This weekend I’ve been performing at the Forever Now festival with Good Luck, Barbara! and ComedySportz Berlin. Forever Now is a festival that “celebrates transformation” and we were asked to perform as part of the “inter-act” component. It’s always fun/interesting/tough performing for new audiences who have no idea what to expect from improv. The first day, for example, we warmed up the audience by playing tag with them. We got the feeling they wanted to participate a little more actively. So we indulged.
I also got the chance to take a workshop with Tara and Rance, two wonderful improvisers from Chicago, who currently work out of IO. They also performed two nights at the festival with a show called “Here”, a two person musical improv. Normally, I’m not much of a musical fan but this is so worth it. As they themselves said, the show has to stand on its own, even without the “gimmick” or the music, and this one certainly does. It’s even more impressive that the music is fantastic.
They seem so innocuous but in reality they take a lot of time and thought, especially when you’re balancing three different people’s preferences. A logo is hard work!
Well, we’ve worked together with the wonderfully creative Giulia Schelm to come up with something abstract and simple. We also wanted an element of “ah-ha! I get it” – you know… something clever.
I’ll be in Gothenburg, Sweden for the first time performing with Good Luck Barbara! at the Improfest! If you’re in town, be sure to check us out:
- Saturday, 18:00 at Teater Aftonstjärnan, Lila Scenen
I was also randomly selected to perform in a special mixer show on Friday that will involve lots of fake blood. I’m very excited. “The zombie apocalypse with a comic twist.”
I’m in the States for a brief visit. Thankfully, I was able to catch a TJ and Dave show whilst in Chicago.
“One of these guys is the best improviser in the world. And the other one is better.” – Stephen Colbert
The show was fantastic and it’s inspiring to see amazing improv in a city that nurtures it. It gives me high hopes for where we can take improv in Berlin.
The highlight, though, was meeting with Dave Pasquesi after the show. He was generous enough to speak with me about running a comedy theater. While their model is different than CCB, it was good to pick his brain and get some sage advice from someone who’s been in the business for a long time (HE USED TO HAVE A SHOW WITH DEL CLOSE!). He even showed me around the Mission Theater where iO now lives (the CCB stage is largely inspired by the iO stages).
The biggest take-away though, is hearing his thoughts about performing and running the actual space. To put a moratorium on business related matters when you have your own show to put on. All the pressure of making sure you’re pulling an audience, marketing, reviews and critics, can effect a show negatively – and that is inherently counter to why we’re doing this. Preserve what made you get into this in the first place. Boom.
We held an open house at CCB this weekend past for a good chunk of Berlin based comedians and producers. It was good to hear them say it’s big. I know it’s not always about size, but it still feels good.
Good news everyone! There is already some great comedy coming out of CCB and the show is called “The Contractors Who Are Renovating The Space.” And damn, they are good. The show is full of twists and turns, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry. And the best part is: the price of the show is negotiable!
If you want to see the show yourself, just go ahead and open a café and let them come to you. Make sure you read every invoice.
Seriously though, these guys are the worst. It’s like doing business with goldfish. Here’s how a rough idea of how a conversation goes:
Us: Please don’t do that yet, we’re waiting on other offers.
One day later.
Us: Why did you do that? We told you not to do that yet.
Contractor: Oh it’s fine. I’ll charge you for a lower price.
One day later.
Us: You invoiced us for a higher price.
Contractor: Yeah, I can’t do it for a lower price.
Us: You said you could do it for a lower price yesterday.
Additional laughs brought to you by the guys who ran the sound cables.
Let’s just say they overcharged us by 400%.
Eyes and ears, fellas. Eyes and ears.
Last week we shot our crowdfunding video. Josh is wearing a time traveler suit. It’s gonna be bananas.
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