So much improv so little time

Friday was a fun IA show. We have some nice energy heading into the Festival next week, which should be a ridiculous show. Did I mention that we are playing on the headlining night...so we are going to be playing to a huge crowd. Not only that, but we kick off the whole show...getting excited just typing that.

There was also a poop ton of improv related shows and parties this weekend which made it impossible to attend everything, but my heart was with all of the shows that I missed. I heard that every show had some great attendance, and that always makes me happy. As long as we are putting on good shows for good crowds, then improv is succeeding in my book.


Roving Imp

Saturday I took advantage of my wife being out of town. I went down to the Roving Imp theater and watched 2 improv shows. Now, I haven't sat down and watched an improv show as a spectator in a while. Sure, I have watched other groups perform, and Thunderdome, but most of the time I am watching those shows like an improviser. Critiquing choices, critiquing format, etc...

But Saturday, I watched like I was in high school again. I got jealous of the laughter the people onstage were getting and I wanted to be that person on stage. I got jealous of the format that Omega Directive did in both halves, because I wanted to be up there performing in what looked like a ton of fun. But most importantly, I was an audience member who enjoyed my experience at the Roving Imp, because it was comfortable and entertaining.

I could have stayed at home and had a fire on a gorgeous night, I could have gotten some things done around the house, but I needed to go see a show and remind myself why we even do this. It is way to much fun, and it is especially more fun when you surround yourself with people who enjoy it as much as you.

I think we should all take advantage of the good shows that are being put on today. We didn't have the choices or the level of shows 10 years ago that we have today. Why not take some time to go see some improv instead of just performing. I think watching shows goes a long way in developing yourself as an improviser, just as much as rehearsal and performing does.


Yes...he is grabbing her right breast...but is it me, or does he look upset about it?


Record Bar Show

Had a great show last night with IA and the T5's at the Record Bar. Another good turnout and we both put on solid shows. I have to say, what impressed me the most was the support from other improvisers. Practically the whole Roving Imp clan made it out, and most of the Anomaly Orange people were there as well.

Playing in a bar is always an interesting venture, but Jared and Ed set it up so that we are there on a Tuesday night at 7 before anyone coming to see a concert shows up. So we don't have anyone there that just wants to talk and drink, most everyone came for the show.

They have had 2 total shows there now and both have been well attended. Hopefully there are more in the future.

I think I have talked about this before but I will again anyway. I really think a huge key to well attended shows is a joint effort from 2-3 groups. I personally think that a group who performs once a month for a year would have a better turnout if they shared that bill with a different group every month. The audience would see something different every time, and each group would play to a bigger crowd.


Roving Imp

Dictionary Soup show Friday night...always a blast. I even got to play in a short form show before DS and that was equally fun. It was a random show, where we spun a wheel and whatever number it landed on...that was the short form game we played. We ended up playing some that I have never done, or haven't played in a very long time, and it made me realize how much fun short form is, and how much I miss it sometimes.

As for the DS show, John and I keep getting better suited to each other's style. We even had a conversation about how 2 person improv really depends on the two people on stage. Some people might not blend well, and some do. John and I really do. It's impossible to explain, because each show really is different. There are not any set rules to our show, you just have to trust me and come and see one for yourself.

We have been practicing this for 2 years, and performing it for a little over a year. Consistently, since January, we have done this show every month and I can really tell how consistency helps a show get better over time. The show has gone through some ups and downs, and we have really learned from it. It's nice to have a space where we can put on our show to learn what makes it the best show possible.


So That's Interesting

In 2005 IA went to the Dallas Comedy Festival. We were green...we still did short form and were not practicing long form much. In fact, at that time, I am pretty sure we didn't even really know much about it at all.

There was group there called The Reckoning from IO in Chicago. They did a Harold both Friday and Saturday night and it was brilliant. One person stood out for me in that show and his name is Michael Patrick O'Brien. He doesn't know me and I don't know him, but he inspired me to become a better improviser that night.

Some people say that I play a female character very well. Well, the secret is out. I stole it from him. He played a female character in a way that I have never seen. He played it straight, without all the stereotypes a male usually plays when they are a female in a scene, again...brilliant. I always think back on his rendition whenever I play a female...always.

He was smart, witty, quick, but there was something else. He played smart and aggressive, he made people look good, he made himself look good. I knew, even then, that this guy had some serious improv talent.

