First Day of Filming "Yes +" Pilot

Friday, February 28, 2014

Before the camera crew arrived at my house yesterday morning I had a pep talk with myself in the bathroom mirror.
"Do not be the Kim Richards, be the Kyle. Do not be the Deena. In fact, don't be anyone from Jersey Shore. Or pretty much anyone from any reality show you've ever seen because they all end up looking like idiots."

My goal was simple, I was going to think before I speak. Think before I speak... The cameras were set up, the lights were on, I was wearing a mic and ready to go.  The director, a really nice guy by the name of Ben, started asking me questions and just like that the flood gates opened. I started spilling. Turns out answering questions about yourself is kind of cathartic. I blame it on the fact I've always wanted to see a counselor and have never gotten the opportunity. So I talked and I talked. And I talked some more.

And after the cameras shut off I panicked. What on earth had I been rambling about for the last three hours?!

We took a break for a late lunch and the oh nos started to set in a bit. I didn't say anything bad about anyone (just myself.) I didn't spill deep dark secrets (because I don't have any) but still, the feeling of what did I just do remained. What I did do was ramble on about my dreams and my fears of failing and my desire to write movies and be in movies and all of that stuff I'm hesitant to talk about because I know the rest of the world really doesn't care to hear about yet another person aspiring to be an actress. But I resorted back into ten-year-old diary me and I just let it fly. In fact, I even read a few passages from my diary. So that was fun. I like to imagine little me writing all of my wishes and secrets down in my Limited Too diary so many years ago having no idea I would be reading the entries on camera some day in front of people I only just met... What would little me think? I think she'd say hells yea.

When Chris came home from work they put a mic on him and he sat down for his interview segment, a part where he talked about me and what he thought of all my comedy shenanigans. In true Chris form he sailed through every question. He's just so damn likable and that translates on camera.

But we all know who the real star of yesterday was. Harlow. At one point Ben actually said to me "you need to get him a pet agent, he is a perfect TV dog." Harlow was as funny and as animated as I've ever seen him when the cameras came out. He would suddenly belt out a weird noise in the middle of filming or slap my leg until I acknowledged he was there or even just show off his acrobatic skills jumping from the couch to the stools and back again. If anyone is going to come out on top from this show it's Harlow.

Our dual Modern Familyish interview on the couch was by far my favorite part.

End of the day and I'm looking roughhhhh.

All in all, the first day of filming was a great experience. The crew is very sweet and obviously very talented. They were taking a lot of stills (mostly of Harlow) and they just seem to have an eye for catching cool images (again, mostly of Harlow.) Last night after everything was said and done and Chris and I were relaxing on the couch we saw a preview for a new reality show called "Amish Mafia." If a show called Amish Mafia can get picked up by a network I feel like a show about young comedians and the iconic iO Theater should have a good shot of getting a network. Then again what do I know. If this pilot never gets airtime at least I can say it was a really fun project to be a part of, and at the very least I'll have some cool video footage to share on the blog.

Have a great weekend! Follow along on Instagram @taylorgracewolfe for more reality show footage as well as my first set at the Laugh Factory tonight! Better yet, if you're in Chicago come to the Laugh Factory tonight!

Paris Taylor

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Five Things I'm Excited About Right Now

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The director and the camera crew are set to arrive at my house in less than three hours. Yesterday I was a mad woman trying to clean the carpets and clean the walls and all of that other annoying stuff I never get around to doing. I'm not a dirty person by any means, but unfortunately Harlow is. This winter has been tough on our coke princess white carpet to say the least. Then I started looking around rooms thinking hmm what should I add in here in attempt to make my life look cooler and more put together?

And don't even get me started on my outfit selection. I bought like five new shirts (left the tags on all of them obviously) in attempt to figure out my on camera style. But the problem is I don't know my off camera style. I'm usually all over the place with what I wear, one day I'm looking like a hipster and the next day I'm as preppy as can be. And then all of the other days I'm in sweats and Second City attire because I'm just a loser like that.

In true Taylor form, I got too lazy to change anything about my house, and I'm just going to wear something I've had in my closet for ages- probably skinny jeans, a plain grey tee, and a loose sweater or denim shirt over top. It's just how I roll.

Now because my mind is all over the place at the moment I'm just going to turn this post into one of those annoying
"Five Things" type of segments. Let's call this Five Things I'm Excited About Right Now. Original, I know.

