IO West Harolds: Fast, Fast, Super Fast

Sticks author: Steve

I’m in LA where my pasty, puffy skin is burning. It’s like our hot denizen of outer space has something against the English and is making an example of me. Whatever sun! You may be big and important to photosynthesis, but you can’t deter me from gazing up in wonder at smog!

Also, and this is impotent. I am trying to write this on an iPad so there may be a few damn you autocorrect moments. Forgive me! I’m nude at this.

I am out here on very exciting business that I can’t talk about, but rest assured that it has nothing at all to do with me being a US Navy Seal. It’s more in the genre of jobs that people like me do. So if the Navy Seals are in the genre of Tom Clancy books, I am the equivalent of Judy Blume and not the sexy stuff like Are You There God It’s Me Margaret.

Speaking of sexy children’s books, The IO West theater is here with me in LA! It’s in a place called Hollywood that comes up every now and then in America. I was able to see a Harold each from The Cartel and Local 132.

I went with a group of advertising-type friends. It is the second time I have dragged a few of them to a Harold. Enjoyable fun the first time and this time for them. It’s funny the pressure I feel for it to be funny for them. I feel like it’s a very specific interest of mine and the beauty of improv may be something that not everybody digs. Especially a Harold!

But both groups had it all under control. They were sharp and clear and very funny. I found the group games to be particularly smart for both teams.

And the speed! Holy crap. Maybe 15 minutes each. Scenes were crazy fast. To me, as we have been discovering in our rehearsals, speed helps. I might have wanted some of the scenes to breathe a bit more, but the pace was very close to right for an audience.

One note on the opening. We tend to use a monologue. It’s a strength of our group across the board and I am more convinced than ever that it is the right way to go. Both of these teams used more of the living room, group discussion opening and while it worked for me, the folks I was with didn’t know what the deal was. They couldn’t follow it and then had trouble seeing the connections drawn from it into the beats.

Onward! I’d go to IO West or Chicago or East again.

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