The Kansas City Steemit Summer Party Stories
Worlds continue to collide and create a brand new Universe. A road trip across the Show Me State reminded me that everyone gets to follow their own Hero's Journey.
photot credit: @JasonRussell
PRELUDE - IMPROVISERS IN THE NIGHT
At one point, We stopped by for a late night snack. I said to Sykochica, "It wouldn't surprise me if we see some improvisers that i knew from way back when." She just smiled as if to grant me a wish, and then moments later I see Improv & Comedy's own hero, Jamie Cambell. I knew Jamie from Chicago and Los Angeles. He single handedly took the Comedy Sportz Chicago training center from good to great. He added an entire syllabus for Stand Up Comedy. He travelled to LA and was rising up the ranks in the LA Comedy Scene. And then, he was recruited by Tim Marks, the Big Chief of Kansas City Comedy Theater to come and do what he has done everywhere else in the world, make everything even better. And Saturday night, after an already amazing day, he did. It such a joy to see Jamie, give him a hug and look at that big smile of his. We caught up a little. I introduced him to the other heroes in the room sitting at the table with me, Sykochica and VirtualGrowth. Worlds collided before Jamie had to rush off to get ready for more hustle in the morning.
As if that wasn't enough, I sheepishly looked around for Tim Marks. The Burger Joint we were at was after all next door to the comedy club. I found him on the patio with a bunch of other improvisers doing what improvisers do, laughing loudly as they recount the shows earlier that night. I felt awkward, embarrassed, and timidly said I just wanted to say hello to Tim, and that my name was--- "Jake Schnieder!" shouted Keith Curtis. Holy cow, it was Keith Curtis, a fellow improviser I did not know well but remembered from some bits down in Dallas and a workshop I taught in KC years ago. "Jake Schneider" he said again, "from The Reckoning down in Dallas and a Workshop you did here years ago. We were just talking about you." Why would anyone be talking about me. "It's true." said Tim Marks. I was happy they remembered me but- "I saw you earlier, but wasn't sure it was you." said Tim "We were just talking about how The Reckoning is the reason we are here." I was staggered, I did not know how to react. I wasn't expecting such kindness, only wanted to say hello. They recounted all the details from a Reckoning Show years ago, and classes I have long forgotten. But I remebered the ride to the bus station Tim gave me as I wished him well one night. It was beautiful to meet some new improvisers, it was nice to hear kind words, and I was excited when they asked me "Why are you in town? Business?" I stammered over my words to explain, but finally just looked them all in the eye and said the one word that sums it all up.... Steemit.
This weekend started and ended with connecting with a whole new and exciting world of friends and heros. Somewhere in the middle of the night, I got to reconnect with distant members of my old eterenal improv tribe. I got to tell them a little bit about this new world, full of enthusiastic and interesting people. I was reminded I had done some good in the world somewhere and got to hear how healthy and alive the improv still is in Kansas City. I got to reconnect with Jamie Campbell, Keith Curtis, and the Kansas City Maestro Tim Marks. Tim was all smiles as he sat with his crew. It reminded me of Kevin McKernan and Mick Napier as they simply give back to those that love the same thing. It reminded me of all those I had met earlier that day at Jacob Loose Park on a beautiful Kansas City Afternoon.
PARTY ON - STEEMIT DAY AND DAWN
There is a saying that one should never meet one's heroes cause they might not be who you think. This weekend I discovered they were better than I expected. They are humans and now I call them friends.
I did not know what to expect. I packed the night before and transfered some bitcoin on to my shiftcard just in case. My wonderful sister and her husband who live in Kansas City weren't going to be in town but said me and Virtual Growth could crash at their house. Sykochica generously offered me a ride to and from the event. I hugged my gramma and sat with her while we listened to the birds chirping at dawn. All I knew was I was heading to Kansas City to meet the Steemit Community at an event organized by StellaBelle. It turned out to be something for which I will always be thankful.
And since there is no time like the present, I present to you a roll call of gratitude!
Cheers to the Steemit Greats who made it to KC. And anyone who was not there in person, you were with us in spirit. When I first started Steemit, I followed a charismatic family man from Arkansas, another facinating presence who had just moved to St Louis, a roaming Virtuoso, and a talented intelligent sprite. This is just a handful of the people I still continue to look up to on steemit. Amidst the Vikings and MeesterScots, the Voices of the Underground, and Austin Extraordinaires, there are so many people I am tempted to call heros.
Thank You @StellaBelle! You packed your fun car full of fun times and put up a kick ass picnic for us good times nerds. You baked a bunch of cupcakes and prepared enough food to make the local caterer companies blush. Mucho gracias por los burritos yum yum. You brought the bling and shared the wealth with Hundo Dollar Ned Bucks and a sweet Steemit token which today begins it's journey to another worthy friend. You are such a generous funsy to talk and listen to. I've heard it said we should celebrate our successes in life, and celebrate you do. I could only use one word to describe the experience you gave us all at Loose Park, it would be "SteemtasticSuccess!" Yes, that is one word. You have a naturally attractive enthusiasm that just empowers all those around you. As sun set on beautiful Kansas City, and the guests of honor drove home, you stayed to just be you and share even more of your journey with us in the twilight. It was a delight to meet someone so full of life and vision, but also not afraid to shoot straight and tell it like it is. I'm shooting straight right now: I'm wishing you and your family all the love and happiness in the world. Your community, KC, and the world is so lucky to have you.
