Friday, August 15, 2003

Strike Team Improv's Last Night

Tonight another summer season of Strike Team Improv comes to a close. It’s hard to imagine that we have already put in an entire summer of improv. To make matters even more, shall we say, final is the notion that Ryan and Karl don’t seem to want to do the troupe again (this, of course, being my intuition and the rumor at work). This would be really too bad, if you were to ask me. I’ll be back here again next summer with probably nothing to do. I can’t imagine not wanting to do it again.

I will admit, this season of improv didn’t go quite as smoothly as last season did. I think that last summer, simply because of the newness of it, we were all much more dedicated. This year was our second year—it was no longer something new. Since it wasn’t something new, we seemed to have trouble keeping practice attendances up (especially as the season started to wane). I think there were a couple of reason why many people in our group couldn’t make it.

First, I think a lot of us were much more busy this summer and having practice two nights a week along with a show on Friday takes away three nights of a five night week. I know for me it got to be a lot of time invested, not simply because I had three nights to do improv, but because between work and improv practice/shows I had to just hang out in town waiting for practice to start. See, I live 40 miles outside of town so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to drive home at 4:30 or 5:00 and then drive back in for 7:00 practice and then drive home again at 9:00. I would go insane and be running my car into the ground at the same time.

Since everyone was so busy, I think it would have been easier to have one practice a week to prep us for our show and then have our show. If we’d have practice on Wednesday and our shows still on Friday, I think a lot of people would show up more often. Also, if someone didn’t come to practice on Wednesday, I wouldn’t have them be in the show. That would make coming to practice all that much more important.
The practices themselves would then have to have a lot of focus since you’d only be having them once a week before a show. As it was this summer, I think focus is something a lot of our practices lacked. There would be many practices where we would be playing games and I would not have a chance to participate or I would feel uncomfortable participating in a scene simply because a couple of people in practice would dominate it and drag it on, some times for 30-45 minutes.

Now this is assuming that we would be doing scenes. There were often many other times that we didn’t really do anything but sit around and BS. Sometimes it was because of lack of focus, but many times it was from lack of people or people coming late. I found it very disconcerting that many people in our group, who live in Rochester would be late whereas I would give up my afternoon to wait at Studio Academy to be on time.

Now I don’t want to make it seem like Strike Team Improv was no fun this year, because it was. If it wasn’t, I would have quit a long time ago. I had many fun nights of improv and I always left having laughed a good amount. I had many great afternoons hanging out before practice, having lunch with Julie, watching movies, reading by the lake, and other relaxing things. True, some of the members of our group can really get on my nerves sometimes, but I still think they’re all great people and are a blast to hang out with when I get the chance. Living so far out of town often makes it hard to stay out late after practice when I know I have to get up early to get to work the next day.

I really hope that Strike Team does reform next year, even if it’s not headed up by Ryan or Karl. I would hope that enough of us would want to come back and do it that we could get the troupe back together for another go-round. If not, then tonight will be our last time on stage together. I hope it goes well and will be a show we can all remember just in case Strike Team stays down for the count next summer.

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