Monday, February 13, 2012

Nick - Fifty Improvisers In A Room

I spent all weekend in Indianapolis at CIT, College Improv Tournament, with DeBono. Fifteen teams showed up to compete (although I missed three of them) and a ton of different forms and techniques and interesting peoples were present.

I could write a whole post about how awesome that was and how much I love doing improv and how awesome all the people there were, but that's been done. Instead, I'm going to write about some of the funnier problems encountered when you have that many improvisors in the same room.

Focusing Is Hard

I don't know how many of you have been to an improv practice before. (Probably, like, half of you, if my readership is a reflection of my friend base.) But one thing that plagues every improv team everywhere is that improvisers just can't focus for that long.

As the contest was starting, Keith, our incredibly talented and friendly host, attempted to explain the rules in a 30 minute meeting. He tried really hard to be entertaining and keep everybody interested, but about 15 minutes in, he said, "Any questions?"

One girl shouted, "Are you single!?"

That was it. Focus lost.

The meeting never really got back on track after that point. Poor Keith.

Practical Jokes

Every improviser thinks that they are hilarious. Sometimes this plays out at the expense of others. Also, I admit that I am more guilty of this than almost anyone else.

In our hotel room, Simeon and I shared one of the beds while Kimi and Clare shared the other. Our first order of business was to give Clare the wrong room number and then sit around and giggle.

That night, Kimi tried as hard as possible to make Clare as uncomfortable as possible by forcibly spooning with her.

Our masterpiece was a plan to have Kimi start crying as Clare was almost asleep, while Simeon and I would pretend to be sleeping.

I spent the whole weekend watching people trying to be funny, but Clare's reaction to Kimi made me laugh harder than anything else all weekend. Prank calls were made. We convinced someone to jump in a pool. Good times all around.

We Can't Hold A Normal Conversation

Improvisers, as fearless as we can be, are generally deficient in social skills. One conversation occurring at the after party began with someone asking, "Do you work in Indianapolis?"

The response was, "Why, yes! I'm the mayor."

Conversation over.

Beyond that kind of cringe-inducing miscommunication, most improv conversations go like this:

"You you do improv? I do improv!! You go to college? I go to college!! We have so much in common!"

Judging Comedy Sucks

Comedy is a subjective thing. It's very difficult to judge. Especially when you have long form, short form, and musical teams all competing in the same bracket.

Feelings get hurt. Accusations get thrown around. Judges can be biased towards a particular form or a particular team.

I don't really care much about the competitive aspect the way it's done here, but some people take that shit seriously.

We're Loud And We Love Ourselves

The hotel room that we hung out in after the show got a lot of noise complaints.

Also they got yelled at by a naked guy.

True story.


Oh god. Sleep. It's currently Sunday night, and the last time I got more than 4 hours of sleep at a time was Thursday night.

I took a series of 2 ninety-minute naps over the course of the weekend, and Saturday night I got a solid 4 hours of sleeping in after laughing at Clare for most of the night.

Speaking of, I'm feeling kind of dizzy. It's 7:30pm, but this seems like as good a time as any to call it a day.


EDIT: I just remembered another problem that someone mentioned to me as he shuffled through the pile of coats, looking for his own.

"So many damn peacoats," He muttered.

1 comment:

  1. You guys are banned from the About Me section for a while.