Make others look good. This loving maxim lies at the the heart of improv comedy and our Baltimore performing arts community. How do we place ourselves with partners who we can support and who will support us in turn? Impossible you say!
We know someone who does think it's possible! Improviser and improv coach Justin Brashear created a new opportunity for us to come together on the same stage! Just as the earlier paragraph foreshadowed. Justin produces a new show called The Kaleidoscope. Read on for a transcript of our discussion.
Tell us all about your new show. How might you describe it to someone who knew nothing about improv?
First of all, I must say that I did not conceptualize this show. The Kaleidoscope was created by Alan Starzinki and he was gracious enough to let BIG present it. I do love the idea so I’m very excited to run with it.
The Kaleidoscope is a show in which two team captains build one-time-only dream teams comprised of improvisers they admire. There’s a small catch: those picked should have never been in a show with the team captain. Although, each team captain may have one “comfort pick” as part of their team. We also will have a different monologist each month to inspire the teams.
To someone who knew nothing about improv? I’d say, The Kaleidoscope is a show where a bunch of people are making up stuff with people whom they don’t usually make stuff up.
(Editor's Note: The Kaleidoscope creator Alan Starzinski from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater will be at BIG on Saturday, November 3rd from 3-6pm, running his 'First Thing's First' workshop. Tickets are only $25! More info/registration here!)
For the more knowledgeable improv crowd, what do you hope they’ll take away from the show.
I hope they take away a desire to be picked by a team captain! Who wouldn’t want to be on someone’s dream team? But seriously, It’s pretty cool to see how different one team is from another. I’m hoping people will appreciate that as much as I do.
What’s your favorite improv game and why?
Maybe this isn’t a game but more of a warm-up but I love Follow the Follower. I’m not sure if there is a better way to activate group mind than to really go all out and match each other.
Improv game? Mind Meld. I’ve taught this game to so many non-improviser friends and it’s always a hit.
What was a memorable show that you were in the audience for? What made it memorable and what did you take away from it?
I remember being very impressed with Georgetown University’s team when they came up for the March Madness shows we had earlier this year. They were so young but seemed like pros. I remember marveling at their ability to focus on one funny thing per scene. It helped me remember how important that is.
What fictional place would you most like to go?
Heaven. It sounds great.
What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?
View our calendar and ask our staff about the next performance of The Kaleidoscope. You can also find Justin on our Baltimore Improv Group stage every Friday with team Old City.
Various BIG members and friends contribute to the blog. Enjoy!