27 November 2018
Your palms are sweaty, your power point is on the screen, you’re standing in front of a crowd, about to be judged on your presentation; all eyes are on you. Your knees trembling, heart rate increasing, the stage fright has commenced to drench over your body like a thick syrup; you’ve prepared the entire week for this moment.
The idea of getting up in front of a group to present seems nerve-wracking to most of us, but not to the performers of the Comedy Improv Night who took up the challenge to provide a performance with no prior prep, under a blinding limelight, and all the content provided by the audience, on the spot.
At the Nov. 9 event, performers improvised comedy sketches of topics requested directly by the audience. The performers had no prior preparations for the content that was shared, besides being familiar with the improvisation game rules.
Ryder Tam is a graduate student at UCCS studying Business Innovation, in addition to being the president of the Improv Club, and one of the few performers on stage at Improv Night.
Before the event, he shared that community was one of the things he was most excited for. “I’m super passionate about comedy, I think it’s a way of making people happier, making people’s lives better, and improv is a great one to do that, and I think it’s one that is less explored,” said Tam.
Members of the audience overall were students and friends. This all-inclusive event provided a swarm of laughs.
“I think that’s actually one of the cool things about improv is its run and driven by the audience, which I don’t think any other kind of show does that,” says Tam.
The first game of the night involved the audience calling out a scene, such as flossing, boxing and golfing. With each of these actions, two of the performers had to improvise and say an action that is similar to the action provided by the audience, all while doing that action. The performers would go back and forth until one ran out of ideas and was booed off stage, as is custom. This type of improv requires the performers to be able to think quickly since they are on the spot.
Game two was inspired by a matchmaker game show, where there are three bachelors on the opposite side of the wall to the bachelorette, “Samantha”. She provides questions to the improvisors, who were assigned characters by the audience. From there, she chose her “love match”. These characters included Justin Bieber, a toaster and a basket weaver. The toaster won her love.
Another game performed was called “Emotional Rollercoaster”. The improvisors acted out a scene depicting the relationship of a realtor and a buyer. While two other improvisors performed, the cast would shout out different emotions the realtor and buyer had to switch to regardless of where they were in their scene.
“That’s one of the things I love about improv comedy is you can go see the same people every night and it’s going to be different every night, you never see the same thing twice,” Tam shares.
The Improv club started off as a few students who enjoyed improvisation. From there, Improv Comedy Night came along for the purpose to outreach to students.
There is no experience is necessary to join the club; Tam welcomes all to the club.
If you’ve missed a night of laughs provided by the Improv Club on Nov 9, don’t fret. Comedy Improv Night at Clyde’s is an event provided once a month. In addition, on Dec. 6 the Improv Club will be collaborating with “Improvasaurus: a professional improv team in town”, informs Tam, at the ENT Center in the Osborne Theater.