Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lady Cola Byeee!

A message from Irene Marquette, on the occasion of her final episode of Improvised Star Trek as a regular cast member:

Well hello out there good people! My name is Irene although you know me better as Lt. Cmdr Lady Cola, a character I have played on Improvised Star Trek for the last 6 years.

If you’re reading this post it’s because my retirement episode is here. (Posts on Sunday Nov. 22) That’s right, after a year or so of very sporadic recording I am calling it. But first, I wanted to write a post of hello and goodbye.

Let’s start at the beginning. Probably like you, Star Trek has been in my life since I was a young person. My mom and I watched Next Gen together. For a reason that escapes me I recall us watching all of the movies in reverse chronological order.

When I was 16 my family was living in Las Vegas when my mother and I reached the pinnacle of our fandom. We got to go to the opening of the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton. She styled my hair in a bun with a twirl she called a ‘galaxy twist’ and I wore my homecoming dress. Someone asked me for my autograph. Truly a watershed moment.  We waited in line for hours in the History of the Future museum until finally getting the chance to ride what I thought was a very sophisticated, witty and cool ride. In a strange foreshadowing to my future as an improviser at iO I saw Andy Dick in the space casino. More relevant to my interests at the time I also saw Jared Leto and Jerry O’Connell dancing with girls dressed the same and sporting matching hairdo’s best described as borg queen meets Juliette Lewis:   

They scared me. Little did I know I would work at the Star Trek Experience from age 21-23 saving up money to move to Chicago with the man of my dreams, Dragen Horowitz.

Ok, so I like Star Trek and I like improv so why has it been so frigging hard to get me over to Crick’s house on Sunday mornings to pretend that I’m in space with my friends? Let me give you a quick rundown. Sunday is a hot day for rehearsal. I’ve been an ensemble member in sketch reviews like Mick Napier’s Invisible World (2014), Trap (2014) and Undressed (2015) both directed by TJ and Dave. I’ve also been developing my directing chops for the last several years. Last summer I created/directed The Raven & The Messenger a musical about Jim Jones, this past summer I completed the Second City Directing Program and have been working with the production company Odd Machine, recently directing my first commercial with them (it was a spot for Uber). Every month I host The Curio Show, where vaudeville and legit research intersect. I’ve been traveling around having shenanigans as well. In fact on Monday afternoon I head to Montana to shoot a short film for a young filmmaker named Jeff Verlanic who has a mission to tell stories about growing up gay in rural America. FINALLY, I’ve also got a very embarrassing story coming out in The Awkward Phase book in Feb 2016.

Baby, I’m just a hustler, hustling, doing the damn thing while I can.

It’s very important and worth noting that in addition to the show, everyone in this group works their butts off with things they love. That may be other performing opportunities and creative endeavors. Some even have children and real jobs and homes or tour with major theater groups/companies are awesome playwrights, international physical artists, visual artists and so much more.

IST has been such a great experience, both in terms of the format, stories, friendship, the quest for excellence these folks push for, the sheer joy of improvising with such smart, cool, interesting people and you all who listen to us goof with each other. Having the freedom to make someone like Lady who addresses the space where utopian equality, strength, sexual liberation, feminism and internalized sexism intersect. I don’t know of anywhere else where I could make a character so full of contradictions and let her be real and evolve for years. I am very happy with her final (?) episode. I will miss this show. It is a unique creation and I’m proud to have been apart of it since the beginning. According to the crew I have an open door to play so see ya at a live show?

The team who puts the show together work tirelessly. Just throwing that out there. Give them props (literal/figurative) or donations or RTs.

Ok that’s it.


tl;dr Thanks BYEEEEE

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