Small Business Saturday in Austin > Black Friday

by Lilli Lopez

Tents! Cold temperatures! Injuries and FULL BLOWN FIGHTS! Every year we see folks working retail, dealing with waves of shoppers lined up as soon as a week in advance for Black Friday, when they should honestly have the day off (RADICAL, I KNOW).  So when I heard about Small Business Saturday almost a decade ago, I was thrilled to participate. A full two days after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday falls on December 30 this year. Before you head out for door-busting deals at your local major retail stores, maybe consider saving the rest of your Thanksgiving and Friday for feasting on leftover and spend your hard earned dollars at local businesses.

Small businesses are the cornerstone of any thriving local economy. Austin is filled with homegrown businesses and boutiques and even comedy theaters. ColdTowne Theater neighbors some of our favorite local businesses in Hyde Park, North Loop, and now Mueller neighborhood.  To the west we have some of our favorite coffee shops and vintage spots in the neighborhood: Flightpath Coffeehouse and Epoch. Blue Velvet Vintage right next door, then we have Room Service Vintage down the street and New Bohemia just next to The Grand, which is walking distance from ColdTowne.

Austin can seem overwhelmingly corporate sometimes, but you really don’t have to search high and low to support local businesses and get exactly what you need and more. Need some new gift ideas for the holidays? Las Ofrendas (creator of Frida Friday ATX) has a new shop housing several vendors and their incredible handmade gifts. You can visit them at 916 Springdale Rd F-6. Or maybe stop by our neighbors at Toy Joy off Airport (next to New Bohemia) for some funky toys and gifts. OR you can still get the ColdTowne $99 Deal on Level 1 improv or sketch classes now through December 14. You don’t even need to leave the house for that!

When you skip the Black Friday stampedes for Small Business Saturday, you’re keeping your money in Austin and supporting local business owners, their staffs, and families. As I mentioned in my blog post about ColdTowne’s $99 Deal, where I spend my money is important to me (pay gap, ya know?), so if Black Friday gives you evil J-Bezos vibes, buy local. Visit your favorite small businesses this Saturday and feel good about where your money’s going.

ColdTowne Conservatory welcomed new Faculty members in 2019

ColdTowne Conservatory welcomed new Faculty members in 2019

ColdTowne Conservatory is very pleased to have welcomed 6 new faculty members to our ranks this past year.  ColdTowne veterans Lilli Lopez from Prima Doñas, Kim Lowery & Stephanie Thoreson from Loverboy, as well as new ColdTowners Maddie Cordovano & Tom Daily II performers transplanted from iO Theatre and The Second City in Chicago and also Haley Chamblee, ColdTowne’s new Conservatory Director have all joined our storied faculty ranks. We’re very lucky to have them!

Haley Chamblee is ColdTowne’s Conservatory Director. A graduate of ColdTowne Conservatory, Haley also serves as the registration coordinator for the annual Austin Ladies Comedy Retreat. Haley improvises with House teams Hawkeye and Porch Cat, and indie teams Lazer Squid, Ronin, and Thotties.

 

 

Maddie Cordovano trained in Chicago performing, working and coaching at both The Second City and iO Theater. Last year, she moved to Austin where she has found the joy of living in a warm place and the comfort of being part of this city’s friendly comedy community. Maddie improvises weekly in both Sweet Lightning at the Fallout, and Stool Pigeon at ColdTowne Theater.

 

Tom Daily II was thirteen when he started at the John Casablanca school for acting and started improvising in high school.  He moved to Chicago where he studied at the Second City Training program then took iO improv classes as well as Actors Studio’s courses Screen Study and Meisner Technique. ‘IN Chicago he appeared in “Attend the Tale Of Danny Tanner: A Full House Musical”. Once back in Houston, he performed with Station Theatre’s CAN’T TELL US NOTHING on stages all around Texas. And this year, he joined ColdTowne house team and B.Iden Payne winner of 2019 Best Improv Troupe, Sugar Water Purple.

Lilli Lopez is known for her performance in Latinauts: Improvised Telenovelas, a 2019 Austin Critics Table Award winner and 2017 B. Iden Payne Award’s (Outstanding Improv Production, Outstanding Cast [Improvised Show], and Outstanding Direction. Lilli also co-directed Latinauts: Wrath of Juan and LatiNacional, which just won 2019’s Best Improv Production, as well as a co-Directing win for Lilli. She also directed and hosted The Rose: Trouble in Paradise at ColdTowne. She is ColdTowne’s Marketing Director as well as an actor and teaching artist with the Paramount Theater Story Wranglers, and a producer of BettyFest, an annual all-women comedy festival. Lilli holds a masters degree in mass communication from the Manship School at Louisiana State University, where she researched nonprofit communication strategy.

Kim Lowery is on the Community Board of ColdTowne Theater where she graduated in 2015 from the Conservatory and from the inaugural class of the Advanced Studies Program in 2016. Additionally, Kim is one of the producers of BettyFest ATX, an annual all-women and non-binary comedy festival that celebrates the diverse voices empowering the Austin comedy community. You can see Kim perform every Friday night at 8:30 at ColdTowne Theater in one of Austin’s best comedy shows with Loverboy improv.

 

Stephanie Thoreson is the winner of Hill Country Film Fest’s “Best Actress” award and ColdTowne Theater’s “Best Character Performer” award. She is on the Board of Directors for BettyFest. You can see Stephanie every Friday night at ColdTowne Theater performing with the award-winning all-women improv troupe Loverboy, named by Thrillist as one of the best comedy shows in Austin. Stephanie graduated ColdTowne Conservatory in 2015.

We’re thrilled to have these artists and veterans of ColdTowne Conservatory faculty. To sign up for classes or view class details and offerings, visit