View Full Version : What is your worst improv show experience?

January 16, 2004, 08:32 PM
August 2003

Carolina's On the Spot - Harold Improv team

Granville Towers - Up-tight off campus Republican stronghold

There were about 80 tables of campus organizations set up with a little bit of stage room on one side of the room. No chairs set up for audience, just a little room for people to sit down if they so pleased. The Spotters and I were warming up outside on the basketball court and we took a look inside. There were a good amount of people inside, so we assumed a few of them would watch us. Two groups before us was one of the many campus acapella groups...which received plenty of cheers, we hoped we could get the same amount with our performance.

We got right up beside the building when we were on deck...and the group before us was some crazy radical Christian group doing a little skit. This skit involved one individual being WHIPPED by the others in his crew...I guess for the sins of mankind or something like that. Needless to say the crowd thinned out a bit after that one.

We finally got to go on stage to a crowd of about 8 people, while everybody else attending was checking out the various campus groups. We started, got the suggestion for the harold and started. We could immediately tell that nobody five feet in front of us could hear what we were saying...due to the long corridor shape of the room.

The 8 audience members was trimmed to about four...2 of which were friends of the group...we had absolutely nothing going on...so during a sketch of two wanna be nazis, I came on as a recruiter for the Third Reich (of course, shouting as loud as I could so that all 4 audience members could hear it). I compared Naziism to Christianity and Judaism...needless to say, the show didn't last too much longer...we cleared out before we could get shot by the conservatives.

I doubt I'll ever have as scary an improv experience again.


Kit's Alter Ego
January 16, 2004, 11:15 PM
Earth Day 2001

The Georgia Tech Earth Day Committee had put together a huge celebration with stands, free food and stage shows in and out of the Student Center. Let's Try This!, the Georgia Tech improv company, was asked to put on a short Earth-Day-themed improv show for the event. Four of us got together for it, and the day arrived to find us without a venue.

Nobody could find the woman who was supposed to be our contact, and therefore we stood around for two hours waiting for an update on what stage we'd be on, since all of the obvious choices seemed to be reserved for other groups all day.

Finally, our contact answered her cell phone, and we were told that we'd be performing on the patio behind the Student-Store-adjoining Cybere Cafe. As in, out of the main stream of traffic, but outside without a focus or acoustic advantage. And we were supposed to perform in 20 minutes.

The four of us ran madly around for the next twenty minutes, desperately recruiting people to come watch us play, but nobody really paid any attention to us, and we wound up with just the people who were eating on the patio when we arrived.

Our leader announced who we were and what we were there for, and before we could even start the first scene, everyone in our supposed audience was back to chatting with each other, only lending us the occasional glance of "Oh, they're still here?"

Our leader asked for a suggestion from a man at the nearest table, and the guy smiled broadly and attempted to drag us into a conversation about the Civil War that he was having with his companion. Deflecting that aside, we did some scenes, during which half our audience left and one person actually paused on his way out the door leading back into the cyber cafe and said, "Could you people keep it down?"

The one person who actually came for the show was a member of the theater, and he left halfway through to attend to his frat duties.

After the show, we were told by Cyber Cafe workers that people had actually complained that a random quartet had been disturbing and harassing customers on the patio. Luckily, our contact had done one of her responsibilities and informed the Cyber Cafe that we'd be there, so campus police weren't called.

However, the icing on the cake was when other improvisers on the LTT! listserv asked how it went and we told them...only to be bombarded by suggestions on how we, the performers, had been at fault for the show's failure, and how we should have tried harder to recruit an audience.


PS: Whoa. My bitterness has been reborn. I think we need a sister thread to this one.