We love touring Sex, Lies & Improvisation and teaching workshops round the country, especially when we get to visit other improv communities. We’ve noticed that improv scenes usually require someone to do all the boring bits so that the rest of us get to have fun. Let’s celebrate those people with this blog series.
Everybody, these are…The Improv Community Heroes!
Hero Fact File
Name: Jon Trevor
Location of Hero-ing: Birmingham
Jams and Workshops: I run jams once a month, drop-ins every Monday Night and regular weekend workshops. All information at https://birminghamimprov.com.
Troupes: We have shows nearly every Wednesday at 1000 Trades in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Check out the longform group Breakfast Of Champions and Box of Frogs.
Rachel: Tell us about your Birmingham Improv.
Jon: Birmingham is thriving! We have half-a-dozen performing groups, shows nearly every week, a monthly jam, drop-ins, workshops, and of course the biennial Birmingham Improv Festival. The 2022 festival saw 18 amazing shows from world-class improv companies from the UK, USA and Canada.
Rachel: The pandemic did a good job of breaking up communities, including improv scenes. How have you got your scene up and running again?
Jon: We started up with weekend Parkprov sessions outdoors, just to bring people back together again. Eventually we moved to socially-distanced indoor workshops, and reduced-audience shows. The hunger for post-pandemic improv was voracious! Now we are back to normal service, more or less.
Rachel: Good work! What top tips can you offer other improv communities?
Jon: As always, just start. If you have an idea for a workshop, a drop-in, a show, a jam, a festival, any improv initiative, then start. “Build it and they will come.” Of course, not all ideas take off, but you are never going to know which is destined to be your big success if you don’t start…
Rachel: What’s difficult about being an improv community hero?
Jon: I can’t embrace the idea of being a hero. I do what I do because I love the artform, and am evangelical about spreading the joy. But I will confess that my improv addiction has rather taken over my life. At least five nights a week I am either teaching, performing or rehearsing. And that’s before you start to factor all the admin – advertising, organising, website maintenance and all the other chores. But my motto is “I’m a volunteer, not a conscript.” Nobody makes me do all this, I’ve given informed consent 😊
Rachel: And we appreciate that! So what’s the best thing about it all?
Jon: Improvisers! The community of improvisers is just wonderful. If you don’t believe me, come to a BIP!
Categories: Improv, Improv Community Heroes, Interview
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