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The Improv Conspiracy was founded approximately one year ago, and as we prepare for the imminent Melbourne Fringe Festival I can proudly say that I've never been more excited about where we've been, where we are and where we're going.
To help illustrate why, I'd like to bring up a few valuable lessons that I learned while coming up as an improviser in Los Angeles:
You don't "deserve" an audience. You have to earn one, and in order to do so your show needs to be unique, engaging and entertaining.
We've been working hard over the past few months, and our show is finally ready for mass consumption. One by one, each of our players has had a major breakthrough at some point during the past few months -- light bulbs are turning on, and even our relative newbies are now consistently capable of creating impressive work. The Fringe Festival will provide us with a broader audience than we've experienced to date, and for the first time I can say that we're genuinely ready for it. I'm proud to attach my name to this show.
The best way to get better at improvising is to improvise. Think of it like lifting weights. You can study the art of weightlifting all day long, but at the end of the day you have to hit the gym and do your reps if you want to make any progress.
At our current performance schedule, our players do one show per month. During Fringe our players will be doing four shows per week. Over the course of our 12 Fringe shows, our players will experience a year's worth of stage time in three short weeks. It's hard to quantify these things -- will we be twice as good at the end? Three times as good? Who knows. All that matters is that qualitatively we'll be much stronger at the end than we are right now!
The next best way to get better at improvising is to watch as many shows as possible and to learn from people who are more experienced than you are.
Our initial group of members was incredibly brave, and managed to learn The Harold format over the course of a year in a complete vacuum. There were no Harolds on display in Melbourne that they weren't a part of!
As our performance group prepares for Fringe, we've taken on a new group of talented students. However, the new students get to stand on the shoulders of giants and take advantage of all of the hard work that was put in by those who came before them. The curriculum has been workshopped and written. There are shows for them to watch. There are more people than ever for them to ask for advice. The amount of time required to get the new people up to speed is shorter than ever!
So, that's why I'm excited. We're in a fantastic position, and are poised to pick up additional momentum that we intend to take advantage of. The Improv Conspiracy is bigger than me. It's bigger than any of us are individually. All that any of us can do now is to strap in and enjoy the ride.
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