Some people train their bodies extensively to test their stamina for 26 grueling miles. For 17 years, Heather Moyer has trained for the comedic equivalent - the performance challenge of a lifetime.
From Saturday, Dec. 1 at 8 a.m. to Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1 a.m., MOYERTHON will present a continuous stream of long and short improv performances - and Moyer will be in every single one of them. That’s right: Moyer is performing improv for 17 hours straight. It’s not only an anniversary celebration of Moyer’s 17 years as an improviser but also a way to raise money and champion Baltimore’s improv community. With your support, Moyer will help the Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) take a significant step towards its 2018 fundraising goal of $50,000.
Moyer is one of the founding members of BIG. “It’s so exciting to see how many people we have (in the improv community) now,” she says. “I’ve loved seeing us grow. Creating a safe space with opportunities to perform every night of the week for people from all backgrounds and experience levels is just as much fun now as when I started. It’s a supportive community and a non-competitive environment, and I know lots of generous folks are going to come out for this night.”
To keep up her strength and keep it interesting, Moyer will be joined on stage by some of the region’s most talented performers. Every hour contains fresh material, with new situations and faces to help refuel her creative juices. There will be BIG house teams, indie (independent) teams, special projects, and never before seen bit shows.
Moyer is no stranger to taking improv risks. “I love really ridiculous silly characters and fast paced games and scenes,” Moyer says. “I try hard to make my scene partners look good - to always be someone that people want to play with. Over the years I’ve gotten much more comfortable with my style. Heather with Strangers [a show in which Moyer performs improv with an audience member who’s never done improv before] is so much fun. Every single time, it’s gone well. Watching people realize how great it is to build something on stage, to play make believe, and to realize you have the confidence to do it - on your first try!- brings the magic of improv to life in a tangible way.”
But the Moyerthon will take Heather’s adventurous improv to a new level. "This event is a semi-maniacal twist on a classic improv stunt: the improv marathon,” says Terry Withers, Managing Director of BIG. “Improv theatres often run 12-24 hour nonstop improv marathons, but no one has ever improvised for 17 hours straight! Heather is making history here, and I would say you don't even need to be an improv fan to appreciate the endurance and daring spirit required for this! If you like people putting their necks on the line for what they believe in, I wouldn't miss it."
How will she get through it? With your help, of course! Concerned, generous audience members can donate help for Heather during the marathon - $5 for a Gatorade, $10 to sit in a chair. How much will pep talks, shoulder rubs, and hugs cost as she reaches the peak of improv marathon madness? We’re hoping enough to push BIG closer and closer to its $50,000 fundraising goal.
“I’m super excited - and nervous. I have no idea how to prepare for this,” Heather says. “I’ve never performed for longer than an hour, and I have no idea what it’s going to be like. I will probably feel insane, probably well before the end. There will be a lot of peaks and valleys. Will it be more fun to watch me on my first breakdown, or my fourth? Depends on how weird you’re going to want to get.. ‘cause it’s definitely going to get weird.”
$17 gets you a ticket to all the action. Check the schedule to see when your favorites are on stage, or bring some popcorn and your pillow and settle in for some serious binge watching. To celebrate this accomplishment there will be a party starting at 9 p.m. - not only for Heather, but the entire improv community.
The BIG MOYERTHON is Saturday, Dec 1st: 8 a.m. - Sunday, Dec 2nd, 1 a.m.
Suggested donation is $17. After party is free to attend and starts at 9 p.m.
Additional donations are strongly encouraged. Buy tickets online at www.bigimprov.org/moyerthon.
The etymology of the word 'bingo' is unknown. Unsatisfied, I reached out to Robyn Stegman to at least find out the etymology of her show Improv Bingo Night.
See below for a live transcript of our discussion as it happens.
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