Improv is a family art form.
I don’t mean Family in the ‘Channel’ or ‘Fun for the Whole’ way- although I strive for the contrary, when you put a bunch of adults on stage without a script shit’s gonna get blue. What I mean is that, unlike any other form of Comedy, Improv fosters on- and off-stage relationships that don’t occur with stand-ups or regular actors. Because we’re all complicit in live creation we have to trust and love each other during a show, and that respect often comes with us when the house lights come up.
Six years ago, while on my first Fringe tour, I met a group of improvisers in Winnipeg. I first saw them doing a scene (I think about ballet) in one of the Fringe beer tents and was immediately jealous and in awe. Improv was something I’d done for years and had performed competitively and very seriously in high school, but it had never occurred to me that I could do it as an adult. I don’t remember specifically meeting the team in question but we became fast friends and at the end of the week they invited me to jam with them. That group was named Uncalled For and that jam touched off a personal and professional friendship that has grown and strengthened despite the hundreds of kilometres that separate us.
This week I have the extreme pleasure and honour to join Uncalled For for a third time in their mindbogglingly intelligent, funny, joyful, creative extravaganza called Hypnogogic Logic at the next Stage Theatre Festival here in Toronto. If you’re reading this then you know Sex T-Rex and I absolutely guarantee that if you like what we do, you will LOVE this show.
Simply put, this is the finest material by some of the finest minds in Canadian comedy.
We open tomorrow. You can get tickets here