Welcome back to our Show of the Week interviews! We may of taken a break for a good few months due to lockdown and the pandemic but we are back! There is a slight change to the article though – we will be celebrating both Online shows as well as ones in theaters to accommodate the constantly changing way of the world at the moment which is great because there is so much talent and exciting shows happening in both worlds!
This week we are talking to Donovan in Brooklyn New York who has managed to produce a whopping thirty shows online! Due to the fact that a lot of the industry has been relying on this as a medium I had to find out all about them.
Hello there tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi everyone. I am an actor, performer and writer. I also do a lot of film making as well. I am from Brooklyn, NY. I enjoy watching movies, working out and reading in my spare time. I’m big into science fiction and horror. Each day I try to work on my craft. I just try to enjoy life as much as I can.
Tell us all about the project that you are bringing to the online world at the moment?
On the schedule are a few events. Coming up is Improvised Science Fiction Movie, Inspired by Superheroes! An Improv Show, Improvised Wrestling Show and Improvised Reality TV Episode. I also have October planned as well. Looking to do some spooky type shows.
What times does it run throughout the day?
Show times vary. However, I usually do Saturdays at 8pm EST or Sundays at 1pm EST. I have also done shows on Tuesday and Friday nights. But the weekend is usually when I am able to do shows.
How much does it cost what platform etc?
I believe $14.99. Since that is the cost for Zoom. So far, I have only used zoom for my shows.
How was the project formed?
At the start of 2019 I started to run shows in person at The Peoples Improv Theater. When we get to March and the start of the pandemic, I had run 27 in person shows. Improv, Variety, Character, Solo and Sketch shows. When the pandemic first started, I took a little break from Improv. Well a few days or so. My friend who I co-created the New Improv Order with would get me to do jams and be coached online. After a week of a break I was hooked again. I did my first online shows in early April. The first one was for The Armory. My Birthday was April 17th and I soon realized I wanted to do my Birthday Show. It was supposed to happen in person. So, on April 17th I did my Birthday Zoom Variety Show. It was my first event streamed to my Youtube channel. I soon realized that I liked this format. I could do whatever type of show I wanted. After that I was hooked.
How has it been going so far?
It has been going good so far. Each show I learn something new and try something new as well. I also feel like each show gets better than the last. I have a good format I am using and I have passion for each show. So, it is fun.
You have produced over 30 shows online! What have been your favourite ones?
I will give my top 5 list. In no real order.
Continue That Story! An Improv Show!
Improvised Nintendo Show
Improvised Seinfeld Episode
Pants the Variety Show
Captain Ego Space Adventure Diaries
What have been the hardest to produce and why?
Maybe the Continue That Story show. Only because it requires me to find an old short story that improvisers can continue. I have a lot which can be hard sometimes.
How do you rehearse for an online show?
For the most part we don’t. A lot of my shows are made up of mash up teams. Meaning performers who may not get to play with each other all the time. However, I have met most performers either online at other shows or in real life. They can all play with anyone. Which I really enjoy because now I get to easily play with performers from India, California, Canada, Europe and many other locations.
With everything happening in the world at the moment, why is it so important to have activities like yours available?
People really enjoy them. Both the performers and people watching. I think it is a fun escape for an hour and fifteen minutes. I think that is needed. We are all going through something. These events give you the chance to be silly and have fun. A lot of people tell me that my events are really helping them. That means a lot to me. I just do it because I love doing them. If they can help people smile in these hard times, then that is awesome as well. I think we need more of that.
What are three things you have learnt about adapting to improv online?
1) Improv works online.
2) I always had freedom in person, but I feel like you have more freedom online. I mean that in terms of producing shows. If you ever wanted to try a strange concept or theme you can now try it online first and see how people respond. I loved testing out new stuff on stage before, but now I like the online stage being the first test so to speak.
3) Different show types work online. If you think it won’t work, I bet it will. It is awesome how many new types of shows you can try online.
Even when shows are back in theatres in the future will you be considering doing any more online content?
I would like to. I think it will be a mix for a while. Even if I did one or two online shows a month. I also think once theatres open it will be a slow open. Most people I have talked to don’t want to rush out just yet. We will have to know it is fully space before we start crowding spaces. So, I think that will take a bit. But yes, I like to keep doing online shows. Even if it is less.
What can people expect over the next few weeks from your project?
Just more fun and silliness. I love doing new themes and concepts. I have a list of over 15 shows I like to do. Plus, I have a bunch of new concepts and ones that will return.
Can people get involved and perform in your shows? If so, how do they apply?
I always love having new performers.
Here are a few links of mine.
You can message my Facebook page if you are interested.
You can message me on Instagram.
If people want to find out more about you on social media where shall they visit?
Those are the two main platforms I use.
Finally why should people get involved?
I think because it is fun and you get to meet new people. Because of all the shows and jams I have done I have been able to meet so many awesome people. The online performance community is amazing. Once you get involved the opportunities are endless and fun. Besides all the shows I have run I have also appeared on many other shows, podcasts and improv jams. But also making connections with all these new people is the best thing. Now when I travel, I will have been able to meet up with friends who I performed with online. We say to each other that we look forward to the day we can perform together online. I know that day will come. Until then I am happy, I get to do all this fun stuff. That is why people should get involved. Thank you for this interview as well. Looking forward to hearing from new people who want to perform.