There is one thing that the london improv scene has done for me – it has made me gain an interest in something I never thought I would have the chance to do and actually be trained in and that is doing tech and hosting at a show.
When I joined the london improv scene this time last year, Hoopla were looking for people to help out with evenings and I went along to the training they provided for volunteers. I went along knowing that I wanted to learn tech and not really do the tickets because my maths isn’t great and I wasn’t that keen on doing things like that in the past.
When I went along I never knew there would be training on how to host a show – and their was and it was something I really wanted to do as I love standing in front of an audience and hosting acts to me is as fun as actually performing comedy as well.
The first night I ever did volunteer work for Hoopla, I was hosting and I was so excited about this I had come up with a concept as to how I was going to warm up the audience! It was of the night of a launch pad so there was lots of acts performing so I had a quite a few bits of stage time to host all the acts.
It’s funny, I expected just to host and improvise as I went but I found myself actually writing jokes to go in the gaps – it was a good place and time to test if I liked preparing jokes and whilst they were very small – it does mean that my door is not closed on one day trying stand up. I came up with a slogan on the spot too which I now use every time I close a show and it seemed to work so going to keep using it.
Two weeks ago I did my first solo tech job and also due to a shortage of people I hosted from the tech box too. Once I had a quick lesson to remind myself of the buttons to press I actually really enjoyed it and even tried to stylise and add some interesting lighting to people’s sets when I see fit.
What I am trying to say with this weeks article is that improv has allowed me to develop skills and so some fun things I never thought was possible. I thought to do lighting for a show you had to be this paid pro, I assumed to host or MC a show you had to be an established comedian – I guess on both counts I was wrong.
Holly – 0 Improv – 1