My mind is blown!
The allure of live performance is the very real possibility that anything may happen. Taylor Swift dissing Katy Perry on stage; a comedian putting a heckler in their place; watching how Tiësto pushes the Play button this time in another six-hour “concert” of pre-recorded mixes. These things set apart a live performance experience from a .mp3 file or DVD or whatever it is that Tiësto does.
So when I’m doing a show at a club or theater or chemical weapons disposal facility, I like to stray from my prepared material to let the audience “watch what happens live,” in the words of TV network Bravo. Seems more fun for them (and me, too) this way.
Recently, I began attending a comedy/acting/improvisation workshop taught by longtime Hollywood improv wizard, Michael Chain. “Spontaneous Comedy,” as Chain calls it, was simultaneously intriguing and scary to me as a performer. I could have the freedom to be in the moment and do whatever, but without the security of returning to any material I had previously written. It is the tightrope walk I’ve always been doing on stage, but with higher stakes and without a net. And over a pit of sharpened sticks covered in Sriracha Sauce. In a tornado.
Imagine Saturday Night Live without a script. That’s sort of what we are doing every week in the Chain Comedy workshop at Aces Comedy Club in Murrieta.
Chain will have us get on stage, then hit us with a scenario or situation. We’ve got maybe a second or two before we launch into the comedic unknown. In this clip, I find out I’m running a specific type of restaurant, then immediately thrown to the wolves with Rocky Osborn and Zeph:
Without warning, I find out I have to be an annoying child, much to the dismay of my friend Anita Milner:
And here’s a look at Billy Cowart, Mike Lowry and Renée Brown finding out what happens when you try to communicate with someone who can’t speak English:
It’s a workshop. It’s a show. Okay, it’s a… WORKSHOW! (Did I just make a new word?) Come on by and have a great time watching comedy being born. If the mood strikes you, we welcome you on stage, too! You won’t get that at any other kind of live performance… see if Tiësto lets YOU push his play button during his DJ “concerts.”
We’re having so much fun on Mondays… you should be there too!
Big props to my fellow Chain Gang member Rick Calvert for editing these clips. For more of these videos with the rest of the gang, visit Rick’s YouTube channel.
Spontaneous Comedy happens every Monday night at 7pm
Aces Comedy Club
39745 Avenida Acacias
Murrieta, CA 92563