Six nights a week

The best team I was ever on was Frank Booth. I’ve played with other groups that have been very good, but that was the best one. It was the best because we rehearsed nearly every week for four years. And we probably performed over 200 times together. We weren’t the most talented or the smartest group ever, but we knew each other as performers well and worked well together on stage. I’d like to do that again, be in a group that has rehearsed 200 times and has performed 200 shows. But here is the difference. I’d like to do that in one year instead of four.

I’m not going to be satisfied with performing once a week. I’d like to perform six nights a week, and on my night off, I’d like to perform. I don’t want to be in four or five groups to accomplish this, although in the short term, I may do just that. I’d rather work with one ensemble and do one main show.

I’d like to rehearse often. I’d like to rehearse three or four times a week, especially at first. But even after the show opens, I’d like to rehearse more than weekly and try new things. I’d like to identify where we can push ourselves to be better and smarter and more interesting. I’d like to tape the shows and review them later, looking for ways to improve our craft. I’d like to borrow great ideas from other types of theater and art and bring them into our shows. I’d like to work harder than I’ve ever worked before.

In the near future, I’ll be returning to Chicago and dipping my feet into the improv pool again. I’ll be performing where I can and perhaps teaching here and there. But I’ll also be cornering people in bars and telling them my ideas and looking for people who share my desire to be a part of a group that works as hard as I’d like to work. I’ll be visiting New York and maybe LA. I’ll be traveling to a few improv festivals and interviewing more teachers and directors for my podcast. I’ll probably do some projects along the way which approach my ideal, where we rehearse in a concentrated fashion and perform multiple times a week. It might take me a while before I can put all the pieces in place, but barring some amazing opportunity which takes me down a different path or some unforeseen tragedy which interferes with my plans, this will happen.

Why write about this? Why put this in my blog? Because, I’m curious whether there are enough good performers out there who could commit themselves for a year or two or three to making this happen. I think you might be out there. I just haven’t found you yet.

4 thoughts on “Six nights a week”

  1. I was talking to my friend about this just last night. I get monomaniacal about things I’m passionate about, and I get frustrated when people don’t take up that same intensity. Organizing practice for our improv group has been difficult and I feel like we’re growing at a much slower pace than I want, because we are not like-minded in our need for it. Good luck finding your people! It sounds like it will be an amazing experience. I wish I wasn’t just starting out in improv, I would leech onto this in a heartbeat.

  2. You mean, sort of like Improv was your career?

    If I came into $100 million tomorrow. I would put together a team of my favorite people and pay them a salary (to live on) to rehearse with me 3 hours a day, five days a week. Guest coaches once a week to work on different things. And perform every night. I’d ask them to sign two year contracts.

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