Recently I was talking to a guy who I have been coaching. He is probably 19 or 20. We were walking into a music room for rehearsal and he said something along the lines of, “I wish I had taken more music classes,” as if it were too late for him. I’m sure I’m taking his words a bit out of context, but it made me laugh, because I couldn’t help thinking of John Ward.
John “Dr. Wimpy” Ward, was a very dedicated and passionate member of the New York improv scene over the last eight years. He took classes, performed and was a huge supporter of others. He often appeared as an agent with Improv Everywhere. He was a funny man and by all accounts a joy to play with. He started doing improv in his mid 50s. This last Sunday he passed away very unexpectedly.
Auditions for improv teams were held the weekend before he died at the UCB Theatre. It’s a collective freakout the community goes through every year as hundreds of UCB students compete for a handful of coveted spots on Harold teams. Continue reading “It’s not too late”
Inspired by a question in a Facebook status, I decided to make a page on the IRC Improv Wiki for Upcoming Improv Festivals. I have started working on it and have gotten a few festivals on the list, but I hope to do some more work on it in the coming days. If you don’t want to add your festival directly to the list, you could also leave a comment here on the blog with the name, dates, location and link for your improv festival and someone will add it to the page.
Some improv groups were added to the wiki this week, Great Heights and Twenty Seven and some updates to Whisker Bliss, UCBW and Un-scripted Theater. We also had some updates to some performer pages including Shannon O’Neil, Julie Klausner, Jodi Skeris, and Rachael Mason.
I thought this might be a semi-regular, fun entry for the blog. About a year and half ago, I started an improv wiki on my other site. It’s grown quite a bit with well over 1000 pages now for groups, performers, shows, concepts and more. If you are an improvisor, please create an account and start adding information that you know. At the moment, there is a lot of good information about the New York scene, but the Chicago and LA improv scenes are not as well documented.
This week I started pages for the New York groups Centralia and Burn Manhattan. I also started a page for Inside Vladimir, a long running Chicago team that featured Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (I added some info to both of their pages also, but they are still a bit sparse). Continue reading “Improv wiki roundup”
It’s been a quiet week for me on the blog, but a lot of things are bubbling just under the surface. I’ve been working on a number of posts, but they aren’t quite ready. I’m working on a new audio clip that I hope to make into a limited series of podcasts. I have a couple of different versions of follow ups to my Dale Carnegie post. And I’m working on a post about improv podcasts. I’m trying to finish another book on diet and it’s giving me a new idea about how I could be losing weight, which I may eventually write about.
Continue reading “A quiet week on the blog”
Last week a friend of mine called. He was someone I used to coach in Chicago. He now lives in Minneapolis and wanted some advice about coaching a group who wanted to learn the Invocation. It’s an improv exercise that is sometimes used as an opening for improv forms like Harold. We talked for an hour about the Invocation, about Del Close (the guy who came up with the exercise) and about other similar exercises.
I thought it might make a good journal entry to write down a lot of the things that we went over in the conversation. But before I got too far into the entry, I decided to look it up on the IRC Improv Wiki to see if anyone had written anything about it. It turns out I had already written a pretty comprehensive explanation of the exercise there.
So instead of rewriting that, go over to the IRC Improv Wiki and read about the Invocation there.