Playing on Multiple Teams

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Playing on Multiple Teams

Postby cargill » November 8th, 2005, 10:33 am

I was just curious what the feeling was about playing on diffferent teams. I love playing with Girls, Girls, Girls, Tight and coaching/sitting in occasionally with Wooden Nickel. I get so much perspective with each team and it is great to know and support others in the improv community. Before I moved to Chicago, I remember there being some resistance to players on multiple teams here in Austin, but when I moved to Chicago, it was so exciting to see how the improv community supported each other and everyone played everywhere on a million teams, in various theaters. It felt so good hearing players from one team congratulate other teams on good shows and also, to be inspired from watching each other play.

What is your opinion of playing on multiple teams ?

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Postby Roy Janik » November 8th, 2005, 11:28 am

For me, personally, I want Parallelogramophonograph to be as good as it can be (the revolution starts in 3 days). What I mean is, I want to focus my energy there and see how far I can push it. I think if I were in multiple troupes the responsibilities would crush me. But I have no problem with other teammates being in more than one. The only drawback is that it makes practice/show scheduling a bit harder.

And I think there can be just as much support and congratulations without playing on a million teams. This is why playing Maestro and forming arbitrary cagematch teams is so cool. It gives people a chance to play in new combinations without a long-term commitment.
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Postby cargill » November 8th, 2005, 12:29 pm

I agree with focusing on one project at a time as well. It definitley becomes more challenging to balance personal time/play time.

Also, I didn't mean the community has to play on many teams to be supportive, I was just trying to illustrate what my experience was in Chicago. I think AIC community is already VERY supportive and accepting to fellow team mates on more than one team. La Resistance was a long, long time ago in Austin 1997ish when ComedySportz was still around. I was curious what folks thought about it though.
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Playing on multiple teams

Postby starkserious » December 4th, 2005, 7:26 pm

We should be free to play and do what we like. The hard part is finding the time to do it all and to get good with a group or an act you've got to rehearse and bond together and that takes time and patience.
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Postby acrouch » December 4th, 2005, 7:40 pm

I think the melting pot theory is maybe the most important component of what we're trying to build here. It encourages community and cross-pollination of styles.
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Postby mcnichol » December 5th, 2005, 11:57 am

I think playing on multiple teams is, like anything, best in moderation. The disadvantage to being on too many teams is obviously the logistics in attending rehearsals and shows. It can be frustrating to be on a team with someone who is constantly missing shows or, worse, rehearsals due to other commitments. And beyond a certain point, the commitment to one specific group beings to wane when you're busy with too many other things. Again, it's finding that sweet spot where you are able to do the various things you want, but are still 100% present -- mentally, physically, emotionally -- for everything.

That said, I think that performing with multiple teams and in multiple disciplines (longform, shortform, straight theatre, playing in a hardcore or dark metal band, working with senior citizens, etc.) can be highly beneficial for both the individual performer as well as the other players. The experiences and skills can be brought from one group to another and serve to enrich the other players. Everyone has a different skill set and training/performing background, and the more that different players can interact and learn from one another, the stronger our community can become.

Reading the same books over and over will help you know everything about those specific books, but will limit what you ultimately understand. I feel that learning things from multiple points of view (especially within improv) helps to synthsize a rich, three-dimensional understanding that's near impossible otherwise. And performing with people (as well as watching other shows) is as much an education in improv as taking classes or workshops.

I played with the same group in Chicago for about 3 1/2 years before I left (they're still going strong), with roughly the same group of people. Throughout that time, each person has been involved in other things like sketch shows, other improv shows, and straight theatre, as well as other training and performing venues like Second City and ComedySportz. All of those external experiences helped to make our team something far stronger than we could have ever been had we just relied on our ImprovOlympic training and had we solely played with each other on that team.
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Postby HerrHerr » December 5th, 2005, 3:52 pm

It's both a blessing and a curse for me. On the one hand, I can't "hand" myself over completely to one troupe because I need to split my time between both my troupes. On the other hand, with the the great coaches I have, I learn something from each troupe practically every week that I can apply to the other troupe.


...adding random sketch shows with a third group of folks is when my head begins to hurt. But I do it anyway, for the love of the game.

As a whole, I see no problem with someone expanding her improv horizons by being in multiple troupes. Just make sure to split your stock characters between your troupes and remember to use the correct names of your troupe members. AND remember that if you have someone in your troupe who is in two teams, then picking that person's brain on what she has learned in the OTHER troupe can be really rewarding.
Sometimes it's a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.
--David Byrne
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