This week Naffy Improv is proud to have turned our guest slot over to the one and only Conor Allen. Conor is a current member of ImprovBoston's Mainstage, Harold Night Top Shelf Team Rabbit, alter-ego of Gil Sorenzo, and one of the great comedic minds in Boston right now. Everything this guy come's up with is gold, so when we were trying to think of a good way to close out our first month in our new home, we thought why not let Conor do whatever the fuck he wants? Well that's what we did, and that's what he did. Conor went around Boston and assembled one of the finest craziest groups of people ever. We couldn't be more pleased to be playing host to Nils Vaule, Ryan Kiessling, Sara Teague, Burch Simon, Katie Pentedemos, Natalie Wadia and Danny Balel. All of these fine folks were handpicked by Conor to be on his mighty team of comedy avengers. So if you are like us, and cannot wait to see what this turns into, then be sure to RESERVE your FREE ticket for our January 29th show ASAP. We'll see you there!
I saw my first monoscene at the UCB LA theater in West Hollywood performed by Death by Roo Roo when I was 22 years old. Needless to say, it blew my mind. I was fixed. I had no idea what I just saw, but I knew I wanted it. Badly. That is probably where my fascination with UCB started.
Prior to that show, the only improv I saw was around San Francisco, which at that time was dominated by short form and weird puppet stuff. Neither of those styles really interested me. It just wasn't my style of comedy.
Naffy basically does a monoscene, although as of the last few weeks we've added the ability to cut in and out of scenes. But at the core, we just do a monoscene. Over the years I've learned a few basic important rules that I recommend for any group who wants to do it. Here it is. The secret sauce:
There are a lot more subtle things, but I think these are the 3 things that are most crucial to a successful monoscene. Can you break these rules? Of course you can. It's freakn' improv. Go nuts. These are just the usual trends that typically lead to successful monoscenes.
Hey Naffy-fans, we are super excited to announce that this week's show on 1/22 will feature a special drop in from the one and only Sam Ike. Sam will be opening the whole show with a tight five of his best material, and whether you've seen it before or not, you know just how much incredible energy, enthusiasm, and spontaneity Sam puts into all of his work. Sam has performed on the ImprovBoston Family Show and up until last season was a member of ImprovBoston's Mainstage. He currently is the face of the So That Happened talk show, Cambridge's only monthly talk show dedicated to supporting vibrant comedy and local businesses. Sam is also a veteran Stand Up who has performed at the Comedy Studio, and all over the East Coast. We are thrilled to be having this caliber of comedian opening the show.
It's no secret, I'm a huge fan of the UCB theater. Why? Their approach to comedic improv makes complete sense to me. It's how I break down a scene, and is the basis of my scenic decisions. I went through their classes, went to advanced study, and learned from the best teachers there. For me, their approach fits me like a warm apple pie.
For those in the know, the UCB theater is known for focusing on the "game" of the scene. They are also known for having a lot of "rules" of improv. A lot of people hate this. I don't blame them. Their classes are especially adherent to the "game" approach and all of the subsequent rules, like "top of your intelligence" and "if that's true, what else is true." For people who tend to be more "left brainy," this can be incredibly difficult and stifling. For those who are "right brainy," such as myself, it makes complete sense to me.
Personally, I don't think the UCB method is good for everyone. It's good for a certain subset of people. If you take their classes and hate it, then go to another school. It doesn't mean you are bad or anything, it's just simply different strokes for different folks.
Here's a recent podcast from one of the UCB four, Ian Roberts, who co-founded the theater. In this podcast he directly comments on the negative feedback that the UCB gets. It's super interesting to hear his response to all the things I've been hearing all these years. Take a listen!
We're excited to launch our new website! Hopefully this baby will grow over time as the group grows.
It's been an exciting month with the launch of "Your Terrible Ex!" at the riot theater. A big thanks go Joe Gels for believe in us and allowing us to do a financially responsible, free show. The audience turnout has been amazing, well beyond our expectations. From the first test show last October to the latest show this week, every single one has sold out. It's been a ton of fun.
We also really enjoy having all of our guest group friends come on down to good ol' JP! We hope to continue to bring some of the best longform improv teams boston has to offer!