For years, Six Ring Circus was the Brave New Workshop’s student showcase. Kind of like an ongoing grad school for improv. Well, it’s gone now. In it’s place is Stage Match, and I’m in it.
Six Ring was the crucible in which most of Minneapolis improv was forged. There were other outlets, Stevie Ray’s, ComedySportz, and much later HUGE Theater. But (and I could be wrong) I think Six Ring predates them. All of those organizations owes a ton to the Brave New Institute. For ages, Six Ring was the only venue where a new improviser could get in front of an audience, do their thing, get a fire lit under their butt, and improve. I’m going to pull a statistic out of my ass right now, but I’d imagine 95% of all Minneapolis improv you’ve ever seen and enjoyed owes something to Six Ring. It was really the primordial atom of Minneapolis improv’s Big Bang.
It’s sad to see Six Ring go, but I think Stage Match has the potential to be an exciting replacement. For one thing, it’s on Friday nights, prime time for live entertainment, as opposed to the hinterlands of Tuesdays. For another, instead of set teams, it’ll be more of an ad hoc set up, with improvisers regularly working with new people. It’s a new era, people. And we need you to support it.
Opening night is tomorrow, June 29th. I’m scheduled to be up June 29th, July 13th, July 20th, and August 24th. Tickets are a measly five bucks. Please stop by and keep this improv thing going.
If there’s a single thing that ruins my life, it’s procrastination. There are a large number of things that ruin my life (847 at last count), but really, it all boils down to procrastination.
I am in the Minnesota Fringe Festival again this season. I’m doing another one-man show, entitled Someone Is Wrong On The Internet. And by “doing,” I mean “staring at Microsoft Word and wondering why it doesn’t have a button I can click to automatically compose a show.” Many writers say the hardest part is just getting started, but come the fuck on.
Oddly, this situation does not have me panicked. Call it experience. Writing last year’s Fringe show, Death Perception, was a terrifying experience of a late start and long stretches of not doing shit. I didn’t come up with an ending for Death Perception until 4:30 AM the morning before I had tech rehearsal. I did tech script in hand, throwing myself on the mercy of the court, so to speak. Occasionally, I’d be thrown by this weird noise, sort of a burbling murmur, muffled by walls and glass. I was shocked to find out it was the tech, laughing. The script worked! So anyway, I have some small track record of getting shit together at the eleventh hour, and that is an immense comfort.
But I am panicked that I’m not panicked, if that makes sense. I just have an ice cream sandwich and it goes away.
It’s not like procrastination is without benefits. I have never been so on top of laundry in my life! I had so many clean clothes, I needed to clean out my closet. Ragstock is about to be flooded with a lot of Nineties-era shirts. That was a nice little project to get done. Lacking industry in your personal life? Just write a show! You’ll be living in House Beautiful in no time.
Wow. It’s past 7:00 PM already? I’ll get started tomorrow.
Every once in a while, I’m in this thing called PowerPoint Karaoke. It’s a monthly show down at the Bryant-Lake Bowl, produced by Theater Arlo. My friends Bill Stiteler and Melissa Kaercher come up with a bunch of weird-ass PowerPoint slides, and the guest performers improvise a presentation.
People don’t always get the concept, so here’s a video of the show from April 2012. The hostess is Sharon Stiteler, and the judges are Bill Stiteler and Joseph Scrimshaw. The contestants are Dawn Krosnowski, Joe Bozic, and myself. Oh, and this other guy named Bill. Bill Corbett. He was in some puppet show. I forget the name. Greg the Bunny maybe? Let’s go with that.
This video covers the whole show, so it’s a big honkin’ 54 minutes long. The me-centric bits are from about 4:00 to 14:40, and about 44:45 to the end . But check out the other bits when you’ve got the time. It’s a lovely video, it is, with a nice split screen effect so you can see the performer and the slide… at the same time! I love living in the future.