Getting to know… Buddy Puzzle!

Closer to festival and we’re getting you closer to Buddy Puzzle! Check them out on Saturday July 8th at 9pm!

What do members of your troupe find funny?
We like character driven work that has heart. Offstage we do character
bits that are overly dramatic and so committed we forget where the bit
ends.

If your troupe had a mascot, what would it be?
Vin Diesel (Dom) or Michelle Rodriguez (Letty)

What inspires your troupe? Is it a constant or changing idea?
Our favorite improv teams that have inspired us are The Reckoning and
Cook County Social Club. Outside of that our inspiration is always
changing. Our passion gets sparked by a podcast (mostly NPR or Tim
Ferris) or a new song we discovered. It runs as deep as a rant we heard
from some old cowboy chewing tobacco outside a starbucks. (He’s yet to
show up in one of our shows but I know he’s in there somewhere.)

What is your troupe’s favorite pre-show ritual?
We like to walk, talk and connect to each other. Lately we’ve been
reading a sonnet from Erik Didriksen’s “Pop Sonnets” and listening to
the corresponding song. We also have individual rituals (stretches, hand
stands and vocal warm ups etc.) that we like to do.

What advice would your troupe give to new improvisers/troupes?
Play with people you love who want to do the same kind of work you do.
It’s the fastest way to grow. Hell, we did it and even FELL in love and
it’s the BEST. We highly recommend it. Do be afraid to take risks, it
won’t work the first time but the only way  to learn how it works it to
fail first. As a mentor and dear friend of ours would say “don’t be a
baby”.

Getting to know… Motley Players

Want more? How about some answers from Motley Players? Catch them at 5:30pm in the family friendly show at Studio Theatre on Saturday July 8th!

WHAT DO MEMBERS OF MOTLEY PLAYERS FIND FUNNY?
When wit and happenstance collide in clever or ironic ways in such a
manner to make you snort your drink. Translated from Dave-speak: Stuff
that makes us snort our drinks.

IF MOTLEY PLAYERS HAD A MASCOT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Tasmanian devil or sloth, depending on our levels of caffeine.

WHAT INSPIRES MOTLEY PLAYERS’S IMPROV? IS IT A CONSTANT OR CHANGING
IDEA?
We like to keep things original in an ever-changing and stressful world.
It doesn’t hurt that most of us are so easily distracted, we don’t
remember what we did last week, so it’s always original to us!

WHAT IS MOTLEY PLAYERS FAVORITE PRE-SHOW RITUAL?
To laugh at ourselves. The more fun we have before the show cracking
each other up, the more relaxed we are during the show.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD MOTLEY PLAYERS GIVE TO NEW IMPROVISERS/TROUPES?
There are going to be great successes and great failures. Remember the
successes and learn from the failures.

MP

Getting to know… Red Dirt Improv

Tonight’s Getting to know…. features Red Dirt Improv from Norman, Oklahoma! Read about them below and see them on Friday July7th!

What do members of Red Dirt Improv find funny?
Half of us think animals in clothing are funny. The other half of us like Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

If Red Dirt Improv had a mascot, what would it be?
Our mascot’s name is David Courtright. He will sign your autograph book.

What inspires Red Dirt’s improv? Is it a constant or changing idea?
Red Dirt Improv is inspired to do things the audience doesn’t expect. While we like to get better at whatever form we are doing, we try not to get attached to repetitiveness. Often we will put a slight tweak on a game rule or audience suggestion that keeps the audience and us excited.

What is Red Dirt Improv favorite pre-show ritual?
An unintelligible mashup of every warmup game we have ever done.

What advice would Red Dirt Improv give to new improvisers/troupes?
All improv rules are made to eventually be broken. However, those rules will help you if you follow them more often than not.

Getting to know… After Party

We’re back with another round of Getting to know…. and today we’re introducing you to After Party from Chicago! This group of musical mavens performs July 8th at 9pm so make plans to check them out and read more about them below!

