Last night was a great rehearsal night for IA. Everyone was really focused and we were all in a very playful mood. We are starting to figure out how to do our organic transitions in order to make our scenes better. We are definitely trying to get better all the time. I would hate it if we were just complacent at this point, thinking we are as good as we are going to get. If you are an improviser and you think there is nothing more you can learn...you are sadly mistaken. There is always something you can get better at...always.
I recently read something that Jill Bernard wrote about:
”Improv was still fun, but it didn't give me butterflies. I was getting cocky and complacent and I knew it. This makes me sound like an ass, but no one was challenging me. I had to do something. At that time I realized something that has become a central artistic philosophy for me. If you have some stupid idea, an idea that keeps you up at night because it seems impossible and it's scary and it's not like anything else; that is the thing you must do.”
The organic edits are definitely something that is scary for IA, sometimes we are hesitant, but last night, we didn't give a crap how we looked, we were just having fun. Some of the best scenes came out of our group organic edits. I know we can have this much fun on stage at our next shows too.
The whole reason I started this blog was to keep an improv diary if you will. It was fun to read about some shows I had forgotten about, and the people I have performed with.
My weeks are much easier now, but there is definitely some things changing on the horizon:
1. Improv-Abilities is going to have another yearly meeting to go over goals for the next year and how we can keep improving as a team. We did the Chicago Improv Festival last year...what the heck could we do now?
2. Jerry Rapp has joined Tommy and I to make our videos sooooo much better. We are both very excited about working with a professional man in the film industry.
3. John Robison and I are finally able to do our 2 man show "Dictionary Soup" every second Saturday at Roving Imp. We have done a total of 2 of these shows, we are really looking forward to getting these shows more polished, and time will definitely help.
4. Joe Henley and I are really starting to get pretty serious about opening an improv dedicated theater here in Kansas City. The next step is to meet with a small business advisor and see if we could even make it work. (I will definitely keep you updated on this venture)
5. This coming Sunday, Nick Rigoli invited me to join a discussion about a sketch team. I definitely want to show up and see what could happen. I have always wanted to try sketch. I got to do some with Counter Clockwise Comedy last year, but it never felt like it was great or a that much of a team effort.
6. and finally...I don't want to improvise at Comedy City anymore...it just isn't fun. I love a lot of the people there, but it seems that everyone is leaving, or is planning on leaving. It was fun while it lasted, and I am glad that I got to be a part of that history.
Things are changing here in Kansas City, there are many more improv groups than there were at this time last year. It is still slowly growing thanks to City 3 and the Improv Festival. Thank God it is slowly growing, we couldn't handle it if it just blew up in our faces. I am excited to see what the next year brings for improv in Kansas City.
Friday night I got to play with Loaded Dice. Some half naked lady danced around me, I pulled off my pants, ripped off a pair of dice taped to my boxers, and threw them to someone in the crowd. Weird? Yes, but at least I can tell my kids about it someday.
From that point on the night was a blast. Playing with Loaded Dice was very fun, it is a format inspired by Dan Izzo's road trip format, and it is as much fun as it looks.
Saturday night I found myself with IA. I had more of an investment with this group since I have been with them from the beginning. Again, very fun playing with these people. I had fun on stage and that is what I wanted to do this weekend. Just go out there and have fun.
The after parties were even more fun, because we got to all bask in the glory of this great event over great drinks and great atmosphere.
Someone asked me if this was a hobby. It was hard to answer that. It is a hobby, but it is also something that I love to do, and consider myself to be good at. But is that what a hobby is, something you love to do, and something you are good at? Or, is it just a hobby, because I can't make a living doing it?
The whole weekend was a blast. The shows, the people, the workshops, and of course...the after parties...and the after after parties by the river.
I now know why I do this, improv is fun. If you over think it, it becomes not fun. So, I plan on doing that this weekend, I am not going to think about how the show is going to be, I am just going to go out there and have fun with the people I love improvising with.
It was definitely a weekend not soon to be forgotten.
More importantly, the community is getting a lot out of it. Press, attention, name recognition, and excited young people who want to do what we do.
Last year, the festival spawned new groups and excited performers, I can't wait to see what this festival will do within the next year.
Loaded Dice has asked me to perform with them in the Festival. It is a great honor to even be thought of and asked. I am very excited, I thought their format was very fun, and I can't wait to play with them. We are kicking off the set on Friday the 12th.
Then of course, IA is playing on the 13th, which will also be very fun.
Now we have 2 more great weekends of improv ahead of us.