#1. Last night was my last level five class at iO. I have only eight more weeks in level 5B and then I graduate iO! I'm not excited about that however, I don't want to leave iO. What I'm excited about are all of the amazingly funny and wonderful people I've met in my classes from the past year. Give it up for this funny crew, you'll probably be seeing some of their faces on SNL or sitcoms someday.

#2. My parents and Jade and Lola are coming to town tomorrow! Bloody Marys and pacifiers all around! Chris and I have called this month "Family February" because we have been with one of our families literally every single weekend for the past four weeks! Seriously. It's a good thing we like each other's families or this month might be called "sorry but we have to break up February."

#3. I booked Zanies! Zanies is an awesome comedy club here in Chicago and I get to be a part of their female funnies segment coming up here in a few months.

#4. I got new return address labels in the mail from March of Dimes and they don't say "Mr. Taylor Wolfe" this time. #blessed

#5. My new clean carpet. I shouldn't say "new" because it's far from it, but it is freshly clean now. More snow is expected to roll through Chicago this weekend so if all goes according to Harlow's plan, it will be trashed again by Monday.

And I guess I'm kind of excited to film a pilot today and for my set at Laugh Factory tomorrow. Even as I type Laugh Factory tomorrow my stomach is turning and my hands are getting clammy. I don't know why I get jollies off of torturing myself with anxiety but I do...  Now it's time to go put on a face full of makeup. I splurged and bought some foundation not from Target so I'm going to be pissed if I apply it and still look like me.

The weekend is almost here. Thanks for reading and thanks for all of the kind comments coming my way about all of my random shenanigans. The good vibes you are sending are being felt. Now if someone could just send me some Xanex I'd be golden...

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How to Train a Champion

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I'm not a fan of driving our car in the city and will usually do anything I can to take public transportation or grab a cab, but sometimes it just has to be done. Like last night for example when I had to go west to Logan Square for improv, then go a little south for stand-up, then back up north for more stand-up. It was roughly -8 degrees last evening so taking a car was simply my best solution. I'm dreaming of those summer nights when the city opens up to me and I can just hop on my bike and go anywhere my little heart desires...

The worst part is coming home at midnight and trying to find a parking spot (only the rich and fancy get garages here.) For starters I don't like walking six blocks in the freezing cold at midnight, but then there's also the fact it's really dark and I'm really alone, even though I live in a safe neighborhood, it's still Chicago (the homicide capitol of the country.) So this is where Harlow comes into the picture. We've got this nice little system worked out where I quickly park outside the house with my flashers on, wake Harlow up from his cozy little slumber by saying "wanna go on a walk? a walk? yeah?!" and he immediately comes running after me like it's the best thing he's ever heard. Wouldn't it be nice to be a dog and just go from sound asleep to ready to run in literally two seconds?

And then we proceed to drive around together looking for a parking spot while he asks me how my set went and I ask him how his nap was and if he chewed any shoes while I was gone. Poor Har has had cabin fever so bad this winter he'd do anything to get out of the house, even if it means a freezing walk at midnight.

Luckily a few weeks ago I was able to take him to Chicago's new Zoom Room and he absolutely loved it. I've got to share some of the photos because he has the biggest smile on his face in all of them, it's seriously the cutest thing ever.

Right when we got there he had to say hello to some of his new classmates for the day. Harlow opted to take an agility class (because he's just athletic like that) and he was definitely the new kid at school.

This is his nervous smile. He just wanted to fit in. I guess we all do.

When it wast time to begin the course Harlow jumped right in. He wasn't exactly the most "well behaved" kid in class, but by golly he had the most heart. He approached every ramp and jump with all of his might.

If my comedy stuff doesn't pan out I think I should be a dog trainer, what do you think?

I'm not kidding you, he was smiling the entire time. He only stopped for a second or two when he jumped on me because he wanted another treat.

The tunnel was his absolute favorite. Some of the other pups (who have been going to agility class for quite a few weeks I might add) were hesitant to run through it. But not Harlow, he took it like a champ. I think he would have been happy just simply running back and forth through the tunnel over and over and over.

The hardest part of the course was the hurdle jumps at the end. Harlow has great ups, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that he also has great strength and he insisted on simply barreling through all of the hurdles.

