Tag Archives: WIT
Some photos from the tourney are getting circulated now. Here is a pic from my last Plan B show in the Semi Final round of Washington Improv Theater’s FIST 2010. I was really proud of the performances we gave throughout and couldn’t have had better teammates. These are my pals Mikael and Jenny.
My improv team, Season Six, asks one member of the audience at the top of the show to describe the last picture they took. We then immediately take shape and play certain objects or persons in the photo and then zoom in on certain details while verbally describing everything we are creating. After we zoom in and out we go back to the original photo for one last freeze frame and button line. Here is a pic of that from the last show of our Spring 2010 run at WIT.
Well, my rag tag FIST team made it all the way to the final 4 of Washington Improv Theater’s Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament. We lost in the semi-final round to our friends in The Flea Sisters. We were the second to perform in the match and I knew it was all over for us when we got off stage. The Flea Sisters had a great show and they ended with a super fun song to boot. Backstage we congratulated them before the results were read but they weren’t convinced they won yet. We had a packed house of over 100 people and it was hard to tell how you were doing while onstage. One thing was certain, we all wanted to end on a super funny high note. So I suggested that we all do a spit take when the results were read. That way no one gives us sad-loser-sorry-face and six hams get what they really want: one more laugh. Here’s the pic:
Me and my allergies did our first “in studio” live streaming podcast situation on The Mariya Alexander Show. Mariya is a lovely lady who does stand-up in DC and has recently taken up classes with WIT. She does her show every Sunday at 1pm EST and last week I went to the studio in Fairfax to promote WIT, FIST and sketch writing. You can go to iTunes to subscribe to the free podcast.
Here is a link to the show: http://mariyaalexander.libsyn.com/
Here is an excerpt from Stephen Colbert’s commencement speech to Knox College in 2006. It’s pretty much the main principle of what it takes to improvise well and the basic tennant of spicy living.
So, say “yes.” In fact, say “yes” as often as you can. When I was starting out in Chicago, doing improvisational theatre with Second City and other places, there was really only one rule I was taught about improv. That was, “yes-and.” In this case, “yes-and” is a verb. To “yes-and.” I yes-and, you yes-and, he, she or it yes-ands. And yes-anding means that when you go onstage to improvise a scene with no script, you have no idea what’s going to happen, maybe with someone you’ve never met before. To build a scene, you have to accept. To build anything onstage, you have to accept what the other improviser initiates on stage. They say you’re doctors — you’re doctors. And then, you add to that: We’re doctors and we’re trapped in an ice cave. That’s the “-and.” And then hopefully they “yes-and” you back. You have to keep your eyes open when you do this. You have to be aware of what the other performer is offering you, so that you can agree and add to it. And through these agreements, you can improvise a scene or a one-act play. And because, by following each other’s lead, neither of you are really in control. It’s more of a mutual discovery than a solo adventure. What happens in a scene is often as much a surprise to you as it is to the audience.
Well, you are about to start the greatest improvisation of all. With no script. No idea what’s going to happen, often with people and places you have never seen before. And you are not in control. So say “yes.” And if you’re lucky, you’ll find people who will say “yes” back.
Now will saying “yes” get you in trouble at times? Will saying “yes” lead you to doing some foolish things? Yes it will. But don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.”
I used to be in this awesome improv troupe called DMG until they kicked me out after a little misunderstanding involving me, the troupe’s Volkswagon Bus and some young gentleman fans. And all I’m going to say about that is if there’s a beard on the face… play ball or whatever. We continue to disagree on this point.
Bygones, although they may not support my life choices I will always be their biggest fan. Tonight they make their winter run debut at Washington Improv Theater. And as is just so happens that the tall-blonde-funny-Hammy in Seasonal Disorder is their new coach. I am excited to see them tonight. And out of respect for their opinions I did not invite, Cody.
Entitlement League, another exciting group full of whipper snappers that stay on the right side of statutory situations is on tonight as well and then there is an IMPROV JAM open to all audience members. Come play with the best long form improvisors in DC!