This weekend is the second week of the Green Bay Improv Festival. It is happening at the Green Room Lounge in De Pere Wisconsin and it is probably one of the coolest events that you can attend. So please attend it if possible.
Thanks to improv I have hardly any open weekends. Essentially any weekend that isn’t occupied by stand-up comedy is filled up with Improv. I apparently don’t like free time or just Netflix and Chilling.
I started my foray into improv with the Monkey Business Institute in Madison WI after I graduated college. I wanted to do it because I just wanted more stage time, and I wanted to feel more comfortable on stage. I drove 90 minutes one way every Monday night to practice. After I completed the Level 1 course I moved away from doing improv because of the time commitment that was required and I was starting to get a bit more of a footing with stand-up comedy.
I performed a lot more comedy in the years after I took my first classes. In 2013 I started performing stand-up regularly at the Green Room Lounge where they are more known for their improv and really good drinks than anything else. After the regular stand-up comedy shows they would sometimes have free after shows that were merely shows that regulars of the improv group or stand-up comedians would put on. After seeing these shows go on for a while I decided to get back into the rotation as well. My shows was called 45 Minutes with Tucker Diedrich a show that lasted exactly 45 minutes. A person kept track of time and at 45 minutes the lights went down and the show was over.
My show had games, weird sketches, and improv. I enlisted the help of the members of the improv group to help in putting on scenes. I, being an improv novice, wanted to let them shine more. I would give them prompts to do the scene and then for the most part came into the scene when I didn’t know what else to do.
The shows were super fun to do, but were the worst to put together. I did a game called the Google Feud where I started prompts in google and had the search bar complete the answer. I asked people to guess what the top responses were. For a show that lasted only 45 minutes I probably spent 4-5 hours putting it together over a 3 day span.
I also did the Comedy Vs. Cancer event that the Green Bay group puts on every March. I was a part of the Stand-Up Comedy hour where I along with another way more successful comedian, Nick Vatterott, participated in Improv scenes and games. At this point I had started to become an Improv Rat. I would hang out in the back while regular shows were going on so I had a way better idea of how the shows worked. After the show was done most people were amazed by how I did, but I had to break it to them that I was cheating because I had done improv before and that had been watching a ton of it lately.
I officially joined the group about 16 months ago. Not only that but 12 months ago I started my own group in Wausau. And now this weekend I’m bringing the group that I have been teaching improv to Green Bay to perform with the people that I currently perform with.
It’s a weird feeling. Because for all intents and purposes I probably shouldn’t be teaching people how to do improv. I mean I have a level 1 class and 16 months of actually being in an improv group under my belt. But it’s been really fun watching people get into improv. Just watching them progress and see them catch onto improv way faster than me is awesome to see.
So if you have nothing going on this Friday night come to the Green Room Lounge and watch the HotDog! Improv group perform in De Pere Wisconsin.