Here at The Blue Brick Theatre

I’m sitting at the table in the lobby of The Blue Brick Theatre. In dear old State College, Pennsylvania. We are.

I’ve been in town since Tuesday. It’s Friday now. I try to write these blogs out a few weeks ahead of time. Keep in a rhythm. Keep in a flow.

I’ll perform in a show with Happy Valley Improv tonight. For the first time in like five months. Talk about being out of rhythm. Talk about losing the flow. I’ve been doing improv for 20 years now. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

It’s very strange to be sitting in this theatre.


I returned to State College for a conference. The annual meeting of the Curriculum and Pedagogy Group. I helped to bring the conference to State College. With the hopes of not having to travel to the conference. And then I moved to Iowa and had to travel to the conference. Joke is on me, I guess.

The week has been something of a nervous breakdown. Too many “Sam Tanner’s!” Too many hugs.

“Sam!” a former colleagues shouts. “How are you?”

“Sam!” a friend shouts. “You’re back!”

“We should go get some food. We should hang out. We should talk.”

I tried to get food, hang out, and talk with about 1,000,000 people in the course of a week. This was not wise. I’m in the fetal position as I draft this blog. Cowering under a table. Hiding in The Blue Brick Theatre. Staring off into the middle distance. Thank God I still have the combination to unlock the theatre. An enclave of introversion. A fortress of solitude.

It really is great to see people. To connect with friends and collaborators who were a huge part of the life I built out here. It is overwhelming too.

I’ll cap this trip off with my return to the stage tonight. Do a little improv. Wake up early and fly home in the morning. What a whirlwind this week has been.


I stopped at Weiss on Tuesday after getting in. A local grocery store. Nothing fancy. The opposite of fancy, in fact. I grabbed some Tylenol because I had a splitting headache. Travel sucks. I walked into Weiss and was overcome with nostalgia. This was a grocery store I brought my boys to when they were little. And now I was back. I started crying.

You know something is wrong when you find yourself crying in a Weiss. I don’t recommend it.

I’ve only been gone for five months. This place was my home. It is so strange to be back.

I was pretty emotional all week, when I wasn’t – introversion be damned – doing my best to socialize. A very strange week.

I’m excited to do some improv tonight. I’m also also looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tomorrow night. Both things can be true, I guess.

What a week, man.

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