8. Whitest Kids U’Know at Sketchfest NYC – My friend and I had gone to see the Pangea 3000/Harvard Sailing Team show at UCB Theatre for Sketchfest NYC, which were both hilarious. Whitest Kids U’Know was sold out, but we went to the back of the standby line (which was super long) and this random couple gave us their day passes since they were done with them. So we got to go back inside and skip the line, sit right in the front, and watch one of my favorite sketch groups, ‘FO FREE! It was awesomesauce and since we had the passes, we were able to sit there and stay for the next show — a screening of a bunch of short videos from Comedy Central. I even got free beer from Comedy Central! The only thing better than comedy and booze is FREE comedy and booze…unless it’s free because it’s shitty, which it wasn’t in this case.
9. 1st trip to Atlantic City, aka Fake Vegas or “Fegas” – a few of my BU friends and I decided to go to AC in July and since most of them were driving in from Boston and got stuck in traffic, we all didn’t end up getting to the The Water Club Hotel at the Borgata until like 12:30/1 am. (Un)Luckily for us, the bars/clubs/casinos don’t close until super late and everything was right in our hotel, so it wasn’t like we had to worry about getting home. The combination of these elements can be dangerous, especially if you’re me and you need to maintain a certain blood alcohol level just to tolerate being around guidos and their half-dressed prey. I was like the Fred Astaire of dance-pulling my friends away from creepers that night. I also ended the night (or whatever you call 4:30 am) by showering in my clothes and silently crying myself to sleep while listening to Amy Winehouse Pandora station and sleeping on a leather pillow in a fetal position on the floor — an activity my friends and I have labeled “Amy Winehousing.” It’s important to note that this was shortly after Amy Winehouse’s death, and I defend my behavior by claiming it was my delayed reaction to her death. All that talent, you guys.
10. Seeing a Beatle live for the 1st time: Paul McCartney concert at Yankee Stadium & Stone Temple Pilots at NJPAC – This was not only a highlight of 2011, but also a highlight of my life. I’m a huge Beatles fan (even went by myself on a daytrip to Liverpool right before I came back to the states from my semester abroad) and Paul is also my favorite Beatle. I went with my Grandma and my aunt (who share my love for The Beatles, as does pretty much everyone in my family, and who have seen Paul in concert a couple times) along with my brother. It was a fantastic set and he played all of my favorites, from Beatles classics to hits from “Band on the Run.” This was definitely one the best concerts I’ve ever been to. I also went to see one of my favorite 90s bands, Stone Temple Pilots, at NJPAC with my brother and the same aunt (who also took us to see Pearl Jam twice at MSG, including my 21st birthday concert). They played all their hits and it was another great, high energy concert.
11. Stalking a 30 Rock shoot right outside 30 Rock & seeing Tina Fey – I follow @olv on Twitter and I’m not normally one of those people who would stalk down a movie/TV show set…unless it’s one of my favorite comedy shows, in which case, yes I am that person. So when I found out that 30 Rock was shooting over at my old internship stomping grounds, I knew I had to stop by during my lunch break. When I went over there, they had the sidewalk in front of NBC blocked off, but people were watching from across the street. I saw Tina, Tracy Morgan, and Denise Richards doing a guest cameo. One day I hope to be on the other side of the street, working on the set of a hilarious NBC comedy, instead of stalking it from outside Christie’s.
12. My 1st West Coast adventure: visiting friends in LA – Although I have some family in California and my parents lived there before they had kids, I’ve never even been to the west coast. I was considering moving to LA right after graduation, and I still plan on moving there at some point for at least a year for a different aspect of the TV/film industry than what New York has, but I was excited to at least finally visit the city. My good friend and former roommate moved out there with her boyfriend after graduation, so it was also really nice to see and hang out with them for a few days. We went to Disneyland (which was decorated for Halloween since it was late October), Hollywood (big sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame), Universal City, Santa Monica (where my friends live), Venice Beach, Beverly Hills, and the LA Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre to finally see an ASSSSCAT show! I had an amazing time with great company and I’m hoping to visit Hannah and Ryan again soon (possibly in the spring for PaleyFest 2012).