What do members of After Party find funny?
–       We love smart, fast, musical comedy. Broad City, Lucille Ball, Monty Python, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, and on and on. And butts.

If After Party had a mascot, what would it be?
–       Cappy and Gertie, the cutest, funniest doggos in the world and pets of team members Ashley and Holly.

What inspires After Party improv? Is it a constant or changing idea?
–       It is constantly changing. We are inspired by our relationships, true crime shows, brunch foods, classic musicals, politics; anything and everything goes into our shows.

What is After Party’s favorite pre-show ritual?
–       Pre-Show Group Selfie! Taking a moment to connect and be silly together in private before we share it with the audience.

What advice would After Party give to new improvisers/troupes?
–       Find improv partners who make you laugh! Seek out teammates who you trust and who you enjoy being around even when you’re not performing. Have fun!

After Party

Getting to know… Chairold!

It’s that time of year again folks. Yes, the 9th Annual Big Weekend of Improv is only weeks away and it’s time to learn a little more about who you’ll be seeing this year. In addition to show descriptions and bios online, we’re posting thing on Facebook and in this blog. Today, we’d like to introduce to you- Chairold from Oklahoma City! See them on Friday July 7th and read below for a little more insight into this troupe.

What do members of your troupe find funny?
Mixing the mundane with the absurd and running with it. Clever wordplay. Finding hidden games.

If your troupe had a mascot, what would it be?
A chair with eyes like Herbie the Love Bug. It would be accompanied by a bare-chested fireman riding a cougar while drinking Jameson on the rocks.

What inspires your troupe? Is it a constant or changing idea?
Taking the hurdles of life and finding the bizarre fun in them. We adapt as we grow as a team and as individuals.

What is your troupe’s favorite pre-show ritual?
Eating together, creating awkward moments, and quirkily moving about. We are big fans of the marathon text message complete with topical GIFs.

What advice would your troupe give to new improvisers/troupes?
Allow your concept to breathe and adapt in a way all members are validated. Appreciate the smallest moments of brightness from way of your teammates, and work hard to value your unique contributions. Mostly enjoy the journey of creating together. Always be willing to learn from anybody. Support each other both on and off the stage and beautiful things will grow from it. Get invested in one another’s lives.

“Start with Episode IV” by Kyle Bradford

I’m sure you’ve made this mistake before. Nobody wants to sit through a minute of exposition in a two minute scene!  Just because you goofed this one up this one time doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it and correct your mistakes for next time!


CUT TO THE ACTUAL BEGINNING OF THE BLOG POST!

Today, I’m writing about starting your scenes in the middle of the action. A scene doesn’t have to start with the beginning of a story or with the first time characters meet. Some of the most important scenes take place in the middle of the action of that story world. There’s a reason we’re focusing on these two people in this moment and only so little time to do a scene. Instead of starting off with these characters meeting, or beginning to describe what they’re doing, why not start in the part that matters and let the exposition come later. (Much like this blog post, see what I did there.)

When you start a scene, you and your partner are making a ton of assumptions based on body language, the suggestion given, and the few lines that may have been spoken. You and your partner are working together to build a foundation of facts so that you understand how the scene works and what the story world’s rules are, but you don’t have to spew them all out at the top. Every specific you lay down in the scene tells us a little more about the story world.

If this scene is actually going to be about, let’s say, two thieves blaming each other for a score gone wrong, we don’t have to start with the thieves getting caught. Details will be revealed line by line, but the important core of this scene isn’t that they were caught stealing, but about the differences in their personalities that has caused this theft to fail. The thieving is really just set dressing to a story about two people with differing work ethics. And in that example, we want to hear more about their problems with each other’s work style, we definitely didn’t need to see how they reacted to be caught, that’s not the important part of the story.

Imagine your scene like an episode of TV or a movie. There’s a reason the story starts when it does and ends when it does. The same is true of your story! The events that happen after or before what happens in the movie aren’t really that important, though someone should tell that to the people who make the Star Wars films.

