I have been neglecting to update this blog. Which is OK, since only everything has been happeningâ€¦ Sighâ€¦
Nearly all of the more seasoned veteran improvisers I invited to join the group dropped out, all citing time concerns. The troupe gelled as myself, Indigo, Sabrina, and John.
We hired John Ratliff as a coach. During our first meeting, the idea of improvised Greek tragedy was scrapped. The reason for this was something John pointed out: The Greeks, in tragedy at least, put plot above all else, with character second. Character must come first in an improv show, or you die. Accordingly, the Greeks put character first in comedies. Small wonder that most improv shows are funny.
Weâ€™re still doing tragedy, but weâ€™re not taking the Greeks as a model. Fuck the Greeks.
So, with Ratliff, we started working on relationship and character. For the first three or so rehearsals, we did not touch on format at all. No narrative. Ratliff made clear that once it came time to start talking about narrative, he was out. He didnâ€™t feel qualified to coach narrative. Myself, I think he doth protest too much, since he doesÂ seem to understand what makes a story interesting. But if heâ€™s not comfortable with it, we need to find a different coach, one who is comfortable with narrative improv.
In the meantime, Michael Ferstenfeld joined up and Sabrina dropped out.
So now weâ€™re starting to scratch the surface of what our format is going to be. Iâ€™ve been pushing the idea of using masks for something â€” it was to have been the chorus when the show was going to be Greek. Perhaps now it can be for narration or something; I just feel masks are very powerful, theatrically, and Iâ€™d like to explore their use.
Iâ€™ve advertised for a new coach on the Austin Improv forum. Iâ€™m a bit surprised; I had expected to get maybe one response at the most. At the time of this writing weâ€™ve had three, all from people who are, somewhat amusingly, in the same troupe. I feel very lucky to have this enormous pool of talent to draw from.
Rehearsals are on pause for the holidays. Order of business come the new year:
- Get a narrative coach.
- Find a fifth member â€” preferably female â€” to replace Sabrina.
- Figure out our exact format, including what to do with those fucking masks.
Weâ€™ve submitted to the Free Fringe, a new slot the Hideout is trying next year, experimental stuff Thursdays at 10. Weâ€™ll see what we get.
Oh, and Iâ€™ve refined the logo a bit:
I guess thatâ€™s pretty much everything for now. Iâ€™ll try to update this blog more frequently.