I have admitted on here just over a handful of times that I have been a fan of Loose Moose’s brand of improv comedy for over half my life now. Going to a show makes me feel comfortable and completely at ease knowing I am in for a guaranteed laugh. I have not just been an audience member over the years but a student of short form improve theatre too. When I started taking adult classes at Loose Moose a few years ago, it really brought back to my love of being on stage and has helped me grow as a sketch writer too. During my years as an audience members and eventual student I have become very familiar with the theater sport games, the rules of scene work and the formula of short form improvisation. I have taken adult classes a total of about nine times now, the last time being this June. I feel comfortable (not cocky) performing short form theatre but its appeal was diminished when I made two discoveries this past year; sketch writing at Second City Toronto and the long form improvisation with the Kinkonauts.
I took three short sketch comedy writing classes in 2013. Two of those classes were at Loose Moose and one was at Second City in Toronto. Each made me realize how much I wanted to write and produce things that I truly find funny and inspiring. I still dare to hope that one day the delicious crop of talent in the Calgary comedy scene will embrace the glory of sketch writing and a community of sketch writers to rival that of Toronto will be born! But alas, I write solo for now but it is still with great joy that I let my imagination run wild on paper. I was pleased to hear about and sign up for a one day Sketch Comedy Writing workshop with Kids In The Hall alumni Kevin McDonald coming this March. Is that the birth of a sketch community I smell?
As stated earlier, it has been since June since I have taken an improv class. I have been busy with work, freelancing and the rollercoaster that is life. But today, I desperately needed my old friend comedy. Luckily, this week was Kinkonauts performance week and they were offering a class by NYC improviser, Louie Pearlman, who was an outstandingly supportive teacher. The class today was filled with people I had seen on stage at the Kinkonauts and the Moose. This, to say the least, made me freaking nervous. But I had a lot of pent performance momentum, and to give some relief to the people in my lunchroom who hear my noon hour comedy routine every day, I needed somewhere appropriate to let my silly freak flag fly. I found that today on the tiny little Kinkonauts stage. Long form improv is like a grown-up’s version of playing pretend. My indoctrinated Loose Moose short form improv brain took a little while to get used to scence-centric, free flowing, looping formula of longform improv. Once my brain accepted the challenge of working within this formula, I really had fun and embraced this method of improv. The lack of Loose Moose rules was terrifying and yet invigorating! I see how it could help my writing and I feel how it could lead to some really imaginative and engaging performances – and it instantly gave me a high that I feel myself getting hooked to. So despite my insane schedule, I have decided to take the Kinkonauts class starting this Thursday.
My decision to continue my exploration with Long Form improvisation was further substantiated tonight with a jam-packed night of high energy free flowing comedy. I saw new talent, experienced the genius of seasoned players and was reunited with my favourite comedy hip hop troupe, Notorious (who will be performing at Café Koi February 22 – must see!). The sad news that the Improv Guild lost their little purple home on McLeod Trail is sad for the talented improv group but luckily other Improv Theatres in Calgary seem to have been welcoming Guild talent to their shows, much to the enjoyment of eager audiences. It is great to see a variety of styles wherever you go check out a show these days in Calgary. Each troupe provided a different performance experience tonight and I never noticed one beat where the full house audience was not completely engrossed with what was happening on stage. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
It has been a long and glorious day filled with comedy and I am left inspired by the possibilities of what is next on my comedic journey.