The Curious Case of Matt Horgan and the Salsa Trio

 

By Travis Sharp

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Photo By Stacey Bode

For many years, Dad’s Garage has had the good fortune to be acknowledged as Atlanta’s Best Improv Group, and sometimes even Atlanta’s Best Theatre Company, by Creative Loafing and its readers. I think I speak for the entire company when I say we are honored every time.

But back in the late 90s and early 2000s, that wasn’t enough. Dad’s Garage, under the questionable guidance of then Artistic Director Sean Daniels, was campaigning to win “Atlanta’s Best Hot Dog.”

Every year, when balloting time approached, we would encourage audiences, friends, and family to go out of their way to submit Dad’s as their vote for “Best Hot Dog.” Each year, unqualified Dad’s Garage would be a close contender in the category.

Out of frustration and good humor, Creative Loafing awarded Dad’s Garage Atlanta’s Best Imaginary Hot Dog in 2001. It was a nice gesture with an underlying message: “Here, you got what you wanted. Now please stop.”

The patient staff at Creative Loafing was onto us. Thus, our attempts to win in unqualified categories in 2002 went nowhere.

So in 2003, we took a different tack. Dad’s Garage was clearly not going to win in an inappropriate category. But who said “Dad’s Garage” had to win?

We set our sites on another highly coveted category “Best Local International/World Music Act.” The plan: score a victory for a world music act that didn’t actually exist.

Thus it was that “Matt Horgan and the Salsa Trio” was born.

Matt Horgan is notable for being exceedingly funny, eating enormous amounts of cured meats, and being one of the least musically inclined members of the Dad’s Garage Ensemble.

The Salsa Trio is notable for being one of our favorite starters at Taqueria del Sol.

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We knew that the good people at Creative Loafing were on to us. So we had to cover our tracks. Anejo Reposado and Erth B. Awesome (portrayed by Chris Blair and me) joined Matt Horgan for a photoshoot involving multiple costume changes. (Thanks Stacey Bode.)

Using those pics, we created a band website complete with albums, bios, a discography, and a tour calendar (I hope you can make our regular gig at the Lilburn O’Charley’s).

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Confident that we had covered our tracks — at least enough to satisfy a cursory web search — we launched our new campaign: Matt Horgan and the Salsa Trio for Best Local International/World Music Act. No offense to any local world music bands, but I get the feeling we didn’t need that many votes to win, which we did.

A week after the Best Of issue came out, Creative Loafing’s Editor in Chief at the time, Ken Edelstein, was coming to Dad’s Garage for a show opening. Matt Horgan and the Salsa Trio “played” on the front porch of the theatre as he entered the theatre. Matt Horgan was playing the only instrument he was qualified to play: he shook an aspirin bottle while Chris Blair and I halfheartedly handled keyboards and guitars.

My favorite postscript to this story: Matt Horgan worked at Turner at the time. Someone in the organization caught wind of “his band’s” Best Of win, and published a congrats in their internal newsletter. So for the rest of his employment there, he had to pretend that he played in a salsa band.

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Dad’s Garage Gets ImprOper

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By Jonathan Spuhler

When I was in college getting my bachelor’s in voice performance a group came in and taught us about improv. The kind of improv they were teaching was geared towards opera and was almost always serious, but I had been watching a lot of Whose Line Is It Anyway lately and I was determined to be hilarious. My first day was the second session of class and to catch me up I got to do a scene with a classmate. As I made every attempt to be funny the room grew awkwardly tense, like everyone knew something I didn’t. The teachers stopped the scene and explained to me that my objective was not to be funny, but to listen. Whoops. My counterpart’s character was an abused child who didn’t want to go home; my unspoken job was to find that out. Oh. While I enjoyed the rest of the series it left me wanting. Could opera meld with improv comedy and birth something new, or was it doomed to take itself too seriously? The idea took a back seat for a dozen years.