But after a few pep talks, a lot of encouragement, and even a slow clap while chanting "Harlow!" "Harlow!" "Harlow!" He did it! He went for the gold! And it was wonderful.

*dog fanny pack was on loan from Zoom Room, I left my own treat holder at home. 

If that's not a face of determination I don't know what is. (Harlow too.)
Did you catch that knee slapper of a joke? Did ya?

And this is what pure joy looks like on a dog.

So thank you Zoom Room, for putting a much needed smile on Harlow's face after this long winter we've been enduring. Like I said, we just tried out the agility class but Zoom Room offers a variety of classes from puppy training, to obedience, to tricks and even therapy dog classes. The instructor we had was incredibly kind and patient with Harlow even though he was clearly the problem child of the class. I finally understand why parents sometimes get embarrassed of their ornery children out in public, especially when they suddenly decide to pee on the equipment right in the middle of class.

We're just three days away from March! Hold on doggies, it's almost park season again!

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Limited Too Tuesdays- On Setting "Life Goals"

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Well friends, it's time for yet another edition of Limited Too Tuesdays, a post in which I look back through my old diaries to see what middle school me was up to.

Today's selected entries reflect the importance of setting goals. Like I've said many times before, I'm a huge fan of goal setting and always have been. The only problem is that I occasionally confuse "goals" with "dreams." Is there really that big of a difference though anyway? I didn't think so either.

Sunday August 12, 2000

Let it be known that these are probably the kindest goals I have ever set in my life. Let it also be known that the pages leading up to this (and the pages following it) are nothing but really really mean stuff about my peers. A normal nice girl doesn't set a goal for herself to "not be such a snot" or "don't be so judgmental" if you catch my drift. But hey, at least I got my signature down. Do you see that "Paris Taylor" in there? Yea, me neither... I called myself Paris a lot spanning the years 1999-2002ish. It was a phase.

And one year later I decided it was time to make a few more "set life" goals.

Saturday April 21, 2001 (13 years old)

Of all of these goals, the hardest for me to stomach that I haven't achieved yet is probably that fact I still don't know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a (wait for it, just follow the little arrow) tootsie pop. I like that being happy is only number eleven on my list, I want to be famous and go to Hawaii first (obviously.) And on number eight I guarantee you it was supposed to say "go to division one school on basketball scholarship" but I scribbled out "on" and just stopped after school because even at thirteen I knew there was no way in hell that was happening.

As for #12- well Jennev Heng was the fastest mile runner at my school in the west and I just wanted to beat her so bad. We've never actually raced, but Jennev if you're reading this, I'm up for it. I know that you're in the army now and train every single day and make your body do all sorts of physical things and I pretty much just sit in my house all day writing jokes before I go out and drink beer at gross comedy bars for the night, but like I said, I'm up for it if you are.

Have a good Tuesday, be nice to each other today. You never know who is writing about you in their diary.


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Stage Taylor

Monday, February 24, 2014

Meet Stage Taylor. She's a lot like me, only a little more put together- like she wears makeup and fancy stuff like that. And she likes to carry a gross black brief-case like thing with her that holds her acting resume and headshot just in case... Just in case she gets "discovered" on the bus one day. (You know, because people who "discover" people ride public buses I'm sure.)

She's also a lot more outgoing and bold than I am. She'll say things and do things that I would normally be way too embarrassed or shy to even attempt to express out loud.  But she figures why the hell not, life's too fun on stage to be hesitant. I guess I'd rather have her around than Terry. We all remember that nut job right?

I've got a lot of alter-egos, what can I say.

Stage-me has kind of a big week coming up here. This is a good thing because after taking the past five days off from comedy while I was in Steamboat I have this nagging feeling like I've suddenly fallen way behind. I feel like while I was playing in the mountains everyone else was getting better. And I hate that feeling. So I'm anxious to get back to my Second City class today and some stand-up right after. Followed by more stand-up Tuesday night and Wednesday... and on Thursday the camera crew arrives at my house to start filming for the reality show.  Now that's a phrase I never thought I'd say in my life...

I honestly have no idea what to expect with the show. I just know the crew will be arriving in town Thursday morning and will be coming to my house to film me here (and Harlow) and a little bit of myself out and about the city. At this point I'm just excited for a new experience. If you haven't noticed I'm kind of into trying out weird things so I'm all on board for this next little adventure.

