Monday, 22 March 2010

Pay For The Funny!

I am pretty sure I mentioned before that I've been spending time with Zuloo Smack, an improv group (apparently the ONLY improv group) in Shanghai. I've been going to their weekly labs when I was available and have been in a total of three performances so far. The first two were at Bali Bistro and one, this Saturday, was at Sound Blue.

I did improv all four years in college and I was really excited to find an improv group here. I had done performances at Drew for mixed audiences in terms of size and reception. I still say the best show that I was in was the one we did as an opening act for a Thursday night comedy group in the Space (a hangout on campus). The two Bali Bistro performances had it's ups and downs. Two serious downsides were that the stage was TINY. I mean like the size of a large elevator. Try acting in that kind of space. The other downside was that the people there really didn't come to see improv but to eat, so it kind of felt like we were interrupting.

Saturday's show was the first time that I have performed in an improv show that people paid to see and it felt really good. The American Women's Club was doing a charity and we were the entertainment. The Sound Blue stage is a little bigger so we had more freedom and the people coming CAME to see improv. It was so cool.

I think one of my favorite parts of the night was the game Genres, where we act out a normal scene, then do it 2-3 more times in different movie styles. For example, the scene we did Saturday we did again as a chick flick, a western and a musical. I was in the scene with Matthew and Christoper. I've done scenes before where we have to sing, but this was the first time EVER we had someone actually playing the piano that we had to sing along with (think Whose Line Is It Anyway). I don't know if the fact that there would be a piano player for that scene was mentioned during a rehearsal and I just wasn't paying attention or what, but that was a HUGE surprise for me standing up there on stage when the music started. It went really well though, and someone from the audience later told me I had a lovely singing voice! :-)

It was a lot of fun doing improv for an audience that came specifically to see us. It was really cool to get a lot of compliments from people watching after the show. I love performing in front of people. It's a nice rush.

Afterwards, the actors all went to a bar called Bell and hung out a little while longer. It's a fun group of people. Especially Elizabeth! I'm hoping that she and I will go to Hanoi during a long weekend I have the first weekend in May. We'll see!

Much Love.
Teh Sprof