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Guest blog. Day Something- I've lost track of time

Okay, so a day turned into two, but The Day After Improv confused me a bit about the days of the week. That was on Friday, when I filled you in on our show preparation and right up to just before the show started.

The Day After Improv (two days ago)

I’m happy to say it was a really fun show! All the players had a great time and the audience enjoyed it too. It’s possible we should have bullied them into being noisier, but we compensated for them well, by making a racket in the wings. We had a good turnout for the bank holiday as well, which is when we generally see audience numbers plummet due to the urgent need to get drunk, sunburnt and fall in the canal. Some of the audience may have chosen to do that after the show.

Huge thanks as always go to everyone who came to see the show, help us sort the place out, do the techie stuff, bounce on the door and so on – you’re all magnificent.

Quality, Quantity or Qualia?

What we look for in a good show is pretty difficult to quantify – it’s hard to judge success purely on the laughter and applause levels. Those are brilliant, but some audiences are quiet and it’s only after the show when folk come up to you and say how much they enjoyed it that you realise it actually did go well. (Tip for the audience – if in doubt, express yourself through laughter and clapping – a whoop is never amiss.) The thing is, you want to come off stage feeling like you’re on fire (and in June we pretty much were – the temperature was in the mid-30s!), and when you don’t it can feel disappointing. I find that’s easily remedied by someone else telling me I was awesome. I’m pretty shallow and that gets to the heart of me.

But this was a good one, we had fun and so did the audience. As always we struck the set afterwards (the curtains, stage, seating, lights & sound) and then headed off the pub. We tend (always) go to The Company Inn on Castle Wharf (just doors away from The Glee Club) because it’s cheap, we usually get a huge area to ourselves and the bar staff have become remarkably tolerant of us. We rock up (players, a big chunk of the rest of MissImp, audience friends and family) and present them with a drinks list in someone’s illegible hand. It works well.

With having only one monthly show there can be extreme highs and lows and stress about making every show brilliant. Moving to two shows a month should take out some of the anxiety for players and I think smooth out the rough edges it causes. Of course, performing at The Glee Club will also add a special brand of excitement and nervousness itself.

I’ve extracted some of the most fun pictures from The Day After Improv. Naturally, they are the ones with the highest gurn-rate.

The real Day After Improv

(Saturday) was another day of improv. It’s part of our ongoing mission to up-skill the group and develop all of us as improvisors. To that end, Lloydie ran another long-form workshop, based in part on his training at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York. It’s different from what we do on stage, which is what you’d call short-form or theatre-sports. Our regular shows are made up of short scenes from 2 to maybe 10 minutes at most; long-form is running a game for up to an hour. What we were doing in the cellar of the Lord Roberts in Hockley was four hours of listening and scene-building exercises and games.

Whew, tiring. But very good fun, Lloydie drilled us in an entertaining manner. Anything that can make us into better and more confident improvisors is a good thing. We’ll be doing more of this sort of thing through the autumn and beyond, including getting some international talent to run workshops for us.

September is a busy, busy month:

So what’s next for MissImp?

On Friday 10th September MissImp are honoured and thrilled to be helping The Glee Club test out their venue. We’re doing a 25 minute slot between stand-up comedians, free food and cheap drinks (pound a pint I think!) The whole night’s only a fiver and will be wicked – go to Glee.co.uk for more information and tickets and stuff.

If you fancy having a go at improv comedy, Charlotte‘s running a one hour taster workshop at the Art Organisation on Saturday 11th September. The time hasn’t been fixed yet, but when it is you’ll find the details on the MissImp website here.

On Saturday 18th September we’ll be crashing Wirksworth Festival to deliver Improv In The Dales – a two-hour festival special.

Friday 24th September is the opening night of the Nottingham Comedy Festival and we’re kicking it off with ImproCop: The Future of Live Comedy.

On Saturday 25th September I’m running a beginner’s introduction to improvised comedy, from 2-5pm.

During the rest of the festival, MissImp folk are also in the following shows:

HR’d Day’s Night 25-6th September

NCF Comedy Night: The Final (at least two of the MissImp crew are competing) 28th September

Cast Adrift 1st October – an improvised soap opera featuring a bunch of MissImp

Naked Ant Wrestling 2nd October – live sketch show with MissImp players performing as Microwaving Ants

On Wednesday October 13th we start our MissImp In Action show at The Glee Club.

It’s an exciting time to be a comic improvisor in Nottingham. Come and enjoy it with us.

Next week for blogging

I’ll leave MissImp alone for a bit and concentrate on my writing and other pursuits – it’s Captain Pigheart and Pub Poetry next!


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