Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Justin & Holly - Friday, July 28, 2006

It was a case, literally, of falling head over heels when Justin met Holly at a college Frat party nine years ago in Kentucky. In his quest for immortal greatness, Justin had just broken the vodka drinking record by downing 13 shots (you see Kentucky is a dry state, and this is known as "pre-tuning" before a party).

He met Holly a bit later after falling on top of her on the dance floor. Her friends gave him the thumbs up, they danced, and then went outside to talk. Justin hung onto a, now famous, tree for stability and regailed her with tales of football victories and his ACT scores. Even in his inebriated state, Holly found him cute and they hit it off.

Justin revealed when he knew Holly was "The One." A tragic fire broke out at his dorm at 4am. After being rescued from his window, the first person he had to see was Holly. And covered from head to toe in black soot, he went straight over to her apartment. In the show, the actors portraying them (Sarah & Paul) re-enacted that touching scene at her doorstep.

Cast: Sarah Delaney, Jill Bourque (Host), Paul Erskine, Susie Sargent, Ken Robertson, and Scott Myers (Musician).

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Michelle & Aaron - Saturday, July 22, 2006

Michelle and Aaron met one day after Burning Man 2005 in the kitchen of the Sierra Hot Springs. They said seeing each other was like seeing sunshine, just a big "bam." Just two hours later they were naked in the hot springs and the attraction was magnetic. Their song is "Dirty Woman" by Pink Floyd.

Cast: Paul Erskine, Susie Sargent, Scott Myers (Musician), Stephen Bass, Sarah Delaney, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Sigrida & Tracy - Friday, July 21, 2006

Sigrida and Tracy met during a cross-country skin lesson when they were both training for a ski marathon. At the time Tracy was married, to a fella, and Sigrida was domestically partnered with a gal. They were buddies at first but things changed and finally during a long talk on a pier Tracy revealed her true feelings to Sigrida. Their song is "Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones.

Cast: Susie Sargent, Paul Erskine, Sarah Delaney, Scott Myers (Musician), Stephen Bass, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Scott & Danielle - Saturday, July 15, 2006

Scott and Danielle met when they were both working for Boston Ballet selling tickets over the phone. Scott spent most of his time there selling tickets to himself by leaving messages on his on voicemail. Their song is called F*%@en Awesome by Spiderbait.

Cast: Tara McDonough, Jay Starr, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Ken Robertson, Amber Price, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Treena & Paul - Friday, July 14, 2006

Treena and Paul met through a mutual friend at a party. They were playing strip poker when Paul was down to his underpants and Treena had only lost a sock. They are both fans of "The Love Boat," especially the character of Gopher.

Cast: Susie Sargent, Jay Starr, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Sarah Delaney, Ken Robertson, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Sana & Chris - Friday, July 7, 2006

Sana and Chris met at a church singles event. It was his first time and her 100th (or there abouts). Sana said that Chris just glowed like the moon and they she felt like she already knew him. In fact, there was a picture in her grandmother's house that she used to look at that was the spitting image of him. Their song is "Time After Time."

Cast: Paul Erskine, Sarah Delaney, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Ken Robertson, Susie Sargent, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Becky & Benjamin - Saturday, July 1, 2006

Becky and Benjamin orginally met and were sweethearts in junior high school. Then fifteen years later Becky found Benjamin on MySpace and sent him a "Friend Request."

Cast: Paul Erskine, Sarah Delaney, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Ken Robertson, Susie Sargent, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Erin & Mark - Friday, June 30, 2006

Erin and Mark met when they were both in grad school. They had immediate chemistry, the only hitch was Mark was in the final stages of becoming a Jesuit priest! After much soul searching Mark decided to commune with God in the pews rather than behind the alter. Their song "At Last" by Etta James was a fitting title when they finally took their relationship to the next level.

Cast: Paul Erskine, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Ken Robertson, Sarah Delaney, Susie Sargent, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Terri & Becky - Friday, June 23, 2006

Terri and Becky were visiting from southern california for gay pride weekend! They met through an introduction service. The two have dating seven months now and they like the song "I Like Big Butts" by MC Hammer, which was played over an energetic bathtub scene starring Sarah Delaney and Susie Sargent.