Fast forward to two summers ago and my phone rings. Cory Lippiello, at that time the Director of Artistic Planning and Community Engagement for the Atlanta Opera, wondered if I would be interested in an experimental collaboration with Dad’s Garage for their Dad’s Garage and Friends show at the Goat Farm, with Colin freakin’ Mochrie. I’m fairly certain I swore at her. Loudly. I mean, in joy, of course. I wasn’t about to curse the person who just revived an old dream. She let me know that my friend and colleague, Abby Halon, and I would be doing some workshopping with Dad’s to get our improv chops up to snuff. I was more excited and terrified than ever.

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You should all know that behind our classy, stoic exteriors on stage, most of us singers are neurotic and filthy-minded. And by most of us I mean every goddamned one of us. For the most part perfection is the nature of our trade. Well-studied and rehearsed perfection. Jumping into something that was nearly impossible to rehearse went against our training—and was immensely cathartic. This was an outlet, a way to express outwardly that which we had to keep internalized for the sake of propriety. Yes, please.

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Photo By Mike Hillman

Kevin Gillese brought us in with a few improvisors, showed us the ropes, and gave us a couple games to try. Abby and I jumped right in. The fear melted into bliss as we picked up the fundamentals and solidified our plan. By the time the show came we didn’t care that we were sweaty puddles in formal wear, my tux and her evening gown; we were enthralled. Our chosen game, Summer Opera Blockbusters, in which we’re pitched an opera scene and fed typed lines that Abby and I improvised vocals to, was a success. A massive success.

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 Photo by Mike Hillman
Over the next series of workshops our interest and excitement continued to grow as we got to work more with Dad’s Garage improvisers like Travis Sharp and Tara Ochs. At this point the project evolved! We discovered our name (ImprOper) and decided to develop our long form skills, with our first long form set happening on the DG stage at Cage Match. We’re currently pursuing the lofty goal of performing improvised full-length operas. Look out for that!

And that’s not all. The whole month of January 2016 singers from the Atlanta Opera are performing new games with Dad’s in their new space. We’ve seen the Atlanta Ballet get involved and be AMAZING! We’ve even done a scene with them. Improvised opera with ballet. ImprOper opened for the Atlanta Opera’s touring show, Pirates of Penzance, at Shakespeare Tavern; a program called Pints and Pirates.

Artistic collaboration, the kind that revitalizes, is my favorite part of all this. If you think it ends here, that things can’t get any better, then you better hold on to your pants. This is just the beginning of the next era of performance.

 

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Improverinas Take the Dad’s Garage Stage

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Photo by Mike Hillman.

By Alessa Rogers

So a few years ago Kevin Gillese, artistic director of Dad’s, came to the Atlanta Ballet (which may I point out is a very fancy professional organization that holds the distinction of being America’s longest running ballet company—not bad for the South!) and explained this idea of having ballet dancers and opera singers come to join his improv comedy theater.

I had seen Dad’s Garage. I knew they were the shit. “HELLZ YES!” We all signed up. We were so excited. Kevin is infectiously passionate. We were going to be the funniest professional ballet dancers that ever stepped on stage.

But then….no one showed up. Myself included.

Full disclosure: ballet dancers are fucking lazy. Like crème de la crème of lazy. If we are not spending 8 hours a day kicking our legs over our heads you’d better believe we are sitting in front of a TV with a large pizza that is not to be shared even with a starving child and that we are going to bed by 10 o’clock.

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We are lazy. And sleepy. There is no way we are signing up for anything extra.

Fast forward a few years and Kevin and I have crossed paths a few times since then and I always regret having thrown away the opportunity to be a part of Dad’s. I mean who gets the opportunity to learn improv and perform with some of the best that the city (and really the whole Southeast) has to offer?

When the opportunity came again I jumped at it and I pulled along some incredibly talented ballerinas including two dancers who have been featured in Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” (if you are not in the know, this is a Big Deal). What struck me about our first of two workshops before Kevin threw us off the deep end (because he is insane or trusting… I’m not sure) is how meditative improv comedy is. The rules are listening, being in the present moment, supporting those around you, saying yes, not judging your choices… I think I’m in love.

