"Nice new shiny UCB building...
Nice new shiny UCB building...
The door was open and I could've went inside to see what it looked like but, I didn't want to bother anyone. Although, I hear it's opening in November (I wonder if that large marquee glows red?). One thing for sure, this second location will definitely attract a diverse generation of new improvisors...culturally-speaking"
That was my first post about the new Upright Citizens Brigade theater located on Sunset Boulevard (east of Western Avenue) on October 4, 2014 with the following photos I took that day.
That area is a densely urban neighborhood. The residents most commonly identify their ethnicity or ancestry as Mexican (23.9%). There are also a number of people of Asian ancestry (23.6%), and residents who report Armenian roots (11.2%), and some of the residents are also of Russian ancestry (5.4%), along with some French ancestry residents (3.0%), among others. In addition, 49.4% of the residents of this neighborhood were born in another country. The UCB Sunset campus attracted people of color and lifestyles interested in pursuing comedy. Not just improv and sketch, but, I've seen stand-up, too.
When I was studying long form improv at UCB, I was studying at local rented theaters around the neighborhood, and our graduation performances were held at the original Los Angeles UCB theater on Franklin Avenue. Two primary things were solved when the second theater was renovated from what once housed, and it can be summed up with just one word: Campus. All classes and graduation shows were held at UCB Sunset. And, because of its campus-feel, all Open Mics and smaller shows were moved from the Franklin theater to the Sunset campus..
Like the Franklin theater, Sunset had its parking issues. Residents complained of no parking spaces for them as students and attendees went to the Sunset campus daily. UCB Sunset offered valet parking but even that had limited slots. To get there early was essential but carpools and local transit helped.
I completed the basic program in 2013 at UCB Franklin. Afterwards, I hustled and networked around town at various improv theaters and weekly shows. I performed in one sketch Jonathan Grant wrote based on a premise I had at B.Y.O.S Sketch Open Mic...
...and, also performed in two sketches with Polyphilos Trismegistos at Smut's Dirty Little Secret show...
- all three at UCB Sunset's Inner Sanctum Stage in 2015.
Also, I witnessed the origins of Asian AF and Filipino AF beginning with the first "Scarlett Johansson Presents…" show in 2016 to the final show in 2017 (where I was hired to film the entire show. That's me with the plaid shirt).
I was there to see the first show of Asian AF presents Filipino AF. About 280+ filled the Inner Sanctum Stage with standing room in the back! I also took part in it in later shows thereafter.
With UCB Sunset's surprising announcement of its closure yesterday (after months of non-essential businesses ordered to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic), I will miss going there between auditions, hiding from the summer heat by cooling off inside while seeing new acts, early parking tickets and that time after hiking at Griffith Park, before driving home to the SFV, I rested my worn out legs/feet there while consuming treats from the cafe.
Not to mention seeing old friends and meeting new people.
I wish UCB well. And, hopefully once the virus is controlled and this pandemic is eradicated, we can return to the Franklin theater with community.
I guess I won't be using this card anymore. I was one punch hole away from getting free items... And, UCB Franklin does not have a cafe.