Friday, January 6, 2012
The Skinny Improv started in the basement of a nice downtown building. It had seating for about 100 with seating in front of the stage and on the sides, with bonus giant pillars that held the building up above us. We appreciated them for their function, but not so much for their blocking of views. Eventually, we moved next door, literally just across the alley. It seemed like just before that we had piled a bunch of old theater seats stored in a barn outside of town onto a trailer, and managed to get them to the theater despite popping a tire and various mice jumping out of the seats. Now, we were moving all of that stuff upstairs and into another place. The new place had giant storefront windows and a lot more space generally. The night we were doing it, we had a good crew there made up of a lot of improvisers, who are not necessarily known for their strength, or ability to stay on task.
We had gotten the rows of the old, cumbersome, and crappy theater seats assembled in front of the windows, when I came up with some couch cushions. Shut up, I carried heavy things too. I tossed them on the row of seats and began to start back when I witnessed something completely out of my control. The couch cushions it the first row of seats, which tipped backwards, hitting, the next row, and the next, and the next, like dominos. All I could do was watch. When the cascading rows hit the last row, it fell backwards hitting the giant glass window behind it. In that instant I thought, “Don’t break,” “Who can I blame this on,” “Good, it’s not breaking,” “Where is Jeff Jenkins (the owner)?”
Then, a loud, thunderous crash broke my inner thoughts.
In an instant the window was down, my eyes got big and I had my hands outstretched in a feeble attempt to portray my real desire to turn back time. Immediately, my eyes moved to the right, through the windows still standing. I made eye contact with Jeff J, and I knew I couldn’t blame it on someone younger than me.
While I was in LA, the Skinny moved to a new space from that one. I was not asked to come back to help with the move. The new place is in another historic building downtown, this time above an Italian restaurant. It is much smaller, which I think makes it better for improv, since improv relies on intimacy with the audience. Tonight was my first night back performing with the Skinny at our theater, and my first night ever doing it in that space. It was really fun, and didn’t take much for me to get back in the flow of things.
At the back of the stage are big, narrow windows overlooking the street.
I give myself until February until I break one.