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So here I am at Dad’s Garage Performance One and the audience prompt is “broken ankle” which obviously is superstitious as hell for us. And then the next week Colin Mochrie did a true classical ballet lift with me (in excellent form may I add). And then I lost my pants because I always lose my pants when I am around Toronto people… but that is another story. And the next week Taylor and Barbara and I had a twerking lesson pre-show which consisted mainly of us laying on the floor of the Dad’s green room and humping the linoleum.

Anyway.

Every day on Saturdays I rehearse at Atlanta Ballet 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. This is after an entire week of rehearsing 8 hours a day. Needless to say, I am tired. And hangry. Then I go straight to Dad’s. And I get some fries at the taco truck outside. And a beer. Then another one. And despite whatever happened at ballet that day, it all vanishes when I walk through the door. The nice thing about Dad’s is that the performers are a lot like the performers at AB: besides being passionate and being talented, they are so nice and warm and welcoming and generous and helpful and supportive. I don’t know if it’s because Kevin tells them to be nice to us, but they don’t seem to mind that we have no idea what we are doing, or that the last time I voluntarily saw 1 a.m. was never.

The warm ups backstage are fun and festive and hilarious and never ever the same. There is a sense of celebration and camaraderie. (Even though the ballerinas haven’t been quite brave enough to join in with the full cast yet—when they go out for their opening acts we quietly copy their warm-ups in the hallway, just the four of us bunheads). It makes me think: maybe instead of doing plies and tendus before shows of Nutcracker we should actually be doing “Five Things” and other improv games.

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Photo by Mike Hillman.

The thing about ballet is that I’ve been practicing the exact same step, like THE EXACT SAME STEP since I was four years old. Last week Kevin came in and quickly explained the rules of a new game that the guests from Orlando proposed and everyone was like, “Yeah. Let’s do this. IN FRONT OF PEOPLE.” Despite having never rehearsed. This would not happen in ballet. It’s like saying you’re going to perform the solo from Swan Lake tonight but you’ve never even heard the music. It just would not happen. We probably spend an hour in rehearsal for every minute of on-stage time. But that doesn’t make these improv performers any less professional, any less of artists. It’s just a different kind. And it’s inspiring.

Improv and Anime: The Unholy Union

By Perry Frost

Glomp. Crunch. Yiff. Scritches. Tsundere. Dildo on a Reciprocating Saw.  That was just a sampling of some of the exotic terminology I’ve encountered during a year of performing improv at niche conventions all over the country.  As far as what improv comedy has in common with anime, furries, and dominatrices… your guess is as good as mine… yet it’s undeniable that the organizers of these events love to hire us, fly us out, and sandwich us between more relevant programming.  Skim your schedule at an upcoming fetish convention, and you just might see “Dad’s Garage Improv” between your 7 pm “Titplay Basics” and 10 pm “Pants-Off, Shirt-Off, Underwear-Off, Harness-On Dance Off.”

This blog is a retrospective of my travels into one of these weird convention worlds- Anime!  I have a tendency towards exaggeration.  Fortunately, in the following paragraphs I will have to do very little of it.  Grab some pocky* for snackin’ while you read.  

*Pocky is a slender Japanese breadstick snack dipped in chocolate or other flavors of frosting.  They are packaged exactly like cigarettes but are easily twice as addictive.

DaishoCon – Kalahari Resorts – Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

When I say “125,000 square foot Africa themed indoor water park,” I can guarantee that whatever you’re picturing is not half as awesome as the Kalahari.  Nestled in the cold dead heart of Wisconsin, it steeps you in colorful imagery straight out of the Serengeti—if the Serengeti shared a parking lot with a Cracker Barrel.  Giant fiberglass elephants peeking out of baobab trees with hand sanitizer dispensers halfway up the trunk.  Pensive CEO-style portraits of what seems to be one particular gorilla over and over.  Kind eyes. Mr. Kalahari, possibly? A bar called the Ivory Coast, specializing in $27 sugarbomb drinks with names like “Mango Massacre”

Did I mention an actual REAL BABY TIGER?  I didn’t pet it.  The fee was $20 and I had already spent my per diem on one of those cocktails from Ivory Coast.

