“I’m sorry to hear about your loss,” they will say, kindly, not knowing what else to give you, your hands already full with the contents of your unwanted bag.

“I know it happened a while ago. I’m sorry I didn’t say it sooner.”

but anyone who has lost a loved one knows that there is no such thing as

belated condolences

you will never stop missing your loved one

never

and life continues and you do all sorts of things

you thought you’d do with them nearby

wishing you

good luck

and

congratulations

and

I love you

It’s so different without them there. Different than it always had been. One less.

one less at dinner

one less at the celebration

one less at all the gatherings

and there are positive thoughts and comforting quotes

but sometimes

you don’t want any of those

you just want to cry

and there is a gentle beauty in that

crying

for the knowing

that even if your loved one was here for only a brief time

how lucky you are to have had even that








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