Thank you @Sykochica for the ride to and from the party! You didn't even give us a chance to pay for gas and then bought me and Virtual Growth burgers at the The Green Room. You seemed to know the Universe wanted me to reconnect with some old improv friends and sure enough that happened too. Thank you for being my sherpa in a multifaceted mission to connect with the mighty worlds of improv and steem. I got to see some old friends from Chicago and on the patio was humbled by the President of the KC Comedy Club when he confided I was a majoy influence on their companies success. I can't tell you what it means to this humble 17 year improv veteran to hear those kind words in the middle of the night after what was already one of the best days of summer. You made the drive to and from KC from ol St Louie go by so quick. You shared your joy that continues to blossom from all your devoted efforts for the Steem Community. You absolutely glowed with a love and devotion to your homies back in Springfield, especially @WinstonWolf and @GiftedGai. And then you mentioned a bunch of others that I shall be fashioning into it's own post. I am jealous of those who don't have to work on Saturdays and can tune in to listen to @SteemitTalk. You absolutely love the people you meet on Steemit. It is an innocent exuberance that we improv teachers hope to inspire in our students for one another. It was nice to see someone like yourself being rewarded for having so much fun. I got a glimpse of the humble hero you are for so many now and tomorrow. You are a mighty whale in my eyes and swim amongst the stars. Thanks for hanging out late and meeting up early the next day. It was an honor to have you and VirtualGrowth in my family's KC home for breakfast and more facinating chats. I am looking forward to working with you to host a Steemit Meet Up in St Louis someday soon.
photo credit: @MelodyRussell
Thank You @VirtualGrowth. Brother, you cool. I was happy just to listen to the Thoth like wisdom from all four corners of interests you share with us all. You were the first to arrive at the Picnic and one of the last to leave. You answered everyone's questions with a child like infectious delight that made even the most complex information, something fun to learn. You generously shared your story from East to West Coast. We all got the inside scoop from Consensus, heard fun updates from the poker table, and of the promising horzions for bitshares, steem, and eos. Everything you touch turns to gold. For we know you might be Hermes Trismegistus this time around, you're like a CryptoCurrency Anonymous Johny Appleseed. I am honored to have gotten to listen for so long to a fellow Eagle Scout that knows so much. It was nice just having you and Sykochica to hang out with like old friends around the breakfast table.
Thank you @Papa-Pepper. You are one of those magnetic personalities that lights up the party. I'm so happy you and @BluerThanGreen made the drive all the way up from Arkansas just to say hello. And on top of that it was an honor to meet the one and only, MonsterTruck of the @Little-Peppers. At first I was nervous when he started climbing that tree, but I noticed how cool you were and knew that kid could only climb higher. Buddy, you brought the swag, and i do mean swag. Thanks for handing out some T Shirts and sharing your time with everyone that wanted to talk to you. Everyone did indeed want to talk with you. You shared your journey from being a bad ass lone wolf to being a kick ass dad. You're just one of those guys that wins in all he does and continues to do. You didn't have to share so much of your time and story with us. You didn't have to pause and ask, "So how are you?" You didn't have to listen but you did. And then you shared some simple ideas for steemit that I think we all agree would help us find what we are looking for. Cause isn't that what we all want for each other, just to find what we each are looking for. It was an honor to reflect on just what steemit is and continues to be, a community that just so happens to be a blockchain. And within that community, there are friends and families like yours. Many blessings on the Pepper Home.
Thank you @JasonRussell and @MelodyRussell for capturing the KC event and all the joy we shared together. It was an honor to meet you and hear about your passions. You are just a couple of fun people living life and loving what you do, which just so happens to be something that gives back to many others. Thanks again for all the sweet pics and sharing them with everyone who was there in person and with us in spirit. I'm looking forward to more and more, especially when that new camera comes in. Looking forward to that sweet group photo, hope it turned out aces.
Thank You @JessamynOrchard for lighting up the event with your music. Look, I got a musical family, my brother is the god father of St Louis Twang Rock and my other brother has played everything from Noise Core to Sweet Jazz. And we were all graced with your real deal talents under the shade of a Kansas City tree. Thank you so much for making the trip up to entertain us with your song and super fun personality. The music community is lucky to have you, we are all excited to see your future projects. Especially Steemit Music Community UNITE! We are lucky to be looking forward to more!
Thank you @ClickenChicken and @GoatGarden for making the hike to KC to share the beginnings of your inevitable success on steemit. Homesteading is a facinating expertise and lifestyle. I loved your shirts. I loved hearing what you do in homesteading and it sounds like Steemit is lucky to love you too. Congratulations on being a part of this here community, we are so lucky to have a fun happy couple like you around.
Thank You @PierreFilms! I love having a fellow movie lover around Steemit. I appreciated hearing you share your talents and top tens. I hope you continue to share those movie passions with the rest of us here. You got a gift, and i hope you keep giving it fun buddy.