(Note: all of this is in the lobby.  I could go on to describe the amenities, which included double beds, local soap, and an entire floor of laser tag, but the goal of this blog is not to make you jealous.)
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The point is, this is obviously the perfect place to hold a convention geared towards Japanese culture.  I’m assuming the DaishoCon organizers called up the place, hung up after “yes, our resort is themed around the continent of A-” and started high-fiving.

In actuality, the DaishoCon crew is a group of college students that have grown the event out of their immediate friend group and into a well-oiled 5,000 person event.  They took amazing care of Travis, Rueben, and I, although they seemed to be under the false impression that we were “cool” or “mattered.” Shout out to Olivia and Emily and Nicole and Cole and a bunch of people I don’t remember because they gave me cheese right after they introduced themselves. Cheese is important there. In fact, within five minutes of us getting our room keys, the DaishoCon crew had whisked us away to a restaurant called the Wisconsin Brewpub where every menu item was swaddled in cheese like the Christ child.  A hurricane of dairy and beer ensued.  Before I knew it I was holding a literal fishbowl of booze over my head and screaming NAAAAANTS IGONYAMA, BAGITHI BABA.  Rueben told me it was for two people, and he’s usually right about stuff so I let him have some.  The circle of life.

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Our job at the convention was twofold- teach panels that intersected nerd culture with improv, and perform shows where suggestions like “Pokemon” or “a giant robot” would be clumsily embraced.  The first show was on Friday in the main auditorium while many con-goers were still in line for their badges, which they definitely needed.  The second, on Saturday in a slightly smaller room called the “Daishotorium,” also the location of the karaoke we hit up every night we were there.  Highlights included Travis mime-playing the pan flute solo from Toto’s Africa with his butt.

During our shows, we celebrated our anime knowledge, which ranged from very little on Travis’ part to borderline encyclopedic on Rueben’s.  Much like the lettuce on a club sandwich, I’m somewhere in the middle.  Our usual tipsy nighttime audience volunteers were replaced by cosplayers who were young enough that they should have been sober but probably weren’t sober.  In a park bench scene, Ezio from Assassin’s Creed and Luigi teamed up to kill Mario at a Quizno’s.  Viva Italia!  We expect to get a cease and desist letter from Ubisoft and Nintendo for spoiling their upcoming merger.

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Our other responsibility was to teach improv at three intimate panels in smaller rooms, with smaller audiences.  There was a heartwarmingly large group of con-goers that showed up to both of our shows and all of our panels- they were rewarded with screams of DIE as we taught them how to play Categories.  The first panel was Improv 101, consisting mostly of name games, word association, and trust exercises.  Another was called “Improve your RPG with Improv,” where Travis debuted a slideshow about why DnD and playing a character in an improv scene are similar.  In both, it’s recommended that you put your character in danger, make sure to “show” instead of “tell” when it comes to your character’s attributes, and mention dicks as much as possible.  Dicks are funny. ™ Dad’s Garage 2015.

The third panel and my favorite was on how to utilize improv in social situations.  Look- the stereotype of the weird, creepy anime fan is a total falsehood.  In fact, con-goers were friendly and kind and easy to talk to, even if the only thing we had in common was the belief that Sailor Moon is better than Citizen Kane.  It’s no secret, though, that niche hobbies of the geeky variety attract people more on counterculture side of things.  In my opinion, the failing side of a social interaction with a big ol’ nerd is often on the non-nerd whose preconceived notions keep them from taking the other person seriously.  “Not normal” alarms start going off in their head and shit gets awkward.  Because of that, we tried to equip the people who attended the panel with some improv-style social hacks like listening, making your scene partner feel smart, and accepting offers.  We also pointed out that a big improv no-no is actually a huge boon to good conversation- ask questions!

