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This is a character building workshop. In this workshop, I break character down to 24 building blocks and teach improvisers how to build characters with technique rather than imagination.
This is a sketch writing workshop. In this workshop, I share practices that help punch up sketches and maximize the funny.
Go For The Feels
This is an improv workshop. In this workshop, I teach improvisers how to process information emotionally so that they can connect with other players and create more emotionally rich scenes.
This is a music workshop. In this workshop, I examine the bevy of rhymes styles used in the genre simply in an effort to get the rap in our world out of 1983.
Seth Thomas – who hails from Oakland, California – has been writing and performing comedy for over fifteen years. In 2000, Seth moved to Chicago to pursue comedy after graduating with a B.A. in Speech Communication from the historically Black college Clark Atlanta University. Seth entered the improvisation program at The Second City Training Center, Chicago and trained under Anne Libera, Norm Holly, Michael Gellman and Timothy O’Malley in the Conservatory Program.
After graduation, Seth formed the comedy duo The Defiant Thomas Brothers with fellow comedian Paul Thomas. With DTB, Seth performed sketch comedy in various cities across the country including, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Aspen; where the duo won the Best Sketch Award at the 2005 HBO Comedy Arts Festival.Seth and DTB also took the comedy overseas for a month long stint at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Aside from comedy, Seth performed drama with Congo Square Theatre Company, explored stand-up comedy and released eight hip hop albums; six as a solo artist and two with rapper/producer Andy Metz as hip hop duo 8090.
Seth is currently an instructor in the Conservatory and Advanced Improv programs at the Second City Training Center, Chicago as well as performs with The Defiant Thomas Brothers and his improv duo that is still without name. Seth also teaches a variety of improv and sketch comedy with his favorite being The 70: a character building technique specifically for improvisers.
My random Dixie Chicks googling lead me to a link for the compilation entitled The Essential Dixie Chicks album. I did not buy this album as there is no need to buy a greatest hits collection when one owns every album - including the three without Natalie. So, I was shocked when I saw the track list and realized five essential songs were missing from this "essential" list.
I will assume that Natalie, Martie and Emily made this list and they would know what's more essential than I. However, as a diehard fan, I cannot look at this track list and not wonder why these five songs are not there. So here are the five essential songs that I think should be on The Essential Dixie Chicks album.
Thin Line - which is a bonus track on Taking The Long Way - is in my opinion one of the best songs on the album. The groove is fantastic and the lyrics are right on. "Some days rock and some days roll and some seem to last forever Some days it's all you want and some days it's never never." That's pretty much life right there. Taking The Long Way is over represented on The Essentials - eight songs - and I think Thin Line is way better than Lubbuck or Leave It and Everybody Knows
If I Fall You're Going Down With Me
If I Fall You're Going Down With Me is my jam. Another song with a solid groove and great lyrics. The great thing about this song is the arrangement allows for all three Chicks to exploit their talents which they do fantastically. Fly has the most songs on The Essential Dixie Chicks album with nine and while all of them are good songs, I'd trade If I Fall You're Going Down With Me for Some Days You Gotta Dance.
Once You've Loved Somebody
Once You've Loved Somebody is one of the best songs ever to capture that defeated feeling after a relationship. It's the kind of song that reaches into your chest, touches your heart and strokes it gently while whispering "I totally get you right now." That's what the Dixie Chicks to best and this is one of their best examples of that ability. It is definitely an essential.
Cold Day in July
I actually had to copy The Essentials track list, paste it into Word and then print it on paper so I could use a pen and my glasses to make sure Cold Day in July was not on the album. WTF! Like seriously. W. T. F.! One of the more prominent memories I have from seeing The Dixie Chicks at the United Center back in 2000 was them performing Cold Day in July and fake snow raining down on the crowd. Sure this song is attached to a memory and that's why I think it's so amazing. However, the song is outstanding. I am willing to bet that if you asked every Dixie Chicks fan to jot down their top 30 DCX songs, Cold Day in July would make eighty-five percent of those lists.
Am I the Only One (Who's Ever Felt This Way)
Remember when I said the Dixie Chicks have the ability to reach into your chest, touch your heart and stroke it gently while whispering "I totally get you right now? Well, no song does that better than Am I the Only One (Who's Ever Felt This Way). At one point or another in our lives, we have all found ourselves sitting in dimly lit room, alone, clutching a glass of something stronger than soda, completely smothered by the emptiness screaming - internally or externally, "God help me" wondering "Am I the only one who's ever felt this way." This song is as essential as it gets and could easily replace Easy Silence, White Trash Wedding or Bitter End on the album.
There it is. The five essential Dixie Chicks songs that are not on The Essential Dixie Chicks album that I think should be on the album. Do you have a song or five that you think should be on The Essentials album that is not? Hit me up on Twitter - @usanegro - and let me know what those songs are.