The boring preamble
From the top, I've known this week would be a long, fun one. I'm enough of a grownup that I know to plan real-life stuff around festivals: Get the house ready in advance for guest artists (Jill!), make sure work is under control so I can leave on time, arrange workout schedule so I don't miss any, figure out meals and stuff so I don't go nuts with unhealthy food, plan time for sleep.
Of course, life doesn't cooperate, so Thursday I realized I was coming down with a cold. Awesome. The good news: My job is flexible enough that if you're sick, you can take your laptop and work from home so you don't infect everyone in our giant petri dish of an office. The bad: There is no telecommuting in improv.
And when you're sick, your characters all have to have one thing in common: PLAY SOMEONE WHO ISN'T SICK.
So for two shows each night, two classes (taking) on Saturday, one class (teaching) on Sunday, and a coaching session Sunday morning, that's what I got to do. Whee!
Anomaly Orange, Tantrum, TrivProv, Spite
Our first question: What's the rating? On one hand, we're all present and former ComedyCity/ComedySportz players, which means we can do family-friendly content in our sleep. (And honestly, if you're a professional improviser, you'd better be able to do that.) On the other, we don't do it much with those troupes. And "family friendly" means different things to different people.
John's rule: Anomaly Orange brought the most people, so they could set the rating. Happy times for Spite: They set it in our comfort zone.
Tantrum was a little shorthanded—missing Pete and Josh—but we put up a fun little short-form set. Not inspiring, ground-breaking genius improv, but we had some fun moments (and it turns out Megan didn't actually give me a black eye). Spite had our best set in a while—we felt totally on and in sync with each other. The after party would have been nice, but we're grown-ups, so we skee-daddled.
Anomaly Orange has grown tremendously since last time I saw them; Tom Kessler is a natural monologist and mixed commentary with storytelling, all with a strong, authentic emotional point of view. Triv-Prov was a blast—and included the most fun white-boy rap I've seen.
Anomaly Orange, Biblioclast, Spite
Improv-Abilities, Coma Chameleon, Tantrum
Whaaaat? Spite in a 7pm show? OK. We came close. And didn't feel as great as Thursday, but were really happy with our set. Tantrum was—well, Tantrum was Spite plus Michael with special guest, Jill Bernard. Being four-sevenths of a group makes you play differently—so there was a fun energy there—and you can't go wrong with Jill as a monologist. But to say we didn't miss Pete and Josh (and Rob, on Friday) would be a big fat lie. Tantrum is the seven of us, and we're missing part of our brain when they're gone.
Another night groups bringin' it. I got to see Coma Chameleon's super-fun format for the first time (a town of sentient animals—whee!). I-A, with a much-smaller-than-usual cast, did some really fun stuff—and they've got girls now, which gives them new dimension. And Biblioclast, with John and Nifer, was wonderful; their trust in and patience with each other made their piece a joy to watch.
Jill and I got lost three times on the way to the after party, because I stupidly trusted google instead of Keith.
Workshops with Jill
Omega Directive, Coma Chameleon, Improv-Abilities
One, Dictionary Soup, Brownies Don't Lie
And...hey. My cold has sensed weakness. And I've still got work to do. So more tomorrow.