Finally, Rueben went over a technique that gets him huge laughs and makes him lots of friends- take your shirt off.  Go ahead.  Maybe start unbuckling your belt before the lights go down.  Lights didn’t go down?  You’re not going to lose THIS game of chicken.  Rip those pants clean down to your knees.  Tease your boxers down like an inch and revel in the screams.  Show some trunk, who gives a fuck?

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As we were deported back to Georgia for public indecency, I looked back in quiet reflection at the weird Japanafrican funfest we had been inexplicably featured at. Anime and improv are strange bedfellows.  I can’t tell you why there is synergy between live comedy and painstakingly hand-animated episodes of Princess Schoolgirl Succubus: Sleepy Love Crisis.  I CAN tell you that whether I’m facing off with a 1000 year old many-armed sex demon like in S1:E45 of PSS:SLC, or whether I’m performing on the brand new Dad’s Garage stage, I’m going to make sure I’m wearing something under my skirt.  Rookie move, Kikyo.  

 

Women in Improv: What high heels taught me about improv comedy

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By J.Hill

High heels! High heels! The group chanted the suggestion in unison. The task of each player was to step on stage and embody a character related to this idea. A woman stepped off the backline, walked on tiptoe and swayed her hips. A man, speaking in a falsetto voice, joined her. It was my turn. I had to stop hesitating and jump out there. High heels? High heels? What does that phrase mean to me? “When I was younger, I said in a voice that I hope sounded both wise and weary, “I wore those damned shoes everyday. Now my back hurts, and I can’t stand straight.” The director stopped the scene and strode toward the stage, saying something along the lines of: Stop trying to be clever. Just say what high heels really mean to you. The point is not to be the smartest. The point is to say what’s true.

Or at least that’s how I remember an improv workshop that took place almost 10 years ago. I was so confused in that moment. The connection between high heels and back pain was the first thing that came to my mind. I wasn’t trying to be clever. I wasn’t even trying to represent any cause. It was just the first thing I thought of, and I went with it. And now the director was telling me that my reaction wasn’t honest. In that moment, he was the arbitrator not only of what was funny, but what was true. I think this moment has stuck with me because what I heard was the director saying my truth was not true, not just that my attempt at funny was not funny.

I suspect that every improviser has moments like this. As a woman improviser, I wonder if it happens more often to women and improvisers from other groups underrepresented in comedy. Improv requires you to exist in the instant and put whatever is on your mind or in your heart out for all to see. When people question your choices in such moments, you can feel vulnerable and misunderstood. So you ask yourself, Could I have made a stronger move as a performer? Maybe the answer is: Yeah, that choice didn’t help the scene. Great! You can make a change the next time around. But sometimes the answer is: That choice was my best choice. It was me.

 

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For me, that moment also illustrates why improv needs voices (and directors) as vast and varied as the human experiences we make fun of on-stage. What happens in our work is a reflection of our lives, so improv has the greatest chance of being at its best when it’s inclusive of all the experiences in those lives. I love that creating it together gives us the chance to explore in an honest way. How can we make space for everyone’s perspectives and hold them as true? Then our job—and by “job” I mean, “the fun part”—is to discover what’s funny about what’s true.

I don’t think one person can represent the scope of experiences a phrase like, “women in improv” encapsulates. I certainly can’t. But my experience as a woman is central to who I am as an improviser and the kind of comedy that I create and enjoy. Being a woman improviser has given me confidence in everything I do in the world and has made me question everything I think I know about the world. And that’s when things are going well. It’s also given me something to appreciate about high heels without needing to wear them.