13. Taking my 1st UCB class: Sketch Writing 101 – Right before I went to LA, I signed up and had my first sketch writing class at UCB in New York. I had wanted to take UCB classes for years, but never had the time/money to do so. Also, classes fill up quickly and I can only take weeknights or weekend classes (a lot of classes are scheduled in the middle of the day), so it took a while for me to find a 101 class that fit with my work schedule. I can honestly say that Sketch 101 was the highlight of my week and it made me want to continue taking UCB classes until I complete all of the levels. For Sketch 101, you write a sketch each week (based on what the theme is, such as character sketches, topical/political sketches, parodies, etc.) and your classmates read it aloud and give feedback. UCB has a great, encouraging community for sketch comedy and improv, and although my Mom doesn’t exactly approve (I went to school for a business degree and she still thinks I should go to law school), comedy makes me happy and I plan to pursue it more with UCB. Plus, it’s awesome to be surrounded by people who love comedy and have a weird/twisted sense of humor as much as I do.
14. A week of SNL and 30 Rock performers/writers – A couple weeks after I went to LA, I went to an SNL writers panel for New York Comedy Festival at Paley Center. I was basically sitting a few feet away from people with my dream job and who I idolize. Head writer Seth Meyers was there, along with John Mulaney, Colin Jost, Chris Kelly, Marika Sawyer, and a bunch of other writers.
The next day, I went to Maude night at UCB for my Sketch 101 requirements, and I also got tickets for the John and Scott improv show right before it. It features 30 Rock‘s Scott Adsit and John Lutz, but Adsit was running late from a 30 Rock shoot, so they called up SNL‘s Jason Sudeikis to fill in. Right before the show started, Jason Sudeikis cut me on the beer line and I thought that was the COOLEST. Adsit ended up making the show in time, so all three of them performed and it was hilarious. After their show, my classmates and I were outside on line again for Maude night when Adsit, Lutz, and Sudeikis were talking to people outside the theatre before they biked away (which I thought was awesome, since they clearly can afford any other mode of transportation). Lutz’s wife, fellow 30 Rock castmate, and UCB performer Sue Galloway was outside with them, too. When we went back into the theatre to watch the Maude sketches, we also spotted UCB alum and Gabe from The Office, Zach Woods. If only someone from Community and Parks and Rec showed up, I would have seen someone from all my favorite NBC comedies all in one night at UCB. Though I did see Ben Schwartz (Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Rec) at UCB LA when he performed with ASSSCAT.
15. BU beating Cornell in the Red Hot Hockey game at MSG – MSG hosts BU vs. Cornell hockey games every other year since my freshmen year and although I’m not a huge hockey fan, my school is known for our team and I’ve been to each Red Hot Hockey game during Thanksgiving weekend. The 1st year, we beat them by a lot; 2nd year, we tied; and this year, we beat them in overtime. It was my 1st game as an alum, which was weird, but it was nice to be around fellow BU terriers again.
16. Community flash mob outside 30 Rock – The day before the event, I randomly found out about the Community flash mob that was being held near the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (also right outside NBC’s headquarters) as a fun attempt for fans to #SaveCommunity, since it has recently been put on a hiatus by NBC. I went down during my lunch break on my last day at work before holiday vacation and was surrounded by people that are as nerdy about Community as I am. We held tiny Christmas trees, wore darkest timeline goatees, and sang “O, Christmas Troy” while being taped by Sony and TVGuide. It got a lot of media coverage, and even Community stars like Joel McHale were tweeting about it. It was a cool, TV-nerdy thing to be a part of.
Also included in this list of 2011 highlights but I didn’t feel like writing a longer thing: free Matt and Kim mini concert for Windows Phone Launch Party at a random warehouse in Chelsea. Awesome music, booze, and food, all ‘FO FREE! Also, the Comedy Central taping of SNL writer John Mulaney’s stand up special at NYU that was HILARIOUS and ‘FO FREE!