Then on Friday my parents and my sister are coming to town to watch my show at the Laugh Factory. If you'd still like to get tickets you can purchase them here.  Choose the 10 p.m. show and enter the promotional code "chris bader". I am so excited for this show and will probably be hyperventilating before going on, but hopefully Stage Taylor will take over and tell me to shut the hell up.

And to finish off the weekend I've got a show at iO on Sunday night. So yeah, I guess you could say I'm kind of looking forward to this week and all it has in store. On that note, it's time to jump head first into this Monday. I need to take Harlow for a long walk outside, it's rumored to be eight degrees right now so we're really looking forward to it...

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The Blog Race

Friday, February 21, 2014

I don't know why, but every once in a while I get caught up. I get caught up in the silly little game I call The Blog Race. And even as I type this I know how ridiculous it is and that I choose to be a part of it, but still, it happens. It gets especially worse when I invest an exceptional amount of time into this little blog and I start to care a little too much, mostly about all of the other parts that aren't actually blogging- the excess as I like to call it. It's not necessarily bad, it's simply what it is; excess.

The reason why I started to blog nearly five years ago hasn't changed, but the pressure I put upon myself has. The pressure to come up with new content on a daily basis, to take photos that aren't blurry, to keep up with all of the blogging trends that I'm usually one year late to anyway. And the pressure to keep growing traffic... It's funny for me to think about the fact I blogged for almost three years without checking my stats or traffic once. If you're a blogger you're probably calling bullshit right now. But it's true. I simply didn't care. And I didn't take the time to figure out how to do it because the background stuff has never been my forte...

But then one day I decided to start caring a little more and start trying a little harder. I didn't realize it at the time, but this was the day I entered the Blog Race. And a lot of really cool things have come from this and I don't regret it for one second. But then there's been a lot of side stuff that comes from it, as well. The stuff that I get too wrapped up in caring about when I know damn well I shouldn't.

It started out simple enough when I learned how to check how many people were viewing my blog per day. Hey that's cool I thought, maybe I'll check again next week. And then I decided to get on Twitter to promote a few posts. And then I got a few followers and thought that was pretty neat, as well. Then came a Facebook page, even though I thought it was silly as I was creating it every "big blogger" was telling me I should so I figured why not. They seemed to know what they were talking about and who was I to question it? And then Instagram happened. And Bloglovin. And Google+ (which I still don't get obviously.)

But joining Twitter and Instagram and all of that stuff was just the beginning of it all, the real Blog Race came afterward. It's the followers and the likes and the comments. How many you have and how many you don't have... And the RTs and the hashtags and all of that stuff that you know shouldn't make a difference because it's so ridiculous in the big scheme of things, and yet it sometimes does.

It's all just so ... exhausting.

Again, I realize I participate in this stuff by choice. And I obviously enjoy it because that's why I do it, but that's not so say it isn't all just a little much every once in awhile. If you're reading this and you're not a blogger you're probably thinking I'm crazy for even being bothered by any of this. And you're right, all of us bloggers are a little nutty. But that's never been up for question.

What I try to remember is that for me, the core of blogging has always been about the writing. Writing is my passion, so I guess it shouldn't come as any surprise that I sometimes care a little too much. And some of that passion tends to leak into the other facets of blogging whether I like it or not. It's just what happens. So I guess I'm okay admitting I'm in the Blog Race, but what I'm not okay with is when it completely consumes me like is occasionally does.

Now with all of that being said (and probably not make any sense to anyone but me) it's been nice to get away this week and have a little distraction from blogging.

Have a good weekend! Remember we're only seven days away March. I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel...

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The Black Diamond

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The story you're about to hear is a tale of perseverance. It's about determination and overcoming obstacles. It's about facing your fears and forgetting about the demons from your past. It's about yesterday, when Chris led me down a black diamond during blizzard like conditions.

For those of you who don't know, a mountain is ranked by difficulty- a green circle means easy, a blue square means a little bit more difficult, and a black diamond means what in the hell are you doing turn back NOW! Just to give you some background knowledge, Chris comes from a family of skiers. They've been coming to Steamboat since he was a baby, he skied his first black at age six months while riding on his mother's back. That's not even joke. So he doesn't quite understand what it means to "not get" skiing.

