Friday, November 7, 2008

Annoying

There are things that piss me off. 

And one of them is being one person in a small crowd of people watching an improv show that would change people's minds about what improv is. 

My Hallmark pal Bess* and I saw the Loaded Dice/Rubber Biscuit show tonight. Rubber Biscuit did a great job in their first show ever. And Loaded Dice (Clay, Charlie, Rob and Jonathan) did the best set I've ever seen them do. It reminded me a lot of a Beer Shark Mice show, with fast tag-outs, seamless transitions and a complete mind-meld. 

And dammit, the house was small. It was the kind of show that makes $10 seem cheap.  The kind of show that makes you want to tag into a scene SO BADLY you have to hold on to the edges of your seat so you don't rush the stage. And I was the only improviser in the crowd. 

WTF, people? 


*Besides the improv, here was the fun part: "Do we have time to pound a beer during intermission?" And a short run to Kelly's and $6.75 plus tip later, we answered with "Hell to the yes." I would have enjoyed the show EVEN WITHOUT 16 oz. of Miller Lite in 3 minutes. 




15 comments:

  1. Ummm... we were rocking 75 people in Olathe. Sorry you couldn't be there for that.

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  2. This "pisses you off"? Why?

    Being an improviser does not obligate one to attend every improv show in town. Just because this turned out to be a good one doesn't change that fact.

    WTF? Here's the F: This show wasn't heavily marketed (I knew about it only because I perform with Rob). Improvisers are burnt out on going to see improv all the time and getting emails and Facebook crap all the time. You can only fish the family/friends pond so many times. A million other things were happening in town. Maybe some people are still holding grudges about Clay's past smack talk. I could go on.

    I know you've mentioned in the past that you're afraid of missing something (which I think you attribute to being firstborn). I have seen 30 minutes of improv in the past 2 years that I would consider mind-blowing (my own groups' performances excluded for objectivity). The rest has ranged from very well-done to oh-my-god-kill-me-now, which is just not enough to compensate for those 30 minutes I "didn't miss", which is why my attendance has diminished at other shows has diminished greatly. And I'm even a firstborn.

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  3. Um, guys? The pissed off part was "being one person in a small crowd of people watching an improv show that would change people's minds about what improv is." Although I was a little surprised there weren't more improvisers in the crowd, mostly I was annoyed that good improv is happening and civilians aren't seeing it. Like always.

    Pete...I made myself available for the show when I found out I'd be in town, but Josh felt you guys didn't need me, which sounds like it turned out to be true.

    And Josh...I realize that my first-born status is combined with being a beyond-typical geek about the improv thing. I don't feel like I learn as much from the bad stuff as I used to, but I'd still rather see a decent improv show with my friends in it than a really good movie featuring people I don't know. Plus, pals are way more likely to go out for beer after.

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  4. Point taken. I'm just saying that it's hard to be mad that a crowd missed what happened to be a good show when we could just as easily be happy when they miss a bad show. A show that changes the way people think about improv is a bit of a stretch, only because 99% of people don't think about improv. I think I've resigned myself to the fact that improv is most definitely not for everybody, and long-form improv is for even fewer. I fully agree that improv in Kansas City is still about amusing ourselves more than it's about amusing the audience; until that changes, our audience won't change.

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  5. So how do you think we move from amusing ourselves to amusing the audience?

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  6. That's what Rob said?

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  7. Niknik: I think you may be stretching a little far for that one.

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  8. I knew the string would come to an end. Oh well. Next.

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  9. You have to watch out about trying to entertain the audience... As an audience member (and KC area improviser) I much more enjoy a show where the improvisers are amusing themselves, not the audience.

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  10. I think it's important not to PANDER to the audience...and sometimes you can get yourself into trouble if you're trying too hard to make the funny for the audience...but our obligation is to entertain them. Otherwise, we should be working out in rec rooms and not on stage, charging admission.

    I do enjoy watching improvisers who are having fun, though—I think most improvisers do, because it makes you want to get up and do it. It's just important to keep an eye on that line between "fun" and "masturbatory."

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  11. I know this thread is dead, but...

    You have to watch out about trying to entertain the audience... As an audience member (and KC area improviser) I much more enjoy a show where the improvisers are amusing themselves, not the audience.

    This is exactly what I'm talking about and why I have to rant about this crap every so often. You have to "watch out" about trying to entertain the audience? You're an improviser (who presumably charges people to watch you perform) and you seriously said this?

    You could not be more wrong.

    ENTERTAINING THE AUDIENCE IS YOUR EFFING JOB; IN A SENSE, IT'S YOUR ONLY JOB.

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  12. I was wondering when you'd show up, Josh. I agree completely, though I was less...um...emphatic in my response.

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  13. Emphatic? Yes, but that was put on a tee--an entertainer that says don't focus on entertaining the audience? Just play grabass with your troupe on stage? As you mention, that may be fun for other improvisers to watch, but--call me crazy--I'm more concerned with non-improvisers enjoying the show. It's a slightly bigger potential market.

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  14. C'mon. There are TENS of us in the KC Metro area. We need entertainment, too...

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