Monthly Archives: July 2014

Hammock District and Panda Butt… what they love about improv!

Tonight is opening night of the festival! We’re so excited that the day is finally here. It’s time to have some fun, and we want you to join us so head over to improvact.org and get tickets now!

Two of the troupes performing tonight, Panda Butt and Hammock District, share their favorite things about improv below.

Hammock District:
* What was your favorite moment in improv/favorite thing about improv?
On stage with multiple strangers, one learns a lot about them, and about oneself. That’s the best part: the learning. It’s cool when you say something funny and the audience laughs and you experience real fleeting joy; that’s good too. But the other thing, the learning, that’s what’s so unique about improv. And learning is failure. And that’s important. Failure sticks with you, it lasts, and it’s more common. Failure is improv. We’re all failures. We fail, and that’s how we learn.

Panda Butt
*What is your favorite thing about improv?
Improv can take you anywhere. it gives you the ability to be or do whatever you want in an instant. Climbing on stuff is fun.

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Getting to know… Rory Scholl!

Rory is here from New York to entertain! See him this Friday at 7pm and read below for a bit more about the man behind the laughs.

* Tell us about your show this year.
Rory And Friends is a show I produce in New York that is all musical comedy,( improv written, group, solo,) with acts that are friends of mine I have worked with before or know from other walks of life. SO all the acts are actual friends. For Big Sexy its all improv music though. Its like a John Denver show if John Denver hung out with drunks and jerks.  its just me on guitar but I will have a beatboxer for a little rap action.

* When you were a kid, what did you find hilarious?
I’ve always loved sarcastic assholish humor…Marx Brothers, Bugs Bunny, Oscar the Grouch,  Animaniacs….rude sassy sarcastic humor that play off someone….thats what I lve about improv…playing off others actions…also British humor resonated with me as a kid…Monty Python, Danger Mouse…absurdist stuf..Now-a-days there’s nothing funnier than watching a kid fall down…I mean just lose it on the street. Oh. Thats good.

* What is your advice to those new to improv, or those who want to learn more?
Don’t do a bad impression of something you’ve seen on SNL or Comedy Central or a movie…Ive seen new improvisers do bad impressions of Amy Poehler’s little kid character, to quoting Zoolander. Be yourself …or if you dont know who you are, find it out by exploring. Its like dating…dont say what you think they want to her, say what you want to say!  And fuck up. Id rather screw up royally being original ( Oh, and I have) with something originall than get a half ass laugh quoting Bridesmaids

Getting to know… Unicorn Clearance

Hey guys- this mini blog post features one of our family friendly troupes at Big Sexy performing on Saturday July 12th at 5:30pm. Below Jeff Swearingen tells us a little more about Unicorn Clearance.

*Tell us about your name.
Unicorn Clearance was a name the kids liked and would agree on. I really like it, the idea of a magical beast being marked down in price to make room for some other inventory is amusing to me.

*How do you get ready for a show?
We do the old warming up. Typical stuff. Then we exchange Mine Craft tales or worship Shrek. Some talk of the Avengers usually takes place.

*What is your favorite thing about improv?
My favorite thing about improv is that it feels like recess to a performance artist. It feels like that. Like when the teacher just gave you free time to draw or whatever.

Getting to know… Red Dirt Improv

Meet our friends from Okalahoma…. RED DIRT! See them at the festival on Saturday July 12th at 9pm!

 

*How did the members of Red Dirt meet?
Many of us met through a college improv troupe (O.U. Improv!) in Norman, OK, with the following exceptions: Kenny met Dave at a craft fair; Mary met James at a boy scout camp; Tyler met Jay six years before Jay met Tyler.
*What advice do you have for those new to improv or wanting to learn more?
When people begin improv they always try to be funny. While humor is great, a better skill for improv is building off your teammates. If you can do that, the funny comes naturally.
 
If you want to learn more, take an improv class or go to an improv jam. A class is a great chance learn the basics and possibly meet someone else who can start a troupe with you.
*What do the members of Red Dirt Improv find hilarious?
We love to kill each other in creative ways in warmups and practice. We love setting each other up for a very specific type of death, then we shoot a gun instead. We don’t know why, but it always makes us laugh.

 

Getting to know… Your Dad’s Friends

Get an inside look into the troupes at Big Sexy… read more about Your Dad’s Friends from Austin below and see them on Thursday July 10th at 8:30pm!

Tell us about your troupe name:
Your Dad’s Friends are old.  Seriously old.  Like, as old as your dad.  We are pretty sure that we are not your dad.  But, we could be his friends.  

What do you love most about doing improv?
We are encouraged to be loud, boisterous, and playful.  This is what life should be about.  

Your Dad’s Friends are a ‘super-troupe’ of experienced performers. What would you tell those new to improv, or interested in learning more?
Give yourself permission to suck at the things you want to learn how to do.  You will never be worse at something than the first day you try it.  Stick with it, learn from every choice you make, and if you aren’t laughing, chances are you are the asshole.  

