I was talking to an influential figure in improv last night about pitches, show ideas, and rehearsal. That kicked this process off.
I ran a troupe called Candy Vampires. Its intention was to be open as a first troupe for new players. We had a theme. We did have fun and I am still humbled that all those people wanted to play together.
The first Candy Vampire shows were personal growing experiences. I never asked the group to rehearse. It felt like we might have been doing in blind. That is 100% my fault.
Asaf himself told me to have any troupe coached and rehearse before trying again.
I think about being a part of Buzz Band. I think about classes where we bonded. I recall rehearsals where people agreed with consent to find where the group’s comfort zone ends. The intent was to play as strong as possible and play respectfully. I’ve been in more situations where that discovery and respect happens organically through class, rehearsal, and being around each other.
All of those situations also explored ways for all of us to have the most fun together. Every experience above had this in common: Working together leads to understand each other as players. Working together leads to understand each other as people. This steers the group into performing a better show. This steers the group into having more fun with less effort.
- We knew each other.
- We knew how to play off each other properly.
- We knew how to have a lot more fun doing it.
We should be playing, not fumbling.
We should be genuinely playing when we play. This means having fun and sharing fun.
We should be playing for an audience’s sake as much as our own.
We should be playing as a cohesive team with all of the implications of team.
We should feel great when the lights go up. We should feel even better when the lights go out.
We should all have the best time, the most fun, a great night.
It all comes down to knowing how the team works in order to build the most fun.
For all of these reasons, everything I pitch will have the word “rehearsal” attached to it. I will pay for the space. I will coach or dig for a coach. I will not send talented friends out to flounder on stage.
I will set my friends up to succeed on that stage.