 

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J. Hill with the cast of “King of Pops: The Musical” … Photo by Annalise Kaylor

Diapers and Dick Jokes

By Taylor Dooley

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I love attention; always have and always will. I love Dad’s Garage. I love being pregnant. And I love to overshare. So imagine my joy and gratitude when the stars aligned a couple of years ago and I got to experience it all — I grew a little lady in my belly and acted a fool in front of hundreds. It was unsettling at first because before being pregnant, I was “Fun Taylor,” footloose and fancy-free. Now I was entering mom zone, which is quite different from dad zone. For the few guys at Dad’s with kids, their image SEEMED relatively unchanged. My image was turned on its head almost immediately, and my improv changed as a result. Okay, it mainly changed because of pregnancy brain which led to nonsensical garbage, but also because every scene partner would anoint me as pregnant. Bo-ring. I did take great pride in knowing that I was the first pregnant performer in Dad’s history (never confirmed) to hit the stage. I fantasized about getting bigger and bigger and then one day splooshing during a Tag Team Monologue (water breaking). It didn’t go that way, of course…damnit. Better luck next time!

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There are two things I observed while pregnant: 1. The audience is at first confused by your shape and wonders if you’re making a lame joke; and 2. Once you’re deemed legit, your improv becomes comedy gold. Now granted, it might have been a series of pity chuckles, but I truly felt unstoppable. I had a laugh track anytime I was on stage, and it was glorious, I tell you. Maybe it wasn’t a pity chuckle… but astonishment. There seems to be a lack of expectations concerning a pregnant woman’s ability to land a fart joke. Pregnancy is serious! The fetus will hear! It’s like when you would see your teacher driving a car. It’s just not on the radar. I get it. A pregnant woman strolling by and smiling is just lovely and seemingly innocent. But her hemorrhoids and the feeling of having her taint fist bumped from the inside are ripe for comedy. A woman with child is a riot!! And conception? Come On… Huh-larious. My husband and I huffed and puffed and afterwards I did a naked handstand while he held my ankles. Birds and bees talk. You’re welcome.

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My daughter Veda was born on December 7, 2013, and I’ve only recently been able to find a way for motherhood and Dad’s Garage to co-exist. I’ve nursed for almost 2 years, which became difficult during scripted shows. I once had to bring Veda to a 6 hour rehearsal. I nursed her in the sound booth a couple of times and set up a pack-and-play downstage right. Kevin was directing and played the role of babysitter that day. Hey- it takes a village/improv company. Another balancing act comes with those blasted 10:30 pm shows. Nope. Not a fan. My daughter didn’t sleep through the night until she was 14 months old, and she now wakes up at 6:30. It was brutal at first and still remains a struggle. Gone are the days when I hang out after shows at bars until last call. Oh well. I need the money for Veda’s butt cream. But it does feel lonely. I do feel left out sometimes. While everyone talks about the new Bob and David sketch show, I just want to talk about how the ugly kid on Mother Goose Club can’t sing and was there really no one else? What I do find bizarre is that my improv buddies almost never see me in the role I play everyday. That’s where Facebook isn’t a waste. It’s there that the Dad’s folks whom I trust more than most and make me laugh more than most get a glimpse of how I spend my days and what gives me the greatest joy of my lifetime. I look forward to exposing Veda to these whackos as she gets older, sooner if Dad’s starts doing matinee improv (pipe dream). I will say the late shows do allow me to tuck Veda in at night. I hold her until she falls asleep, and then I sneak off into the night to make the dick and fart jokes. Ha. Well when I put it like that…how cool is that? I love Veda. I love Dad’s Garage. And I’ve somehow managed to have them both. What a fabulously fulfilling life. Speaking of which- gotta go do another handstand…

Ten Weird Things We’ve Been Asked About Taking Improv Class

  1. I’m really funny. Do I have to take improv classes, or can I just sign up to perform with you guys?

Whoa, fella, slow down! We sure you think you’re hilarious, but it takes some time to develop the skills to play on stage with the Dad’s crew. Whenever you see a really funny person on our stage, know that they spent years honing their craft in class, volunteering at our box office, and probably scrubbing our toilets (we can’t afford a maid). So, unless you are already on Comedy Central, you gotta take improv classes before you can audition to be a “rookie” performer.

