by Andy Dudas
Improv, you say? To which we respond with a resounding, “YES and…!” DIVA has founded “the Department of Improv” and is in the process of finishing up our professionally led workshop and preparing for our inaugural performances. Seven weeks from now our ‘locally sourced’ comedy troupe will make its debut.
Throughout this process, I am beginning to see the art of performing in a new light. Virtually all of my stage experience, meager though it is, has been scripted. Talented playwrights and librettists with heaping amounts of creativity put word/music to paper and I simply spat out those words and notes in a way that I hoped did them justice.
I think I have decent stage instincts and comedic timing, but those two things have always been framed within scripted dialogue. To use just a bare-bones outline for a scene with just a few suggestions from the crowd…can feel intimidating at times. But in the moment, in a scene, onstage…when you feel yourself in the zone, that’s a confluence of creative energies that is quite unique. And I am finding those moments happen multiple times a night.
But I am human after all. And we don’t even technically know how we will be received by the community. Is this something that will work? Can we make a go of this? The artist in us says we try anyway. The artist in us says creating is important. But are we going to be any good? Am I going to lay a big giant egg? The worrier in me says, ‘I think so’ to the former and ‘God, I hope not’ to the latter. The truth of the matter is during our workshop we are cracking each other up non-stop. We are learning both as individuals and as a company. Which is just a nice metaphor for life in general: never stop learning things and about each other.
The impending disaster or epiphany that is always boiling just beneath the surface creates an atmosphere that at its core, is what DIVA is all about: genuine creativity. To watch people in the moment create something quite literally out of thin air never fails to impress.
What are that person’s background and influences to make those choices under the pressure of being in front of a live audience in such a way that gives their fellow performers and the crowd continuity, context, and usually comedy? Watching a performer struggle with and then conquer a problem in less than a second or two, is as satisfying for the audience as it is for the performer(s).
Getting random suggestions from members of the audience, community involvement if you will, is often a staple of Improv and in a way, another cornerstone of why DIVA exists. To bring people together to enjoy Art and each other. To come together in the same space and create.
Please consider joining us for a night of never before performed material, conceived and made up right before your eyes! Coming first Fridays at 7pm and 9pm to downtown Richmond, IN. More details about the Department of Improv will be available very soon. Tickets will be available soon!
Andy Dudas 8/17/2018
Andy has interests varying from painting and singing, to photography and prop making. Pretty much anything that has a creative element. Amateur status in all endeavors, he finds art everywhere he looks. Always seeking his next inspiration.