Cast: Ken Robertson, Sarah Delaney, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Susie Sargent, Scott Keck, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Steven & Jerriann - Friday, June 16, 2006

Steven & Jerrian met on a city bus smoking weed. Their song is "I don't wanna miss a thing" by Aerosmith.

Cast: Victor Spiegel (Musician), Susie Sargent, Paul Erskine, Ken Robertson, Sarah Delaney, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tom & Omega - Friday, June 9, 2006

Tom and Omega met at her cousin's graduation party. They were introduced and he tried to ignore her, but she was determined to be noticed!

Cast: Sarah Delaney, Susie Sargent, Paul Erskine, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Ken Robertson and Jill Bourque (Host).

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Brad & Veronica - Friday, June 2, 2006

Brad and Veronica have been together sixteen years. They met in a Tiajuana bar called Rioritas (though they tell their kids they met at a church picnic.) Brad flashed Veronica his huge grin and she knew he would be over to ask her to dance.

Cast: Ken Robertson, Susie Sargent, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Sarah Delaney, Paul Erskine, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Friday, June 02, 2006

Nicole & Andrew - Friday, May 26, 2006

Twenty years ago, at a hot and steamy Miami nightclub, Nicole and Andrew met when their friends didn't show up (they were apparently on Caribbean time).

Cast: Ken Robertson, Amber Price, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Sarah Delaney, Kurt Bodden, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lissa & Brian - Saturday, May 20, 2006

Special Wedding Day Show!

That very day, Lissa and Brian tied the knot and as part of their evening festivities, we did a special show just for them and eighty of their closest friends and family.

Lissa and Brian initially met when a friend introduced them. Brian was new to town and Lissa helped show him around. While Lissa made a quite an impression on Brian, they same couldn't be said for Lissa. They spent a lot of time together as friends, and eventually kissed. But Lissa had a history of kissing her friends and so things didn't really progress until later when they were roommates. One thing led to another and their relationship went public after a trip to India.

Congratulations Lissa and Brian!!!

Cast: Amber Price, Scott Keck, Paul Erskine, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Sarah Delaney, Jill Bourque (Host), and Ken Robertson.

Erica & Rob - Friday, May 19, 2006

Erica and Rob met while working on opposing ambulance companies. Even though they both lived in Santa Cruz they met on a dark and stormy night at Summit hospital in Oakland. She invited him to her station to get warm and watch a kung fu movie.

Their song is "Strangers in the Night."

Cast: Amber Price, Scott Keck, Paul Erskine, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Ken Robertson, Sarah Delaney, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Friday, May 19, 2006

Travis & Trevor - Friday, May 12, 2006

Travis and Trevor met at a party at Stanford, which was interesting because they were both students at UC Berekley and only lived six blocks from each other. Even though their names have several letters in common, and they even look a bit alike (even Trevor's mom confuses them), they are very different. Travis is a planner and likes to keep to a schedule, and Trevor is more inclined to do things spontaneously.

Their song is "Take on Me" by A-Ha, which the audience sang a cappella!

Cast: Scott Keck, Amber Price, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Ken Robertson, Paul Erskine, Sarah Delaney, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Friday, May 12, 2006

Karin & Peter - Friday, May 5, 2006

Karin and Peter have known each other 37 years! They met in junior high. Karin, an 8th grader, had her locker above 7th grader, Peter. He vividly remembers her long auburn hair and and navy blue dress. They had a puppy love romance and years later, things heated upon Peter's return from studying abroad.

Listen to the 2Jobs6Kids rap song!

Cast: Scott Keck, Paul Erskine, Amber Price, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Sarah Delaney, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Monday, May 01, 2006

Kelly & Marcia - Saturday, April 29, 2006

Kelly and Marcia were set-up on a blind date Yosemite weekend by their friends, a buddist and a psycho-therapist.

Cast: Sarah Delaney, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Shaun Landry, Ken Robertson, Scott Keck, and Jill Bourque (Host).

Alvaro & Molly - Friday, April 28, 2006

Alvaro and Molly met in the "fast lane" at a swimming pool.

