Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One year and counting

A year ago this week, Tantrum performed together for the first time. So officially we've been together for more than a year, because there were several weeks of rehearsing, name-choosing, etc.—though I don't know that all of us were convinced it was a "troupe" and not a "show." 

(That's one of the cool things happening right now: You can do a show or be a troupe. Or you can do a show, and decide later if it's a troupe. Which is what I'd advise. You never know if whatever group you throw together is viable. If you start by saying it's a show—just a one- or two-shot deal—there's no commitment if you realize three weeks into rehearsal that something about the whole thing makes you want to gouge your eyes out with a spork.)

Anyway, we've come really, really far since our first show (actually, it might be kinda fun to watch it—then again, it might be horrifyingly painful). And the best compliment (I think) that we've gotten about our last two shows is that we look like we're having a blast together. 

Turns out, we do. 

Rob talked after the show about difference between playing for the audience and for each other. And Michael mentioned being in shows where you went out trying so hard to make the audience laugh (it does not go well). I feel like we've hit just the right spot: 
  • Everyone in Tantrum has been improvising professionally for quite a while—so the basic awareness and incorporation of the idea that you are there to entertain is ingrained. You do not exist without the audience. So you can't ignore them.
  • So, knowing we've got them covered, we can play with each other. To use a marketing phrase I hate, we're able to "surprise and delight" each other when we play—whether it's with smart initiations, "funny bombs" (weird surprises dropped mid-scene) or just startling choices or actions.
Anyway, it's fun. 

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