Meet The ‘Press

The logo of the blogging software WordPress.

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OK, so the coolest thing about being Freshly Pressed is that it’s made me more aware of being a part of the WordPress community.

Before starting this blog, I had been blogging using a different, downloadable system, and so I was used to thinking of WordPress just as a tool, and not as a community.  Having my eyes opened has been a great experience. It’s been really cool seeing a post turn into a conversation, and seeing that conversation flow over the borders of just this one blog. It’s been great having some of you stick around after the initial Freshly Pressed excitement so we can get to know each other a little better.

I wrote the other day that I was starting the Daily Post challenge.  One of the things WordPress suggests to help with that is using their Press This tool to use other people’s posts as inspiration.

The Freshly Pressed experience and the Daily Post challenge have inspired me to want to want to become more involved in the WordPress community, and I was wondering if there were any of you out there that would want to work together this year — committing to subscribe to each other’s blogs, read them, comment, maybe do some cross-linking or Press This, and generally just encouraging each other? Or, for that matter, is there a community like that already? ( U3F7J5TE5SDD )

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Funny…

“I’m building a fort from marshmellows touched by God.”

“I don’t like to toot my own horn, but — toot toot!”

“I went to Mars. I’m so coy.”

Tuesday night was like the last moments of the series finale of Lost. Or the end of Wizard of Oz — “And you were there, and you were there.” But better.

I knew that Meghan Kenny was going to be there. Meghan was a part of the Face2Face improv troupe a couple of years ago, before going off to college. This past summer, she was back in town, and so joined us for some Sam & Greg’s shows, and it was great having her back with us. She’s back in town for the holidays, and so I knew she was going to be in Tuesday’s show.

I walked in, and saw Amber Farmer. Amber joined the troupe around the same time I did, and was with us for quite a while before moving to Nebraska. Tuesday night was the first time she’d been in town on a show night for quite a while, so she was excited about coming to watch. Sitting with her were Jen Lohrman and Trevor Britton, two current members of the troupe getting married in about a month.

Further back was Jeremy Shelley, one of the most senior members of the troupe who has been on sabbatical for about a couple of years while working on another degree.  He took advantage of the holiday to work in a show in mid-December, so I was expecting to see him in the audience for that show.

The audience was packed, with faces both familiar and new.  The show was great.  Matt Buchman did a great job as host, and Meghan, Wendy Morgan and Mathis Sneed were on fire.

But at the end of the show, I was selfish.

I snuck up the stairs to the balcony, and as Matt was wrapping things up, I took the bell from him. Called the four people in the show back on stage. And then I called Jeremy, Amber, Jen and Trevor up from the audience.

And all nine of us played.

“Played” in the sense of, “they played in tonight’s show,” but also “played” in the sense of having fun, like kids with cool new toys. I have no idea what the audience thought, but it didn’t really matter. Never have so many of us shared a stage at one time outside rehearsal, and people got to work together who haven’t shared a stage in years. I wish I had a video of it; it was just one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments for the troupe. We’ll probably never get to do that quite like that again, and I’m glad the moment happened and I got to be in it.

I wasn’t in Tuesday night’s show myself because I didn’t know if I’d be done with a family Christmas celebration in time, the last of several official or unofficial family Christmases I’d had in the last week or so. And, really, Tuesday night’s show was itself a family celebration. Face2Face is an amazing group, and I’m blessed to be a part of it.

I enjoyed closing it out, introducing the other eight members of the troupe on stage. And, then, though several of us still weren’t there, it just felt special to close it with, “We are Face2Face Improv.”

It won’t be quite the same, but we should have another incredible show tomorrow night at Sam & Greg’s Pizzeria and Gelateria in downtown Huntsville (7:30 p.m., $5, children 8 and under free). I’m hosting, and along with F2F regular Cydney Thomson, will have Meghan and Jeremy back on stage together. It should be a lot of fun, and we’d love to have you there.

For those that haven’t seen Face2Face before, we’re a comedy improv troupe. We make up scenes on the spot, based on suggestions from the audience. (And for the more timid in the crowd, we don’t bring anyone on stage or force anyone to do anything; you’re more than welcome to just sit back and enjoy the show.) We do a family friendly show of live entertainment. If you’ve ever seen the old ABC show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” we’re kinda like that. Only better.

I can’t embed them here, but there are videos of some of my work with the troupe on Facebook that should be publicly visible. Ticket information for shows is here.