Cast: Ken Robertson, Susie Sargent, Victor Spiegel (Musician), Sarah Delaney, Scott Keck and Jill Bourque (Host).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mark & Adina - Saturday, April 22, 2006

Mark and Adina met on a blind date, set-up by their gay friend who was attracted to them both.

Cast: Ken Robertson, Paul Erskine, Amber Price, Sarah Delaney, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Mary & Brian - Friday, April 21, 2006

Mary approached Brian at a bar and could not be refused because she looked so pretty in her sundress.

Cast: Scott Keck, Paul Erskine, Sarah Delaney, Amber Price, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Survey Results: Attraction is (fill-in the blank)

On April 20, 2006 we did an email survey of our audience on their beliefs about Attraction.

Here's what the poll revealed:

When it comes to attraction...
A. Opposites attract. 31%
B. Like attracts like. 11%
C. It's a complete mystery to me! 8%
D. _____ (Fill-in the blank) 50%


"Attraction is the closest thing to real magic that I've ever seen." - JC

"It's a total crap shoot." - ET

"I'm counting on the idea that opposites attract, or else I'm in trouble." -TC

"Personality makes all the difference in finding your mate." - WC

"Fundamental likes and quirky opposites attract and keep the relationship going." - NS

"I think you have to have some things in common but you have to be different enough to challenge each and bring out the best in one another." - KC

"Chemistry." - JD

"Really good manners, it sounds stupid and weird, but when a man says "bless you" when I sneeze, it's really sexy to me because it's so rare." - JS

"I think it is all about boddy language such as a smile, twinkle in the eye, a soft touch on the shoulder, tone of voice, etc. That is what attracted me to my wife." - CR

"Both parties have a specific need met by the other. For instance, a maternal type would be attracted to someone who wants to be taken care of. It's also on a subconscious biological level. By scent, the female identifies a mate show genes are compatible with hers." - TB

"Opposites attract like a magnet 'til they repel to a certain extent and then settle." - AD

"It's all in the eyes." - EM

"It's magnetic." -BS

"People who look like opposites on the surface are really the same inside."-EE

"Opposites do attract, and that's why love is so f*&%$#@% frustrating." - FR

"It's either there or it's not. Whatever it is." - RL

"It's that sparkle in the eye that tells us." -EL

"When it comes to attraction you have to trust your instincts." - LP

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Karen & Angel - Saturday, April 15, 2006

Karen and Angel met in a Salsa dancing class.

Cast: Kurt Bodden, Sarah Delaney, Scott Keck, Amber Price, Ken Robertson. Musican: Victor Spiegel.

Sue & Steve - Friday, April 14, 2006

Sue and Steve met in college. They were celebrating their wedding anniversary on April 15th.

Cast: Sarah Delaney, Kurt Bodden, Paul Erskine, Amber Price, and Ken Robertson. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Jonathan & Candrian - Saturday, April 8, 2006

Jonathan and Candrian met at a dance club that featured the unique combination of both Hip Hop and Country Western music. He tried to woo her with his dance moves, but she thought he was a player.

Cast: Laura Derry, Scott Keck, Amber Price, Paul Erskine, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Chloe & James - Friday, April 7, 2006

Chloe and James met on the online personals at Nerve.com. Chloe is a theater critic for the SF Weekly. She was in the show AND reviewed it at the same time!

Cast: Ken Robertson, Susie Sargent, Jill Bourque, Laura Derry, and Paul Erskine. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Brian & Mel - Saturday, April 1, 2006

Our April Fool's show started off with a four-way race to find our couple. It was a close call, but the audience chose Brian and Mel, who met at a Halloween Party. At the show they were celebrating their 1st anniversary as a couple!

Cast: Scott Keck, Amber Price, Matt Kaye, Sarah Delaney, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Narit & Michael - Friday, March 31, 2006

Narit and Michael met on J-Date. She's a "say it like it is" kind of gal, and he knows how to handle her.

Cast: Mandy Khoshnevisan, Ken Robertson, Matt Kaye, Sarah Delaney, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Shana & David - Saturday, March 25, 2006

A friend showed him a teary-eyed picture of her and he knew she was the One. But her One and Only was her strict Orthodox Jewish Faith.

