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Old September 16, 2010, 11:51 AM
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Default What brought you to DSI and improv?

Since I'm not around much anymore, I like to read the history of people involved with the company that I love. Share the reasons why you came along and got involved and why you are addicted to it.
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Old October 5, 2010, 12:27 PM
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How I started with DSI:
I got involved with DSI in mid-2003, when Jonathan Karpinos recommended I take classes with it. Jonathan had been one year ahead of me in high school 4 years earlier, and he'd also recommended that I audition for CHHS Improv Company (which I'd gotten into my senior year). I fully attribute my being with DSI (and my 100% committing to the DSI philosophy) to the fact that Jonathan gave it the thumbs-up.

I took classes slowly, as I was barely able to convince my parents to pay for them, and I was between failing out of Georgia Tech (due to spending all my time improvising/acting instead of studying/sleeping) and getting into Durham Tech (to bring up my GPA enough to eventually get into UNC-Chapel Hill).

While taking later rounds of classes, I auditioned several times unsuccessfully, but finally I was added to already-existing Harold team KEVLAR (which featured Katy Jack and PT Scarborough). When the next auditions rolled around, the team got rebuilt into a new team called Community Bike.

Why I'm addicted:
I've been addicted to improv since I first saw CHHS Improv Company at Tigerfest 1996, my freshman year of high school. Nate Weida, Emily Blacklin, Jonathan Karpinos, Micah Sherman, and Bill Cochran. They are why I'm addicted. I watched them have so much fun on stage and be loved by every single person in the audience. And then 3 years later, I was doing it: mental gymnastics tailored to a new audience every time.

I regret to say I chose what colleges I applied to based on their improv team (and chose Georgia Tech, based on the frequency of its improv team's workshop/show frequency), but I don't regret the friends I've made because of those choices.

I love to perform, and I know that improv is THE best format of performance; audiences are impressed by our speed and idea creation, while simultaneously forgiving any hiccups because it's made up on the spot.

We get to hang out with people who exercise those mental muscles of immediate yes-and, muscles of support and humor and wit and going-to-the-fun-because-that's-the-only-way-to-succeed. I love to be around people who can laugh at themselves, who make sure I can laugh at myself, and who want to have fun with me for 20 minutes so the audience can laugh at us both.

"You reached into my funny bucket...you reached into my funny bucket and you pulled out my... funny rags and... you put them in another bucket." --John Breen of The Liberators, as Bilgey the Clown

I was trying to mime it, but I forgot: you're not supposed to mime with objects." --Kelly Crisp
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Old October 16, 2010, 07:44 PM
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FStewartTaylor FStewartTaylor is offline
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I've been debating if I really get to answer this- I'm not around much anymore, either. Come on, people still at the theater! Still, here you go:

So, I started at DSI after Joe Jones and Hope Hynes Love both suggested it. Specifically, Joe Jones used to come and substitute for Hynsie's theater classes, and would run improv workshops for theater 1&2, and talked about DSI then. At the end of my Sophmore year, at my brother's graduation, Taylor Coil (Giuseppe alum, for whom I had auditioned in the One Acts earlier that year) literally got down on her knees and entreated me to audition for Giuseppe. So, I took a class with Zach that summer, auditioned my way onto Giuseppe my Junior year, and started volunteering with the theater really seriously around NCCAF that year. Then I interned for a while.

I'm addicted because improv is everything I want to be- funny, positive, presentational, charismatic and community-building. I love the mental challenge of tracking a game, planning beats, finding a character, working out the next three alternatives and picking the best one, of constantly working to be better and funnier and working to bring an audience the best show it could possibly see.

I'm addicted to DSI specifically because it is a beautiful kaleidoscope of nerds and enthusiasts, all of whom have in common a determination to choke all the joie de vivre possible out of life, by the neck with violence if necessary. The willingness to play to the absolute height of their intelligence in every moment, coupled with a sense of absolute playfulness, is pretty much the best combination ever.
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