.:Off The Cuff:.
The Maldives were sinkiiiiiiinnnnggg!!!
And with that image, I managed to capture the sheer insanity of being a part of SPIT’s first-ever Rookie Night. It was a night to remember, and certainly something I am exceedingly proud of.
Last Tuesday, we had a pretty intensive crash course to get the hang of the basics for improv, and I have to say, it really made me realize a lot of things about improv that I previously never got.
So there I was with Jay-R, my fellow Rookie, and the first thing we realized while we were sitting in Quantum Cafe last night was: plan? What plan? The scripts are thrown out, and the only thing standing between a good and a horrible improv performance for the both of us was our willingness to make it up as we went along.
So I sat there about an hour and a half early for the whole thing. I looked like a deer staring blankly at the headlights of the ATV that was about to run me over as the German film festival went on in Quantum, which was going to precede SPIT. Jay-R arrived shortly past 8 PM, and then the SPIT members asked us to join them for a few last-minute tips and a bit of warm-up exercises. When it comes to rhythm-based exercises, yes, I am still way off-beat.
In any case, things started off easily enough. They did a reggae song, then proceeded to the first game the Rookies were going to take part in: What Are You Doing? This game scared me back in the day, when me and my co-nuffies were playing it at random times of the day, and I actually won the game, although they did give a lot of extra consideration for us Rookies.
From there, we had several more games, and Jay-R got to demonstrate his skill at a murder mystery game called LCD. Needless to say, a lot of stuff was lost in translation, especially the part where Barney had to be played by Chal, who would never have understood that Barney was strangled by his own… member.
By halftime, Jonas was there, but Chino and Xeres actually came in and watched the second half of the performances. The next full-cast game came into play, and we did Eh Di, which was a joke-making game. Surprisingly, Jay-R and I managed to make a couple of solid contributions. Then came the Add-On Story, which is pictured above.
The Add-On Story is one of my favorite improv games, because it’s a story built line by line from four different players, with each new line being preceded by the player actually repeating the whole story first. The comedy comes in how people forget details or actually create impossible situations then let the next person come in and pick up from there. Our story was entitled “Sticky Maldives”, and we managed to spin a pretty interesting story that inadvertently turned into an Aladdin commercial because Happy saying “afar” reminded me of “Jafar”.
At the end of the show, Gabe gave us some sage advice, and we eagerly await to see the next few rookies in the coming months. This should be an exciting time for improv comedy, if you ask me.
Xeres and I ended up having dinner at Behrouz in Metrowalk after the whole thing, though, and we even ran into Rendhl. What a small world.
All things considered, this was a night to be happy about, even if a lot of people flaked out on me at the last moment. Hey, at least, I had three friends actually show up to support me, and I was very honored that SPIT graciously took me and Jay-R under their wing last Tuesday and gamely encouraged and constructively critiqued our output last night in a way that encourages us to keep at it and improve as performers.
Thank you, SPIT, and thank you to everyone who watched a couple of people make fools of ourselves with the best of ‘em – because we’ve been dreaming of doing just that for years.