Thank You @FungusMonk for bringing a fresh new musical talent to the community. It was great meeting you early on at the picnic. And it was nice just hanging out with a fun dude who helped out StellaBelle pack up her car at the end of the day. You are a positive person and we are all looking forward to the positive music and stories you will be sharing with steemit soon. Congratulations on your new life in KC. Wishing you all the best in a beautiful City.
Thank you @ReedRacer. You are an interesting fellow and I'm glad you made it to the picnic to share your sense of humor and unique journey with everyone. It was nice getting some persepective on the tech world form a fun dude. I do hope you pop in on the local improv whether just to see a show or take a class. You got class and style. Wishing you more good times and look forward to seeing your posts here on steemit. Stay huge on twitter!
Thank you @SylviaTegan. What a fun person and ball of joy you are. We are so lucky to have you here on steemit. And JessamynOrchard is sure lucky to have such a loyal loving friend. Smart move on the name tags. Thanks for bringing your talented interesting mom. You gotta get that legit author on these steemit pages. What a delight we all were to have you and your beaming smile to the party.
Thank you @RebeccaBe. You are a true lady of mystery, and like all mysteries we are dazzled by every discovery. Thank you for sharing your interesting past, stories of your fun puppies, bringing your best friend dad, and I hope to be seeing more of you and yours.
Thank You @Alfonso1003. I see that you have not posted yet, which means the sky is the limit! You shared your genuine curiosity, you listened with an open mind and willing heart, and then you blew me away with what you naturally do. All I can say is you got gold in your hands. Keep reading books and writing to the authors, and I hope to see those letters soon on steemit. You have a wonderful fun daughter who had a silly good time with Monster Truck and everyone. It was truly a delight to meet a genuinely cool fella and I'm thankful we had a chance to talk so long.
@SteeVC, we missed you bro. Somehow your name got on the guest list, I guess it was meant to be. Therefore thank you for being in our hearts and minds. You were with us in spirit.
AFTERWARDS - ONWARD AND UPWARD
Thank You Kansas City. You are a beautiful city and I'm looking forward to accepting that invitation from Tim Mark to come back soon to play and teach a little workshop, hopefully with one Jamie Cambell. I am missing Steemspeak, and each time I am about to check back in something kept coming up. I miss bothering Fyrstikken and Inertia with my dumb questions like, "What do Chicken McNuggets look like in Peru?" I been missing Seablue's song like advice and TheDegenSloth's fire in the belly. I miss the beautiful and dangerous voice of BattleAxe, the hip hop swagger of SirLunchTheHost, Mr Wang and Instructor2121. I am looking forward to diving back in to Steemtrail. I have learned to trust the cosmos with the timing along my journey. I used to think I needed to work harder to get to where I want, and while that is great to know it works for many, I have learned to simply be thankful for where I am. We have all come this far, we will get to where we are meant to be. And I am thankful that I got to be in Kansas City.
The lively conversation with Sykochica and VirtualGrowth over breakfast in my sister's house, carried on during the whole car ride back to St Louis. We even stopped at the Russell Stovers near Boonville to goof around while Chica bought some sweets for her mom. That's the kind of person she is, generous and always thinking of others. I am thankful to have gotten to know her better and look forward to seeing her again in St Louis.
And right now, I am thankful to be writing this while sitting next to the the mysterious survivor, the Anonymous Virtual Growth. He has answered all my questions with ease, listened to my stories, and continues to reveal himself to simply be a good person and kind friend. His brushes with death have brought him closer to life. It is a reminder of how many incredible human stories there are on steemit. I know not where this young fellow is off to next. But his freedom is one I hope we all someday have a chance to experience. Perhaps you'll see him at a poker table in a casino near you. Perhaps you'll see him at a garden in Texas. Who knows, you might just see him zooming by your next steemit meet up, or just sitting on a bench with his name on it in Brooklyn. One thing is for sure, he is one of you and always looking out to help a friend in need along this steemit trail.
We laughed at all the great recap posts from those who attended the event. We enjoyed our salads and I checked on Gramma Jo. She wakes up from time to time and I heard her in the kitchen. She was sipping some juice. I rubbed her back. She smiled and said, "How was Kansas City?" It was good Gramma, I'll tell you all about it in the morning. I kissed her on the cheek. She is my hero. She went back to bed. I am looking forward to the morning and the chirping of the birds, when I will share photos of my sister's house in the beautiful south side of Kansas City.
Jacob TS is an improv tailor consultant for FINTech and Blockchain Business. He teaches improv for local and online teams, is a member of iO West's The Reckoning, and enjoys blogging for crypto on Steemit!
Useful Steemit Links: Steemspeak, @Steemtrail, @Improv-Trail, ChainBB, @Curie, @Steemgigs, @minnowsupport, Steemit.Chat, Golos, @VOTU, @SteemTalk, @SteemCenterWiki, @Zappl, OpenLedger Decentralized Exchange, Bittrex, 1Broker, ShiftCard, Gdax and Coinbase. See you at @Steemfest and may all your @SteemfestDreams come true.