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Published on August 11th, 2009 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Del Close Marathon Countdown: Chuck Dauble & Surviving the UCBT

Throughout the week leading up to the 11th annual Del Close Marathon in New York, improv folks from all perspectives enlighten us with their expectations for this weekend’s 3-day improv extravaganza.

Today, Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre house manager Chuck Dauble, who is taking care of anything and everything at DCM’s home base this weekend, efficiently answers those venue-specific questions.

How are the venue rules different for the 3 days? (ie. food, photos, etc)

I’ve only worked at UCB so I can’t answer the drink/food/photo question about the other locations. No food* or photos** at UCB.

On a scale of 1-10, how much does Gristedes hate DCM weekend? Any other neighbors require sucking up to?

Gristedes will love us as always. We will handle any crowds with the greatest respect for our neighbors. NO ONE will hate UCB Theatre.

Your opinion: will this be the year an out of town performer jumps up and swings from a ceiling pipe, breaks it, and floods the theatre?

Matt Walsh is the only out of town performer I can think of who swings from pipes, so probably him. Maybe Joe Wengert.

Who is updating the new UCB Tech Booth Twitter page?

Don’t like, or have Twitter… But I just found out on Justin Purnell’s Twitter page that the tech booth has a Twitter page. Cool! [ed: it remains a mystery!]

What’s the biggest logistical challenge you face for Marathon?

Biggest logistical problem is how to shove all this fun into 3 days! Yeah! Sorry Del.

[Ed. note:
*Wha?! Upon further investigation, while “no food” is technically the rule at UCBT even during Marathon, it’s not really enforced. So don’t panic and start carboloading just yet. Just take this as a reminder that bringing in a $50 order of Thai takeout from across the street will be frowned upon. Items from the McD’s dollar menu, perhaps less so. For the sake of those sitting around you, try to keep your food items to the dry and non-smelly variety.

**Same thing. I’ve never seen anyone busted at Marathon, but use common sense. Keep the flash off, don’t take video, and you’ll probably be okay.]


While we’re on the subject of maneuvering through Marathon weekend…

There is no shortage of Del Close Marathon survival guides online: The Apiary and Improvoker have fantastic roundups of tips past and present. My rules are simple: get in line earlier than you think you’ll need to, drink lots of water, remember to eat, and if you aren’t absorbing what’s happening on stage that means it’s time to go home and sleep.

And make yourself a schedule to stick to! There still isn’t an iCal version of the schedule on the website like in previous years, but there’s nothing wrong with the good old paper-and-highlighter method. Be sure to check the website again before heading out each day, because occasionally things change (like Ed Helms not making it into town until Saturday last year, causing the Puppet Talk Show to get rescheduled).

As for staying connected? Afterwards, expect writeups here and on other blogs, and loads of photos on the DCM Flickr group. There’s a small crew of official photographers – including yours truly – who will be liberally snapping away at as many shows as we can get to, so for the greater good please be kind and let us maneuver around you. We’re not trying to take your spot, honest!

During the weekend, though, Twitter is key. Can you believe almost nobody was on Twitter at this time last year? I’ll be posting updates as much as I can (@sharilynj), using the agreed upon hashtag #dcm11 — which is already in heavy rotation! Volume of tweets through the weekend will depend partially on whether anyone can get a signal in the basement. Plus there’s the aforementioned Twitter account for the booth at the UCBT, which is @ucbtbooth

Also, for more instant photos, the DCM Tumblr is newly refreshed for this year and ready to feed your backstage photos. Take this opportunity to browse last year’s, and see how many people you spot who have since joined the cast of a network tv show.

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About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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