On August 30th, I had the pleasure of heading down to Washington D.C. for the Chinese Menu Comedy Show at the DC Arts Center. The show puts together a group of improvisors who usually don’t play together. This can be a challenge but as Improvisors you’re taught to trust your scene partner and that’s what we all did. During warm ups we were a riffing with each other and getting our bodies and brains warmed up. We got split into 2 teams for 2 sets and then the last set was all 12 improvisors on one team!
My team was Colin Murchie, Mike Bird, Caroline Petit, Xander Fave, and Greg Tindale. We started up the set in the bathroom of a Natural History with a drunk bathroom attendant living back on the glory days of the jazz age. From there we went to a date, the prehistoric era, back to museum, a golem was introduced at one point. The scene were fantastically transitioned by scene painting between place to place. The improvisors were so great it was hard not to trust where they were going. The set was so much fun!
Past that all 12 improvisors came out to one final set. At one point I died in a scene and I was brought back in a “Weekend in Bernie” type setting, which was then carried into a tag run of people trying to get advice from the dead guy. It was by far the most fun I’ve had playing a dead person on stage! This was a super fun since there was never a scene where all 12 of us were on stage trying to talk over each other. The set ended with my degenerate Colonel character who had shot his ship into space, trying to justify what he’s done.
This show was an absolute blast and got me out of the funk I was in for improv. It’s not say that I don’t do some bad scenes every now and again or miss a key piece of information, but this helped me pay attention more on the sidelines and in the scene itself. With that in mind, I was able to have a super fun set with the Cheat Codes. We are new team and we’re definitely coming into our style of playing and getting comfortable with each other. There are times we get into a conflict but we come out of it very well and starting to be able to sustain a scene.
The end of August was a great weekend for improv and get the cobwebs off my Improv funk. Playing with people that better than you & the people you genuinely enjoy playing with makes you a better player.