Last Thursday was my first of two shows I’m doing at The Improv Shop this month, and it was probably the toughest. The show is called Run the Joes and the premise is two comedians on stage at a time, selected by the audience and then given a topic that they have to talk about for three minutes.
Before the show started, the host asked audience members to write down random subjects on index cards along with their name and drop them in a bucket. As the show starts, six comedians are all sitting on the stage at once; each wearing a name tag so the audience knows who we are. We started by each doing four to five minutes of our own stand up to give the audience a taste of what each of us is about.
Then the host pulls a topic from the bucket and calls out to the person who suggested it. That person gets to select two of the six comics to stand up. The host then reads the topic and the comedians have three minutes to make stuff up about it.
This was my first time ever doing a show like this, and it was pretty tough. I will say I learned a lot and had a good time, but I didn’t feel like I did very well even though the audience was definitely into it. It’s hard to think up something funny on the spot when you are given topics like Blink 182, Child Brides, Facebook Stalking, and Unicorns. The one plus is that you at least have another comic on stage with you that you can play off of. Of course, I thought of funnier things I could have said the next day, but like I said, it was a learning experience. I’d definitely do it again.
This week I have a “scripted” storytelling show at The Improv Shop which is kind of like The Moth or Snap Judgement on NPR. I’m a storyteller at heart so I’m really looking forward to this one.