Our Haviland Club improv troupe moved north to the Irish Cultural Centre tonight for a real show on a real stage with a real audience (of friends and family). And thus our private silliness became public silliness. And public silliness, I gotta tell you, is a whole different kind of silliness.
Much like writing a blog in public is different from writing a journal in private, performing on a stage with an audience is very different from practicing improv in the relative safety of the rehearsal hall. It’s both more terrifying—you can’t stop, the show must forge on no matter what—and more thrilling—you can’t stop, the show must forge on no matter what. Add to this that we are fledglings, who’ve only played together half a dozen nights, and had only ever done a full “Harold” from start to end a couple of times, and it was a risky high-wire act.
As with all improv, there were moment of sheer delight, moments when everybody suddenly forgot the rules and things went off the rails, and a lot of going way way out of the everyday comfort zone for all of us.
And in that shared vulnerability is where the real joy of improv lies: we live and die on the stage together. We make each other shine. We trade gifts. Our divine moments and our fuck-ups are shared equally.
The show ended two hours ago and I’m still buzzing.
Me and Patrick Trainor walking with our chests way out, part of the introduction to the show. (Photo by Mike Rukavina)
The entire improv troupe on stage: Bridget, Berni, Me, Ann, Patrick, Sue, Pam and June. (Photo by Laurie Murphy)