Good news folks! Hive Improv together with Comedy Café Berlin is now offering a full selection of improv courses in English starting January 2016! No where else in the city can you get this kind of highly focused curriculum, with this much variety and with this kind of teaching talent (full disclosure, I’m teaching).
The gang from Good Luck, Barbara! (Chris J. Rock, Nikki Ratjen, Josh Telson and myself) have been working tirelessly to create separate Hive courses each tackling a different component of improv: Short Form Improv, The Truth of the Scene, Harold & Game and soon, The Movie.
Have you been coming to improv comedy shows and thinking, “goddamn, I wish I could get me some of that!”? Or have you been caught off guard at work when your boss asks you to give a presentation and your mouth feels like a goddamn piece of stale toast? Or are you that person at the party who holds court in the kitchen telling stories that no one wants to listen to but wishes people would? THEN SIGN UP.
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.
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.