I remember looking up the group when I got home and watching when their performances were. Whenever we were in Chicago I would check them out. Yes, I slowly became a stalker.

Last year I found out that he was going to be joining the Mainstage at Second City. I had to go. My wife played along and we went. I remember pointing him out to her telling her that he was hilarious. He didn't disappoint. Even then, I think I knew that he would end up somewhere like SNL and I think that is why I followed his shows.

Wednesday, I heard that he was hired as a writer for SNL...for some reason, I felt proud. As if, I knew all along that this guy was going to make it successfully as an improviser. I don't know if that was his goal, but it is still one hell of a job, and I am truly proud that I have looked up to him as an improviser.

John Robison told me that he took a level 3 class from this guy at IO and that he was one of his favorites. I didn't doubt that for a minute. I am glad I got a chance to see him before his name was known to America. Even though he will be famous now, I will still look up to him as an inspiration.


IA Rehearsal

There still seems to be a lack of energy at some of our rehearsals. I don't know what it is but I hope that it is resolved soon. I left rehearsal feeling as if the group was split or separated by people there to have fun and people who seemed like they were forced to be there.

I often find myself feeling like I have been in every scene during a longform show, last night in rehearsal was very similar. There were a few people sitting down during scenes and I kept jumping in seeing opportunities to add to the scene. Even when there was an edit and a new scene needed to be started, I felt like I was involved too much.

But if they are sitting down not really putting forth the effort that I am, do I deserve to be the one to add, or to be the one to start? It really is starting to frustrate me. If you don't think the scene is fun, or if you don't think the form is fun, then why don't you try to help make it fun, instead of sitting there not participating and sucking out the energy.

I hate whining, but this has really started to bother me...sorry. I definitely don't want to call anyone out either so sorry if this is offensive. I just care about the shows I put on and when others don't show the same affection for it, I just get bothered. I also will be the first one to help make it better in any way.

Whiny Keith says goodbye for now...


God I Love Thunderdome

It's great to see a team that was randomly drafted get together and put on a great show, but it is even better when you see all 3 teams put on a great show and then you don't know who to vote for. That's what happened at Saturday's show. I left the show wanting to see each group perform again. It's great to know that there are so many talented improvisers in Kansas City. I am definitely proud to be a part of the so called cult.


IA Rehearsal

We came off of a great show at Lucky's last Saturday and had an ok rehearsal. We are gearing up for 2 months of exciting shows...but there is something missing. Every year there seems to be an exciting moment in an improv groups year and then there is that down moment. I feel as if IA is in that down moment. Maybe it is because everyone is doing multiple shows and working on the festival, therefor getting burnt out. Does anyone else ever have these moments? Do you just wait out the valleys and hope for another peak?


This is my Dad's brother Don/Donna. It took 7 years and 18 surgeries for him/her to look like that. I bought him/her those earrings for Christmas last year. Don/Donna loved them. My Dad said not to encourage him/her.

Long time no blog

Sorry...I could make excuses, but what's the point. I've been busy and facebook is the new blog..right...isn't that what the kids are saying?

Anyway, I'm back to blogging on a regular basis, seriously. I started this as an online diary of the improv news in my life. And I have missed a lot of news in these last few months.

In June IA went to the Twin Cities Improv Festival. We had a blast and I really love that city. Tommy is lucky to live their now. Their improv scene is light years ahead of ours and I have to admit, it made me jealous.

Oh yah, and I learned that an improv group should not eat at Chipotle before a show. I am pretty sure that every single one of us pooped before the show. A couple of us may have gone more than once. However, it was a good show...hmm.

Tommy moved to Minneapolis so our videos have been put on hold...that's right, on hold. If he is ever back in town, we will definitely work on some more.

Dictionary Soup, just keeps getting better and better. In fact, I have a feeling I will be getting more involved at Roving Imp as long as John allows it. He painted his stage blue...it's gorgeous.

Dennis Dupont has invited me to many private gigs that he assembled and Loaded Dice even asked me to help them with a show at the Record Bar with The Trip Fives that was packed! There will be another on August 18th with IA and the T5's that should be well attended also. It is an absolute honor to be asked to play with anyone, it makes me feel as if I may just be good at this thing called improv.

So much is coming up in my improv life. I promise I will blog consistently from now on...To Be Continued...