Getting to know… Motley Players

Check out the paragraphs below to learn more about local troupe Motley Players. See them perform on Thursday July 10th at 7pm.

Tell us about the variety of shows Motley Players performs.
We have two performance lives. During the months of April and May we are on stage at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. We perform 4 shows a day every weekend during the run of the faire.They run about 25-30 minutes long and are, for the most part, short form improv. The last show of the day We even sell water balloons for people to throw at us as we perform. We consider it instant feedback.
The rest of the year we do a monthly show at an indoor venue. The first half is short form and the second half long form. 
 
What is one of your favorite things about improv?
The thing we like best about improv is the spontaneity. Creating something that didn’t exist before that people in an audience can appreciate as creative and funny. Another thing would be the support. To know you’re out there with a group of people you can trust to not leave you hanging and who just get the direction you might be going with something.
 
How did the Motley Players meet?
The founders met and bonded over role-playing games, role-playing led to renaissance faire excursions and that led to performing. We founded our group in 2003 doing a Shakespeare parody show at faire and slowly it morphed into improv.

 

Getting to know… LOCKED OUT Comedy

Read a little more about LOCKED OUT Comedy below and see them at Big Sexy on Friday July 11th at 7pm!

*How did the performers in LOCKED OUT Comedy meet?
Part circumstance. Part fate. And part Craig’s List. Sorta. A number of us knew each other when we use to be ComedySportz. But when we became Locked OUT Comedy, we all just kind of found each other through spontaneous auditions and our love for improv. Our Troupe has evolved so much in the past 6 years and fortunately, we’ve grown even stronger together. In fact 2 of our Troupe members got engaged and married. That wedding was super fun for us. We don’t really call ourselves a Troupe as much as we call ourselves a family.

 

*Tell about the shows LOCKED OUT performs in the area.
We currently perform twice a month a head-to-head competitive improv show that showcases two teams competing for audience laughs up in Plano, TX. It’s fast, fun and clean for all audiences. That show we can take on the road and have many times. We’ve performed that type of show for schools, festivals, fundraisers, religious organizations and even a bachelor parties which was tons of fun. We were once hired to make random knock knock jokes in the middle of the night without a punch line and we’ve had the pleasure of being on local radio a couple of times. I suppose we’ve been hired to perform all sorts of events all over the country for all types of audiences with shows catered to all types of client’s ask.

Once a month, at the Addison Improv Comedy Club, we produce an elimination-style improv show called The Humor Games that often starts with 12 improvisers, and by the end of the show, audience votes have helped dwindle the cast down to one ImproVictor(ia). Think “Whose Line…” Meets “Hunger Games.” It’s a great show that includes LOC cast, improv students and often improvisers and comedians from all over the metroplex. It’s such a blast and we love bringing together improvisers from all over with their vast experience and playing together. On July 22, we’ll be at Hyena’s Comedy Club performing a show in honor of a great guy who use to do sound for us. He may not be with us anymore but he’ll never be forgotten.

 

*What do you find most fun in improv?
In Improv, it’s incredibly rewarding to experience life through a series or infinite emotions and characters and know that your mistakes will be embraced as acts of brilliance. The most fun about performing with LOC is we all have a pretty great grasp of each others strengths and weaknesses so we know how to exploit that for good. Although not a show goes by where we don’t surprise each other. It’s really wonderful.

Getting To Know… Dribble Funk

Hey guys- We’re getting closer to the festival and we want you to know a little more about all the performers. Today we give you a mini interview with Brad McEntire of Dribble Funk. See the performance on Saturday July 12th at 7pm!

*Tell us about your name.
When I started developing the solo format that would become Dribble Funk back in 2005, I had this list of rejected comedy troupe names in an old notebook. There were a bunch of names like Runny Poo, Foodstamp Tyrants, Trainsick Hobos, Lost Airship of Spotted Owls…
 
One of those names was Dribble Funk. It is a wonderful nonsense combination. I didn’t know what the format would turn into, but I needed something for the posters. After all these years, I have grown to really like it. 

* When you were a kid, who were your comedy heroes?
I liked a bunch of stuff. From elementary school through college I had a kind of informal comedy hobby going on. I liked everything, too. I had phases where I was super into the Marx Brothers, Keaton, Chaplin, Danny Kaye, Will Rogers, Steve Martin, Kids in the Hall, Robin Williams, Belushi, Bill Irwin and on and on. I would devour everything I could find on a person. Before the internet I kept these big binders filled with xeroxed magazine and newspaper articles. I used to photocopy stuff out of books – like whole chapters. I would go to the library and make copies from the microfiche machine (remember those things?). I had whole collections on people. In college I started studying “serious” theatre and the internet kinda started to come into my life, so I put the binders away in storage. I’ve kept some of them. I come across them from time to time when I am repacking or something. 

* What is your favorite thing about solo performance?
It scares the shit out of me. Every single time. That’s the main reason I keep coming back to it.