Cast: Paul Erskine, Scott Keck, Shaun Landry, Susie Sargent, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Victor Spiegel. Review of that evening’s performance by Moronlife.com

Survey Results: We Believe in Soul Mates!

On March 23, 2006 we did an email survey of our audience on their beliefs about Love. Here's what the poll revealed:

A. I believe in soul mates. 69%
B. Finding a mate takes a logical approach. 21%
C. It's all random, I take what I can get. 10%


"A- Soulmates exist, without a doubt." - JH

"When I think about how my wife and I met, I don't think I can answer A, B or C... So I would like to answer D. I believe the love of your life could be, what would seem to be, the most illogical choice, but that Love doesn't follow any rules or formulas and you will find this person in the most random of life situations and at the most unsuspecting times." - TJ

"I firmly believe in B." - GS

"C is the answer. No matter how hard I have tried, I haven't found a boyfriend yet. I will just take on any dates. I'm just a piece of floating wood in the ocean." - GF

"A - Fate and timing are important." - JB

Samara & Carole - Friday, March 24, 2006

Samara and Carole, both attorneys, met through their mutual ex-girlfriend, Ann. Actually, Ann and Samara were still an item when they met. It's undecided as to whether Ann was playing matchmaker or drama producer when she arranged for the three of them to meet up for drinks.

During drinks, Carole wondered to herself, "Why can't I find a woman like that?" After some lawyer-ly negotiations, Samara and Carole, got the greenlight from Ann to date.

Cast: Ken Robertson (playing Samara's hair), Paul Erskine, Jill Bourque, Laura Derry, and Sarah Delaney. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Evan & Hilary - Friday, March 17, 2006

While North Beach was all a buzz with St. Patrick's Day revelries we were down under at the Purple Onion (the club is actually partially underneath Columbus Avenue) improvising another great "how we first met" story. The owner of the Purple Onion, Mario, had yummy green jello shots. And we had a special guest improvisor, Daphne Brogdon, who was awesome.

Evan and Hilary met when they went as "support" for their friends who were going on a date after meeting on Craigslist's. Turns out Hilary's friend was more attracted to Evan than her Craigslist hook-up because Evan had some "pimpin moves" on the dance floor. At the club, Evan noticed Hilary but didn't approach her because she was surrounded by a dozen or so guys on the dance floor.

Hilary's philosophy was to say "Yes!" to all that life offered. And as such, she was having a great time being single. She did notice Evan's dance moves, but didn't pursue him because her friend was now interested in Evan. They did eventually go out on a date. And things got more serious when Evan said "I love you" to Hilary, though at the time Evan had just had major dental work and was somewhat under sedation.

Cast: Ken Robertson, Daphne Brogdon, Jill Bourque, Sarah Delaney, and Paul Erskine. Musican: Victor Spiegel.

Darran & Gillian - Saturday, March 18, 2006

Originally from the UK, they've been together for 18 years. They met in London at Business School. She called him a “slut” in a crowded bar and won his heart.

Cast: Paul Erskine, Ken Robertson, Sarah Delaney, Mandy Khoshnevisan, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Sam Rudin.

Ana & Scott - Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ana and Scott met when he was interviewing her for a job. Things got more serious when he helped install her curtain rod with his power tools.

Cast: Susie Sargent, Paul Erskine, Sarah Delaney, Ken Roberston, and Jill Bourque. Muscian: Victor Spiegel.

Jim & Tracy - Friday, March 10, 2006

Jim and Tracy met online. He's outgoing with the street smarts, and she's more organized with the book smarts--opposites do attract!

Cast: Jill Bourque, Sarah Delaney, Paul Erskine, Mandy Khoshnevisan, and Ken Robertson. Musician:Victor Spiegel.

Paul & Leslie - Saturday, March 4, 2006

Paul and Leslie told us about meeting thirty years ago at a meditation retreat in India. The first thing he said to Leslie was, “Do I have head lice?” He did. This became an ethical dilemma as he was about to take a vow not to kill any living creature (even lice!)

Cast: Paul Erskine, Scott Keck, Sarah Delaney, Mandy Khoshnevisan, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Paul & Kali - Friday, March 3, 2006

Paul and Kali are both from Indianapolis, Indiana. They met in pre-school and were teased by their families for being sweet on each other. They lost contact and bumped into each other fifteen years later at a book reading in New York City.

