Apparently a week was all the time I needed to go from being insulted by the idea of doing an improv show to desperately needing to do an improv show. Every Saturday night at 10, a group called Edmund Serves Coffee does an improv show at the Second City space in Hollywood. It’s an alumni show featuring people from the various Second City stages and touring companies, and usually 2-6 alums show up every week. I’d heard that the audiences weren’t exactly busting down the door, so I wasn’t particularly eager to play when asked last Saturday.
The week that followed, I did play Armando, but there were a lot of people playing and I definitely held back and while I enjoyed the show, I didn’t really have that much fun playing. As the week went on, and I became a little more homesick – especially missing my built-in social network I had while on the mainstage – I became eager for Saturday to arrive so I could do the show.
And so I did, last night. It was former mainstage castmate Brian Galllivan, former Valhalla teammate Sarah Gee, former ETC cast member Andy Cobb, and me. And, to my delight, a 3/4 full, energetic audience. Our show was not only funny, I thought, but also a good improv show, and by that I mean that if those were all students in the audience, we provided a good lesson to them. We improvised more slowly and patiently than I think I ever have on any Second City stage. And the audience was with us the whole time.
I know not all Edmund shows will be like that, but I’m grateful that one was. I needed it. When you’re used to improvising 6 nights a week and then you don’t for 2-3 weeks, a fear sets in that maybe you’ll forget how to do it. I guess the trick out here for me will be to not let the dust settle for too long. You know, nothing a Swiffer can’t get to.