New York People: Check Out my Improv Show This Sunday

April 17th, 2012 by |

Bit of a personal history lesson to start this off. Years back, I went to college at the Rochester Institute of Technology. By the end of it, I was in kind of a depressed rut. I lost interest in my degree a long time ago and the hardest classes I had to take part in had incredibly little to do with what I was working towards. This was right around the time when David asked me to start writing on this site and that helped me out mentally more than he’ll ever know, which is one of the many reasons why he’ll always have my friendship and loyalty.

Once I was done with RIT, I was in a bad spot where I had no prospects and no direction. A high school friend of mine, Roger, invited me and some others to check out ASSSSCAT in New York City at the UCB Theater. UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) is an improv comedy organization that’s been in NYC for years with the main attraction being an improv show called ASSSSCAT, featuring the same people who spun UCB into its own Comedy Central skit show for three seasons. Otherwise known as “Amy Poehler and those other dudes” to your average Joe. I went to a couple of ASSSSCAT performances and even got to see Jack McBreyer there before he hit it big. It was a blast and it was brought to my attention that they had their own improv school. It was something I thought would be great for me, but in my current situation, it wasn’t viable by a long shot. I didn’t have a job and no way was I going to be able to take care of the cost of both the classes and the constant trips into the city (I live about an hour away).

Eventually, I got a job at Barnes and Noble. It was something I figured was going to be incredibly temporary, but I was surprised by how much I took to it. Something about the people and the atmosphere of the place washed away the funk from my latter days of RIT and I’ve stayed there ever since. It made me feel content for the first time in years and it’s always been good to me. Still, in the beginning, I didn’t feel financially comfortable enough to do the UCB thing. After a short while, the idea faded away, completely forgotten.

My brother Geremy never lost his faith in me and surprised me last Christmas by revealing that he had enrolled me in Improv 101 at the UCB Training Facility. I was overwhelmed that he never forgot and I agreed that it was definitely time to get my ass into gear. Every Tuesday, I’ve been hitting the city for eight sets of three-hour classes as taught by experienced improv comedian and eerily chill guy Tim Martin. Other than attending class, I’ve also been tasked with seeing at least two UCB improv shows, most of which are free for me, so that’s some homework I can get behind.

I’ve been having the absolute time of my life and I’ve enjoyed learning alongside my other classmates (plus there’s a 4:1 female-to-male ratio, so giggity and all that). I’m already set to sign up for 201 and go as far with this as I possibly can, hoping to be all that I can be on the comedy front. With my time with 101 winding down, we have a big graduation performance thing coming up. The way it’ll work is that the class will split into two groups. Each group performs for about 20-25 minutes. Someone in the crowd says a word and someone in the group steps forward to tell a monologue about that word. Then once that’s done, skits happen off the cuff loosely based on the ideas from that story.

The show is on Sunday, April 22 at noon at the UCBeast Theater. I have friends and family planning to check it out, but if there are any readers out there in the area who have nothing going on that time of the day, by all means check it out. It’s only $5, so that’s not bad. Just keep in mind that there are two different UCB Theaters in NYC and this one is at the East Village. 153 East 3rd Street, to be exact.

If not, that’s cool too. I’m trying to have the thing filmed and put on YouTube. Unless we suck completely, in which I’ll just have the camera burned and buried at sea.

It’s time to prove to your friends (and readers) that you’re worth a damn. Sometimes that means dying (on stage). Sometimes that means killing a whole lot of people (with laughter).

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7 comments to “New York People: Check Out my Improv Show This Sunday”

  1. I will be there.

    *prices a ticket from Florida*

    I’ll be there…in spirit.

    Good luck, Gav.

  2. Wish I could be there, but congrats and good luck! UCB kicks ass and so do you!

  3. I feel bad, because I’m not so far from NYC that I couldn’t make a day trip, but now isn’t really a good time for me to be doing something like that. Sorry. That said, I hope you knock ’em dead. Don’t take this as an insult to your employer, since you’ve said you like it there, but you can do better than retail. You absolutely have the talent to succeed in comedy. Get out there and do it, man.

  4. You’re gonna kill every rat-bastard one of them, Gavin.

    Good luck, man. Even though I don’t think you’ll need it.

  5. Unfortunately, I cannot attend. But I wish the best for you. Break a leg.

  6. Get both of your legs blown off then hook up with a symbiote!

  7. I would pay to watch your show!

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a renewed US visa yet. Good luck, G!