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101 Improv Games for Children and Adults by Bob Bedore
101 Improv Games for Children and Adults by Utah Improviser and Quick Wits owner Bob Bedore



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Bob Bedore

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The State Of Our State  
  Started at Sun Mar 30 15:12:14 2003
I'm not sure how many of you have gone out and seen much improv around the country, but I thought I'd let you know just how wonderful we have it here in Utah.

When I was first forming Quick Wits back in the early 90's I went to just about every place I could find. I often had to track down troupes because they didn't have a "home" and were forced to play in whatever venue they could. It didn't much dawn on me at the time that I was never in an audience of more than about 50 people on any given night. I just figured that it had to do with the whole "moving around" part.

But this weekend Paul and I were in Boston and we went looking for improv. Now you've got to know that Boston is hometo about 100 colleges and if any city should be at least a minor hot bed for improv, Boston is it.

Well, here is what we found playing on March 28th...

One troupe.

There was another troupe that performed almost every weekend, but for some reason, they weren't going that night.

What we saw was ImprovBoston. The show they did that night was TheatreSports (The father of ComedySportz) and it was a pretty good show with some very talented people.

Here's the thing... They have been going for the last twenty years and their entire "home" wouldn't fit on the new Quick Wits Stage (this includes the box office and audience!). When I talked to them earlier they told me that they can seat almost 90, but I only counted 52 seats and that left them with a stage of about five feet deep and seven feet across.

I bring all this up to remind everyone how great we have it here in Utah. At the same time we were watching a show in Boston there were four shows going on in Salt Lake City alone that have seating over 200 in each location. This doesn't even include Clearfied and Provo where more great shows were going on.

How cool is that?

And the story in Boston is very much the norm across the nation.

Be thankful for what we have! Any of those actors in Boston would have killed to play on any of our stages.

Though truth be told, Paul and I would have killed to play on their's.

Improv is an incurable sickness, and I'm grateful every day that I caught it.

Bob

 
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jesster
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Re: The State Of Our State  
  Reply #1 Posted at Mon Mar 31 11:03:54 2003
I am glad you brought this up.

We all don't know how good we have it. In Improv Meccas like Chicago and New York, the seating (for the most part) is very limited. Sure they sell out, but they sell out to crowds of maybe 50-100 people.

I think we might be spoiled out here "in the sticks" and if you go traveling make it a point to see an improv show not just to experience a different troupe's take, but a different audience's take as well.

-Jesster



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You never know how you'll act in front of an audience until you get there and they aren't laughing.
 
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ryloc
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Re: The State Of Our State  
  Reply #2 Posted at Tue Apr 1 02:46:29 2003
Austin and I went to Chicago... the "mecca"... and we saw shows at Improv Olympic... the "mecca"... and not only do we get way better audiences in Utah, a lot of people I see play regularly in Utah could easily have played there.

(although we did not see the Friday and Saturday shows)

I'm still moving there though.

tongue


 
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MeanJoRocker

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Re: The State Of Our State  
  Reply #3 Posted at Wed Apr 2 12:01:42 2003
I will agree that we have it good here. I too have seen other improv shows and my experience was different than most of the other posts so far. I saw Instant Comedy in California and Comedy Warehouse in Florida and both were exceptional shows. Both shows I saw where over a weekend with more than 300 people per show. Comedy Warehouse had one of the coolest stages for improv that I have ever seen. It had stadium seating. It also had a shelf in front of you, running the entire length of the row for people to put their food and drinks on. They had phones through out the audience; the MC would walk over to the side of the stage, pick up a phone, push a button and call a random person from the audience. Whoever answered the phone, the MC would get a suggestion from that person. The phone was also a microphone so the entire audience could hear what they where saying, VERY COOL! There sound improviser was a professional keyboardist who would also add sound effects throughout the scenes as well as between skit music. The show was very clean both in content as well as in a clean/smooth performance.

With that said, I still think we’ve got it good hear. There are many aspects of what we do that they do not that I like better. I love our random between skits montages, such as, the entire Star Wars prequels done in three minuets. I love the fact that the space between the actors and the audience is not that far, both in distances and in approachability. I’m not sure how many fans read this message board, if you are and do, than THANK YOU for making this such a great place to do improv!!!



I have to listen, my ears still work.
 
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Re: The State Of Our State  
  Reply #4 Posted at Thu Apr 3 11:10:43 2003
Sometimes we forget how good we have it and act like spoiled children that cry when we don't get to do what we want. It's humbling to see people of great talent that don't forget where they came from, are willing to try anything, and forgive others their tresspasses. It's a great eye opener, and if I ever get to the point where I think that the other people that I share the stage with are making me perform at less than my capabilities, May God strike me down in my pridefullness.

I guess I am venting because my love of improv often clouds my judgement. Sometimes it hard for me to understand how someone could ever do anything else. It's not so much passion for me, as it is an obsession. This is what keeps me going. Can I get an Amen!!


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Re: The State Of Our State  
  Reply #5 Posted at Thu Apr 3 11:56:29 2003
Amen!

Lincoln Hoppe once told me that some actors in L.A. *pay* to get on stage for improv shows!!

Think about that one!

-Jesster


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Re: The State Of Our State  
  Reply #6 Posted at Thu Apr 3 11:58:53 2003
i perform at least once a week as it is now, and i'm leaving to take classes for 40 weeks before i can get on stage.

i'll miss my spoiledness.

(i'm officially taking classes at IO starting may 7th - yay!)


 
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