  1. Performing scares me! I don’t want to take a class where an audience is going to be watching me. How many people will be watching me in class?

Wait, you think we have audiences watch our improv classes? Sorry to break it to you, but nobody wants to watch you take an improv class. You will not be learning in front of a live audience—except for your classmates. Most improv classes have 8-16 people in them, so there’s hardly enough people to call it an “audience.” Seriously, after about 30 minutes of performing in front of classmates and you won’t worry about the “audience” judging you (unless you are wearing socks with sandals, then we are judging you).

  1. I majored in improv in college! Can I skip to level 4?

You majored in improv? Wow, your parents must be… really proud… of you. So, even if you are the most bomb-ass improviser, you gotta go through all the levels of improv class with us! Sorry! Every theater, school, and club has a different way of performing improv, and you have to learn our ways. It seriously does take 4 levels for us to fully indoctrinate you into our cult, but we promise to make it fun.

  1. Do I need to come prepared with a monologue or skit for class?

NOPE! This isn’t standup comedy, it’s improv! That means we just make shit up on the fly as we go and call it funny! Improv class is great because there’s not really homework, we don’t test you, and all you have to do is show up and have fun.

  1. How many drinks/joints/xanaxes should I have before coming to improv class?

Honestly, probably none. A drink is nice to loosen you up; however, you have to pay attention in improv… a lot. Even if you aren’t talking on stage, you still have to be present in the scene. If you’re so mellowed out that you can’t jump in and have fun, improvising will be really hard. You’re going to get so jazzed up in class anyway, you probably don’t need downers beforehand.

  1. My girlfriend/boyfriend and I signed up for improv class together and we want to take all four levels together because we can absolutely never ever be separated. Is that okay?

We get that you want to take improv class with folks you are familiar with, but we suggest you open yourself up to new people. The more personalities you get to play with on stage, the better you will become as a performer. Sure, we’ll try to put you guys in the same class together, but we don’t make any guarantees. And if you guys break up, please leave the drama outside the classroom, okay?

  1. What this I hear about a showcase? Are you going to be making money off me by selling tickets to my show?

Level 2 and up improv classes usually conclude with a student showcase. This is your chance to show off to your friends what the heck you’ve learned in improv classes. We don’t make money off these showcases (we’re lucky if everyone is able to get their partner/best friend to show up), and this ends up being a low-key “graduation” day with your improv class buddies. You’ll get a few minutes of stage time, we’ll take some pictures, and then everyone goes to get beer! Perfect!

  1. I have terrible incurable stagefright that causes me to uncontrollably shit my pants. Will this be a problem in improv class?

First of all, if you’re that worried, then wear an adult diaper. Second of all, improv class is extremely low-stakes. You’ll get so used to being watched by your fellow classmates that the stagefright will wash away… just like the stains in the back of your pants!

  1. Failure is my enemy. If I fail at improv class I fail at life. Does this mean I can’t take your classes?

There’s a lot of failure in improv. Especially in the beginning when you are just learning the tricks of the trade, you’ll stumble and say/do some pretty stupid things in class. But that’s okay—it’s part of the fun! While we are not replacement for psychotherapy, improv class will definitely help reduce your fear of failure. It’s okay! We all fail, all the time, a lot! You’ll get over it.

  1. I’m signing up for improv class so I can get more tail. Is this a good idea?

Well, studies have shown that funny people make better lovers, but we have no control over improving your game, stud. A lot of people sign up for improv class because they want to have that fearlessness that helps score some dates… and plenty of people say improv teaches confidence for dating… but we’re making no promises. Seriously, have you looked at the people who do comedy? They’re not the most attractive people you’ll ever meet. If you’ve got low standards though…