This past week was exhausting. I won’t bore you with all the gory details other than to say there were 12 hour work days, two very public falls on my well-cushioned tush and a high school tour vomit incident that may or may not have given me some kind of super flu bug. Through it all, I tried to use my improv rules of staying positive and contributing, and I think it was what helped me survive this hellish week.
The fact that I also knew there was a sweet improv light at the end of the tunnel, gave me something to look forward to. I had planned out my Saturday to include a lot of improv because I had to miss a week worth of great shows. So I signed up for a class taught by Shannon Manning from the glorious city of New York and planned to watch the Kinkonauts shows and go to the after party.
I woke up on Saturday with a hangover from too many celebratory gin and tonics, sore leg muscles from my questionable dance moves and the residual effects of the super flu bug. I was not really feeling high energy improv-Andrea surging through me but I was not going to let that stand in the way of my Improv Saturday!
Then I walked into that small black Birds & Stone church theatre, saw all my fellow hardcore improv addicts/classmates and met a new, delightful person who wanted to share her passion and perspective on improv – and I just felt relief flow through my body for the whole class. I was back home with improv, after a crazy week.
Thanks to the Kinkonauts and experimenting with other companies, my love for longform improv has grown immensely. I love how you as an improviser have a backline of fellow players to support the story and you. I love how elements of the story are brought in from different angles and perspectives but most of all, I love the sense of community that I feel when I know someone can tap me out when I am struggling or I can do the same for them.
Last night was the end of the season for the Kinkonauts and I am really quite devastated about it. I have really loved my experiences with this theatre company this past year and last night was a perfect example of what I love about them. The show was hosted by someone I am happy to call a friend, Jessica Belbin of the Kinkonauts house team Dream Toast. Jessica hosted in the character of a French Canadian and while it was a risky move, I think it paid off. She was engaging, hilarious and kept the energy up all night long.
The show opened with the Absolute Truth About Absolutely Anything. I watched this concept be developed during fan-girling of the Kinkonauts and I got to say yesterday I think they really nailed the format. Zac and Rob came out in hooded robes, to olden churchy music and a scroll. I love the complete nonsense facts they made about toasters, how the transitioned scenes by using their hoods and the absurdity of their scenes made it the best set I have seen by these guys.
Right before the main show started Beatdown, a Kinkonauts house team, performed. They had great energy and I thought they were really original with their character choices. As an avid student of longform, I am a really big fan of Beatdown’s transitions between scenes and confidence of when to sweep a scene. It is definitely something I am looking at working on, so I love watching troupes that do it well and Beatdown does.
Finally, the last show of the night was *sigh* wonderful. Almost as much as I love improv, I also love going out to listen to new live music. So the fact that the mainstage Kinkonauts show featuring live music from Boreal Sons alongside my sweet, sweet longform improv – pretty much spelled out a perfect night for me. The music was sweet and the scenes told stories I was totally engaged with. And all the stress from the prior week, just melted away, and enjoyed the moment.
The show was followed by Mixtape, which was wonderful as always, and opening for Mixtape a new dynamic duo of two of my favourites – Andrew Phung and Covy Holland – with Chiko. It was pretty cool to see Andrew’s high energy with Covy slow methodical, weirdness. I am excited to see more from these two.
The night ended with an epic party that I was dorkily excited to have been invited to, where I got to talk to people as madly in love with improv as I am. It was probably one of the best nights I have had in years!
I just want to thank the improv community so much for supporting this blog, my adventures in trying to get back on stage and just for overall enriching my human experience. You all have been dear to me these past 7 months. I am excited for a new season and hopefully being even more involved with you guys!