It isn’t often that I like to talk about individual shows in this blog. Ideally, in my head, I see this as a recorder of thoughts and ideas that are supposed to be more timeless than timely. I know I don’t always keep to that, but in my head that’s how I see it. Especially when it comes to improv shows, they are created in the moment and it is so hard to articulate what happened or how it happened. It’s a visual medium and reminds you why there is the phrase, “You had to be there.”
In the case of the show at The Brea Improv you SHOULD have been there! Not to toot a horn, but I think a bit of history is in order to help put the excitement of the evening in proper context. Improv Shmimprov has been a very successful improv team for a long time. Cast members have come and gone, but Shmimprov as a product has always remained strong. This year the company has started expanding beyond the bounds of our home at The Maverick Theater in downtown Fullerton, CA and have been seeing great results. In addition to the improv conference in Colorado and a great run of challenge shows Shmimprov was invited to play at the Brea Improv to help cover the Thursday night lull that has proven a difficult sell. In the Maverick we reach a maximum sell-out – standing room only – show at 100-120 people (but don’t tell the fire marshal, if they ask we peak at 69! Shhhhh!) as we planned the show we expected that we would probably pull about the same number. The Improv seats 300 and so we fully expected that half to 2/3 of the theater might be empty, but we’d still pull a pretty good audience. I’ll be frank, the thought of a small audience in comparison to size kept me from getting to nervous about the whole thing. To me it was going to be a regular show in a different theater.
I was wrong. We were all wrong.
When The Improv has a big show they line-up everyone outside in front of the building. They make a break for the doors of other businesses and guide the line back toward the parking lot. They have to do this for crowd control on all of their big acts.
They also had to do it for us!
I arrived at the theater and saw the line wrap all the way around and into the parking lot! It was amazing! I cannot put into words the level or amount of gratitude that I feel for all of the folks who came out to see the show! The theater was about 3/4 full, over 200 people according to folks that we spoke to after, which was way beyond expectation! I also cannot describe how shit suddenly got real and, for the first time in a while, I got nervous. Really nervous.
The show was tight and fun and funny, like it should be, and hopefully I’ll be able to post pictures and some video we got as they get up loaded.
Because of the fantastic turn out we have been asked back! Mark your calendars for Thursday Sept. 17th! It’s gonna’ be awesome!
See you tomorrow!