Star Wars was original just Star Wars, but later it was edited to be Episode IV. They decided they needed to tell more stories and that this one was really in the middle of everything. But this was the first film made because what matters is the story of a son redeeming his father and saving the galaxy, not seeing how his father became an evil dude, or seeing what the legacy of his actions would be. Sure it’s fun to see more scenes based on scenes we’ve seen before, but do we really need to know how Lando pulled his maneuver at the Battle of Tanaab? No. It’s not important.  The heart of the entire Star Wars saga was the fourth episode in the whole tale. So imagine your scenes as the good star wars movies, the only part of the story that really matters.

Learn more about… QuizProv

Get the inside scoop on a local favorite below. Haven’t had the pleasure of seeing QuizProv? See them at 11pm on Friday July 8th at Big Sexy! Tickets available at the website!
QuizProv
What do the members of QuizProv find funny?
QuizProv: When Danny has trouble tallying up the score using basic math skills he acquired in elementary school because technology has spoiled us, that’s pretty funny. Surprising the audience with concepts like “Who Said It? Trump or Cartman” makes us laugh. The people we invite on stage to play our little game with us make us laugh hard or we wouldn’t have invited them in the first place.

If your troupe was a mixed drink, what kind would it be?
QuizProv: It’s a little ode to our favorite game show that continues to inspire us in our daily lives. We call it the “Daily Double.” It’s a frothy concoction of various potent potables that no one quite knows and can only deduce by taking a sip and using their critical thinking skills to determine its contents. They must figure out the ingredients before the time runs out and the poison starts working.

What inspires your improv? Is it a constant or changing idea?
QuizProv: The show has a format and rules that may sound like it’s not a completely improvised show but hosting and bantering with the contestants before they step up to do pure improv is itself an improvised skill. We’ve learned that simply hosting a show and keeping a crowd energetic and engaged is a huge challenge and requires the right kind of confidence and personality that takes training and experience just to learn how to do on a basic level. So it changes with every show and every new audience who sit down to see us.
How do you guys prepare for a show? Any fun warm-ups or rituals?
QuizProv: We do a little pre-banter with the contestants we bring up on stage to explain the game to them because as we’ve learned, the magic of television has tricked us into thinking that contestants on a real game show know everything about the game when the host explains it to them in front of the camera. Glenn and Danny separate off and get the stage set up and then they play a little game called “Are You Nervous? No, Are You Nervous?” The way you play it is right there in the title.

What do you like to do outside of improv?

QuizProv: Obviously, we play at a lot of games. It’s hard to put a competitive spirit back in its shell once you’ve already cracked open that walnut, my friend.

Learn more about… Clarissa Explained Nothing

We’re getting closer to Big Sexy time, and want you to learn a little more about the troupes! This blog post features a local act you should get to know so read about them then see their show at Big Sexy on Friday July 8th at 7pm!
Want more info on their show? Get it here!
What do the members of Clarissa Explained Nothing find funny?
Liz: I feel like we channel a lot of weird stuff from everyday life into our humor.
Jane: Also, each other. We really do make each other laugh a lot. Overall, I like dry humor and angry humor. I like things that come from a place of real emotion.
Greg: Joy, camaraderie, support. Every show we work to remove these things from our improv.
John: (Looks up from a giant plate of BBQ ribs he is currently eating.) I’m sorry what was the question?
Sallie: (Stares longingly at John’s ribs hoping he will share.) People getting hurt is always funny.

If your troupe were a mixed drink, what kind would it be?
Jane: (Looks back and forth between John and Sallie, worried, before snapping back to the task at hand.) Um…I guess whiskey, neat. No mixer. We can get pretty dark.
Liz: This seems very accurate. We like to create complex characters who suffer hilarious tragedies. About half of them are kids. Or some kind of special “bespoke cocktail” that’s actually just neat whiskey. Also we like meat.
Greg: Or a Sazerac! When you just want Rye and Absinthe.
John: (Mouth and hands are completely covered in BBQ sauce.) Um… give me a minute. I need to find a towel…
Sallie: (Reaches over to try and grab a rib.) A buttery nipple?

