If you regularly read this blog, you may be asking yourself “What happened during the rest of your time in NYC, Matt?” Well friends, I would have loved to have told you at the time, but I just got a little too busy (which is a good thing). Class on Wednesday was fine, I only had one session that day and didn’t see any shows that night. Instead I hung out with my friend Jeanine in Manhattan and had a few drinks.
Thursday, though, was more exciting for those who aren’t interested in my hanging out/alcohol/food habits. Thursday was back to two sessions of class a day (at the Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center) where we started practicing for our show on Saturday. We did monologues and scenes in 25 minute chunks and it was relieving to see how much better we had all become at improv in just a week.
That night I went to the UCB Theatre to catch a couple of shows. The first of which was THE COLBERT REPORT Writers: Seize The Mustard, an improv group consisting of writers (past and present) of the The Colbert Report. This was funny and I’m not sure I need to mention why. It was a little short but still a lot of fun.
The second show I caught was called Cage Match NYC and was awesome for many reasons. Let me say that first of all, a cage match is basically a type of match in professional wrestling where the opponents are placed in a cage and attempt to fight out of it. I was told that Cage Match (the show) was a competition between two improv groups where the audience votes on which improv group was better. What I wasn’t told is that the whole thing would be wrapped by other improvisers poking fun at professional wrestling. There were announcers who introduced the show and kept the crowd going in between the two groups and while the votes were being tallied. There were vignettes by a variety of characters that capitalized on the ridiculousness of professional wrestling and even a tag team match. I saw characters like Euro Trash, a tag team of European jackasses, and the team of the Priest and his Alter Boy. It was amazingly entertaining.
On Friday I had my last class of the course where we practiced again for the show. Afterwards I went to go see Diamond Lion, which was a musical improv show at the UCBeast Theatre. One of my teachers, Mike Still, who is moving to LA, was in this show and I wanted to check it out. It might have been the funniest thing I had seen all week and impressive too. Quality singing, good timing, and an accompanist on keyboard who has the task of following the songs as they unfold.
Finally, on Saturday was our show. The class of 14 was split into two groups and each group performed for about 25 minutes. I was glad I got to do a monologue and participate in several scenes. It was a lot of fun and I had a great group of people to do it with. I would recommend the improv class at UCB to anyone looking to get into improv comedy. I want to take the next level, but of course I live in Boston and this is in New York. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a week long course or perhaps a course over several weekends that I could sign up for. That aside, I have signed up to start taking classes at ImprovBoston in October, so the improv training will continue.