Cast: Paul Erskine, Sarah Delaney, Mandy Khoshnevisan, Scott Keck, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Roger & Ivy - Saturday, February 25, 2006

When Roger goes out he likes to pretend to be a TV star (Roger Neal from CSI Miami) and Ivy fell for it at a party.

Cast: Laura Derry, Paul Erskine, Lisa Rowland, and Scott Keck. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Natasha & Dan - Friday, February 24, 2006

Natasha and Dan met on Ocean Beach, where he was playing guitar. He’s from New York, she’s from the Ukraine. Even though she's 12 years older and has two kids, they are in tune with each other.

Cast: Paul Erskine, Laura Derry, Amber Price, Scott Keck, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Suzanne & Daphne - Saturday, February 18, 2006

Suzanne and Daphne met playing soccer, then met again at a party.

Cast: Paul Erskine (pictured), Laura Derry, Lisa Rowland, and Scott Keck. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Jim & Shannyn - Friday, February 17, 2006

Jim and Shannyn met at restaurant four hours after he left his wife. The hilarity ensued!

Cast: Paul Erskine, Laura Derry, Lisa Rowland, Amber Price, and Jill Bourque. Musician: Victor Spiegel.

Dave & Angela - Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dave and Angela met because he was her mechanic, but he thought she was a lesbian.

Cast: Paul Erskine, Scott Keck, Laura Derry, Amber Price, and Jill Bourque. Musician: David Norfleet.

Kyla & Keith - Saturday, February 11, 2006

Kyla and Keith are both engineers at Disneyland. Kyla tricked Keith into a first date by asking him to carve pumpkins. When they drove home together he ran away, but came back the next day for frozen yogurt.

Cast: Paul Erskine, Laura Derry, Amber Price, Scott Keck, and Jill Bourque. Musician: David Norfleet.

Page & Laura - Friday, February 10, 2006

Page and Laura met at work in a meeting about an ill-fated product, the WiggleWorks toy.

Cast: Paul Erskine, Laura Derry, Scott Keck, Amber Price, and Jill Bourque. Musician: David Norfleet.

Lissin & Heart - Saturday, February 4, 2006

Lissin and Heart met at a queer colony in Kentucky. They do environmental vaudeville together and showed us some of their opera and juggling! We also improvised a story about Sally Blackwood in celebration of her 50th Birthday.

Paul Erskine, Lisa Rowland, Scott Keck, Amber Price, and Jill Bourque. Musician: David Norfleet.

The Contra Costa Times reviewed this show.

Steve & Jenny - Friday, February 3, 2006

Our first show of 2006! Steve and Jenny met while they were both working at Club Med. Steve was a bit drunk when he used one of his best lines on Jenny, "Hello, my name is Armando." It seems to have worked!

Cast: Paul Erskine, Lisa Rowland, Scott Keck, Amber Price, and Jill Bourque. Musician: David Norfleet.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Playing to Performers' Strengths

Sarah Delaney is Queen of the Blues. That's Paul on harmonica.

Over the years the show has evolved from a directed improv show to a more structured one. So, while most of the material is improvised, we have an overall structure or run-down for the show. And we also have structure to some of the musical numbers. This helps us tell a better story and present material that plays to the strengths of each performer. For instance, our cast member, Paul Erskine, is amazing at singing improvised rock operas. He's also a gifted physical comic. So, we're creating a piece for him in the show that uses these skills. We're doing the same thing for Scott Keck, who is brilliant verbally, and Laura Derry who has a really beautiful voice and spunky energy on stage. We're still casting for one more female lead. It's been hard to find the right person. I need a gal who is a great improvisor and also has a great voice--a true soprano would be awesome.

Why Blog?

As we prepare for our sixth season of "How We First Met" in San Francisco, I thought it would be fun to blog the process of getting the show ready. HWFM is a different sort of theater show. We interview audience members live on stage and, using improvisation, create a full-length musical from their story. And since the show relies heavily on improvisation, you might think that it doesn't really require much in the way of rehearsal or preparation. But actually getting a show like this ready is just like preparing for a scripted show, just without the script!