Are you reading this while living outside Austin?

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Re: Are you reading this while living outside Austin?

Postby Spots » January 5th, 2013, 4:25 pm

Welcome John! Can't wait to see you when you get to Austin!

I was reading up about the Baltimore scene recently and talking to Trew about it.
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Re: Are you reading this while living outside Austin?

Postby AllisonAsher » January 31st, 2013, 6:57 pm

I feel like Chicago is where I live and Austin is my hometown. It's great to keep up with the goings on of the AIC, and to figure out how to describe the constantly-evolving "Austin style" improv to Chicago people. And to keep tabs on everyone.

It's been a little bit intimidating, jumping into the Chicago improv scene as new as I am. I'm taking classes at both iO and the Annoyance, and seeing classes.

There are things that I miss about Austin, and things that I like about Chicago. Because there are so many performers there, it seems like most people come into even a Level One with some amount of comfort zone about being on stage 'cause they've done it already, as opposed to Austin which seems to draw many of its performers from the "civilian" ranks.

The plus side of this is that you can jump right into some stuff earlier without going through the getting-used-to-being-on-stage stage. The down side seems to be that many people are actors that seem to be taking improv for a "purpose" (getting onto SNL, making it to an iO or Second City mainstage show, etc.) that can put this subtext of competition underneath everything and make it harder to play, or experiment, or go outside the 'canon' of whatever school you're in.

I haven't delved too far into the scene, but my initial outsider perspective is that there are things going on besides classes, smaller house troupes, and the big troupes at the big theatres, but they're a little guerilla and harder to find than in Austin. And the big theatres have their programs that work, and there isn't too much space there (unlike in Austin) for either student opportunities or experimentation. But I'm looking for places that have Austin-style wacky fun time space. Will keep you updated.

(Any Chicago/post Chicago peeps that have suggestions of where to do/what to look for beyond the obvious "take classes/watch shows" path to improv up here, please feel free to pass along!)

And I shameless drop Tom and Asaf's name whenever appropriate. Bonus.
--"Just a freaking ray of sunshine."
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Re: Are you reading this while living outside Austin?

Postby Spots » March 1st, 2013, 6:31 pm

AllisonAsher wrote:The down side seems to be that many people are actors that seem to be taking improv for a "purpose" (getting onto SNL, making it to an iO or Second City mainstage show, etc.) that can put this subtext of competition underneath everything and make it harder to play, or experiment, or go outside the 'canon' of whatever school you're in.



This social dynamic also describes what I witnessed in Los Angeles.
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Re: Are you reading this while living outside Austin?

Postby PyroDan » March 2nd, 2013, 4:18 am

Spots wrote:
AllisonAsher wrote:The down side seems to be that many people are actors that seem to be taking improv for a "purpose" (getting onto SNL, making it to an iO or Second City mainstage show, etc.) that can put this subtext of competition underneath everything and make it harder to play, or experiment, or go outside the 'canon' of whatever school you're in.



This social dynamic also describes what I witnessed in Los Angeles.


I've been speaking on this recently. The pros and cons, and realistic view of it all.

THE PROS
1)Theaters and schools do really well stocking talent and make scratch to pay the bills.
2) Some groups really dedicate themselves to amazing work, top notch production value and knowledge generally more informed than hobbyists (advancement being the motivation)
3) Audience attendance is usually high, from hustling self promotion.

CONS
1) Sometimes cliquish, often a hierarchy.
2) Some players abandon projects/troupes for greener pasture.
3) The reasons listed above in the quote. There is often a copycat nature much like Harlem Shake videos.


I'm sure there are others, but those seem to be the general overall ones I think of.
- I was a member of the club and i felt like a f*cking fool- Bukowski
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