So, last night was the world premiere of my new improv group “Jabberwocky.” I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be in a real group again. When I was invited into this group, and saw the list of other players, I was excited because I knew all of these people were talented. My excitement was realized from the moment we started warming up backstage. Things just work so well when everyone’s on the same page!
We started with an opening called “The Conversation” which is pretty much what it is. We get a suggestion from the audience, and proceed to have a five-minute group conversation about it. I was wary of this, because who wants to watch people sit around and talk for five minutes, but it worked surprisingly well. It was entertaining and generated a boatload of specific information and themes. And since the players aren’t worried about participating in some sort of theatrical game, it’s much easier to process that information. Also, as I mentioned before, having a talented group of folks you trust all on the same page makes a world of difference.
As far as my own scenework goes, I was a tad disappointed. In my main scene, I played a Rabbi who was marking all kinds of wildly inappropriate food as Kosher. My partner and I played the “what funny things can we make kosher” game for a few minutes, but it wasn’t as much about the relationship as I’d like and so it required excessive invention and didn’t have legs beyond that initial scene.
We were told in advance that we’d get 20 minutes, and we kind of built our form around that time, but we were cut off around 10-15 minutes into our set. That’s disappointing, not because we crave more stage time, but because our form didn’t have the opportunity to wrap up and make the connections that make longform improv so satisfying.
Major thanks to Don and Alex for coming to our show, and unbelievably major thanks go to Chris, who has come to just about every improv show I’ve ever done.