My family took ski trips when I was younger, but we were never hard core skiers by any means. We usually had more fun building forts in the cabin with our crazy cousins and running from the hot tub to jumping in the snow like a bunch of idiots. I can only assume we were the unconventional hooligans on the mountain Chris's family probably despised.

This was only my second time skiing with Chris's family and I felt like I had something to prove. The last time didn't exactly go over so well. For starters I fell off the chair lift when it was time to get off on our very first run. I got all nervous and forgot to "put my tips up" and somehow my ski got caught in the bar and the next thing I know I was army crawling off the lift trying not to get hit by the next chair that was swinging by. All the while Chris and his parents stood close by looking at me like what in the hell is this girl doing? 

"I'm just making sure the rotator cuff is working on the bottom of my boot sole shoe thinger..." I mumbled as I crawled toward their feet with shame filling my face.

It didn't improve from there. I may have led on to the fact I was a good skier so they proceeded to take me down blues and blacks right off the bat. They zoomed down the hill while I tried to slip into a ski school of five-year-olds and just follow their cue. The day ended with me crying at the top of a very steep black diamond screaming "Just let me go off on my own down a green! I'm not as good as you guys! I just want a sled! I can't handle this. I need a drink. "

And then I wasn't invited back for about five years... Thus I bring you to today. I had something to prove.

I did okay yesterday morning. I didn't cry, I didn't fall off the lift, and I was able to keep up for the most part. Chris even said he was just proud of me for not throwing a fit at the top of the mountain. But I still hadn't impressed him yet and that was my goal. Around 3:00 p.m. yesterday it started to snow a lot. We took one last ride up the mountain and by the time we got to the top the wind was blowing and the snow was falling hard, the visibility was getting worse by the second.  Our chances for survival were getting slim.

Even though my legs were sore and I was getting very dehydrated (I hadn't had a beer in nearly two hours) I knew I had to push on. We had two options to get down the mountain at this point, a green run or a black diamond. Chris asked me what I wanted to do. I looked down the black and knew it was probably a life or death run for me (at least that's what I told myself.) And then I heard Tina Fey's voice in my head say,

And yes, I often hear Tina's voice in my head when I'm not sure what to do. I looked at Chris and said, let's do it. As I sped down the mountain, conquering my fears with each pole plant, I could hear the Eye of the Tiger playing. Or perhaps I was just singing it, I'm not really sure.

Chris captured the moment below, it doesn't look as blizzardy or as steep as I portrayed it, but I swear it was. Just look at the top, that's practically an Olympic sized run. It was really dangerous, trust me. And I skied it so well I wouldn't be surprised if someone tries to recruit me to be on their ski team or something. I passed a group of really fast girls and left them in my dust, that peewee ski school didn't even see me coming.

And then I was rewarded with a Blue Moon at the bottom.

In the end we were all champions. Harlow included. Can you see him trying to eat the falling snow?

The snow continued to fall and it was an all around great night.

It's been a great trip. It might be kind of hard to return to the city.

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Greetings From Steamboat

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The trip out here looked something like this...

As you can tell Harlow wanted to make sure he wasn't forgotten. As if that could ever happen.

And so he rode with a hand on his favorite guy's shoulder for the first few hours.

Until he tuckered out and decided to give in and nap in the back with cousin, Vandal.

We woke up early yesterday morning to do a little Social Wolfe work while the rest of the crew hit the slopes. Harlow sat close to the window to keep an eye on the flying space ships outside- i.e. the gondolas he saw floating by that scared the living shit out of him. 

At one point I heard Harlow barking like a mad man and found that he had accidentally locked himself in one of the showers. Naturally I had to snap a pic before I let him out. He just kills me.

Eventually I made my way to the mountain and waited for everyone to come down while I sat and enjoyed the sunshine and a Bloody Mary.

Chris apparently thought the camera was on the ground.

Take two.

I was ballsy and attempted to eat a bowl of chili in my white cape...

Much to my surprise, not a single splatter of chili hit the cape. I don't know what it is, but for some reason food just tastes better in a restaurant right off the mountain. It's like airport food or something. Give me a cup of chili and cornbread any day, please and thank you.

And then I met one of Chicago's best food bloggers, Kat for a little apres ski. We drank some beers and talked a little shop... or something like that

And today... Today I ski. The last time I skied with Chris's family I fell off the chair lift and started crying on the mountain. So basically I know it's going to go great. Wish me luck.

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