Friday, December 2, 2011

Welcome To Your First today of Improv

I went to an improv showcase in the city last night to get some reps in before a big audition next week.  I took a fellow Salsation member with me and tried to prepare ourselves for a night of getting up on stage.

We schmoozed a bit with the teams there and with the event coordinator just to get a feel for what potential there was for getting up on stage as well as in what format.  There were 5 teams for the evening each with roughly 15-20 minutes of time.  That's plenty of time to do a showcase for improv, and I felt we could get lucky enough to maybe get our own set at the end.

Once the show started, I was in for a lot of surprises.  I felt like I went back in time and was getting schooled all over again in the different ways of improvising and putting up mini long-form improv.  Most of the people at this jam were from the Improv Olympic (I.O.) school of improvisation.  I could totally tell just by the focus of what the material and style itself consisted of.   I was introduced to the JTS Brown form, which actually was a form pioneered by an I.O. team of the same name helmed by Jason Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live), T.J. Jagodowski (T.J. & Dave), Peter Grosz (The Colbert Report), Ike Barinholtz (MADtv), Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), and John Lutz (television writer) (30 Rock).  I had to look it up during the show just to understand what they were trying to do and what the charms were supposed to be of this form.   I also saw a couple of two-man teams go up and do their thing which reminded me of just how hard it is to carry a show with a minimal amount of people and just how important it is to be on the same page both with skill and support.

As the night wore on, I notced that my already weakened voice was getting hoarser and softer.  Shite!  I was losing my voice!  And I needed to go on stage in a bit.  So, I laid off th evoice hoping that it would heal enough to get through our set.  We ended up joining a ton of people on stage for an improv mixer, and I was thrust into the world of I.O. improv.  With a jacked up voice and being a bit rusty, I went on to do the best I could for the night.  I had one scene that I felt had a lot of potential to be a really good scene had we both taken the time to listen and support each other a bit more.  Instead it fizzled out.

Overall, I am glad I got a chance to meet a ton of new people in the scene and will most likely return to play.

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