What inspires your improv? Is it a constant or changing idea?
Jane: We’re inspired by other troupes and our own strengths. It is always evolving because we always want to improve.
Greg: I know there is some next level game I am just missing.
John: (Finds a napkin on the table and attempts to wipe his hands. The napkin completely falls apart upon contact, leaving his hands covered in a pulp of BBQ sauce and shredded napkin.) Oh jeez…
Sallie: (Manages to snag a rib and takes a big bite, bone and all.) Oh god, I think I broke a tooth.
Liz: (Finds half of Sallie’s tooth on the floor and sticks it in her pocket.)

How do you guys prepare for a show? Any fun warm-ups or rituals?
Jane: Our coach, Colten Winburn, will assign crazy characters to two of us at a time and then we do two-person, three-line scenes. It’s fast-paced and weird.
Liz: Yeah, that weird warm-up! Characters like The Little Engine that Could and someone who is running for Pope interacting, or many other crazy duos.
Greg: A child violence scene emergently appears in almost every show. We really need to put a stop to that.
John: (Tries wiping his face with his hands and smears the BBQ sauce and napkin pulp all over his face and shirt.) Gosh dangit…hang on. Just a sec…
Sallie: (Blood is dripping from her mouth but she still tries to eat the rib.) Goddamn these are good ribs. GIVE ME BACK MY SON!

What do you like to do outside of improv?
Jane: I’m really loving stand up. I try to make it out to open mics when I can. I love naps more than anything, though. Oh, and I’m also trying my hand at a webcomic on Instagram.
Liz: Writing, reading, sleeping, podcast dabbling.
Greg: (Starts drawing little pictures with his finger in Sallie’s blood.) Stand up is my hobby. Netflixin’. Dungeons and Dragons.
John: (Pulls his shirt off and uses it as a towel, further spreading the sauce over his upper torso as he wipes. He is now covered in a thin film of sauce and sweat. His face and hands have tiny bits of napkin stuck to them. He looks up in bewilderment.) I like watching YouTube videos.
Sallie: (Somehow manages to eat the whole rib, bone and all. Her mouth is severely bleeding.) I’ve been getting into ribs lately.

Clarissa Pic 1

Learn more about Butter!

We can’t believe it’s not… but it is… it’s BUTTER! Read a little about this clowning duo and see their unique show at Big Sexy on Friday July 8th at 7pm!
Want more info on their show? Get it here!

 

What do the members of Butter find funny? Blowing raspberries, simple mistakes, melodrama and fanny packs
If your troupe was a mixed drink, what kind would it be? Tequila Sunrise, Pina Colada…don’t forget the umbrella
What inspires your improv? Is it a constant or changing idea? Having fun and checking in with the audience, breaking the fourth wall and changing the stereotype of what clowning is.
How do you guys prepare for a show? Any fun warm-ups or rituals?  We like making each other laugh and really challenge the other to break. We like doing large group warm-ups with just the two of us, think 2-person Bunny Bunny.
What do you like to do outside of improv? Watch movies, hang out at coffee shops and talk philosophy/stupid stuff people do.

Butter

Learn about ChuTopp!

More Big Sexy performer tid-bits coming your way! Read below to learn about ChuTopp from Austin, TX and see them on Saturday, July 9th at 7pm. Get your tickets here: Big Sexy Tickets

ChuTopp

ChuTopp from Austin, TX

  • What do the members of ChuTopp find funny? Life
  • If your troupe was a mixed drink, what kind would it be? a Sour Rump – Sour Apple Schnapps and Rumplemintz (we’ve never done it, but it would be very much us)
  • What inspires your improv? Is it a constant or changing idea? Constantly changing. From family, to work, to politics, to reality shows, to anything on BBC America
  • How do you guys prepare for a show? Any fun warm-ups or rituals? We just talk a lot about random awesome crap to get our minds in order.
  • What do you like to do outside of improv? The structural integrity of things, baseball, scrapple, music, reference books, giraffes, shoes, dive bars, etc.