Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Comedy, Nottingham and MissImpery

I can't help it, but I'm ridiculously excited.

MissImp (the improv group of which I'm a member) does two shows a month and tomorrow evening, midweek comedy in Nottingham takes a turn for the ridiculous as we play Nottingham's Glee Club. Glee is a tremendous venue, and it's an exciting place to play, but what's really exciting is that we have no idea what's going to happen.

I think this is why I love improvising so much. Whilst you can work a lot on your technique (yep, there really is more to improv than just showing up), on the night you really never know where audience suggestions are going to take you. You could end up singing a love song to a shark, having inappropriate relations with a former Prime Minister or, knowing our regular audience members, something a lot filthier.

If you're near Nottingham, come along. Just click here to book.

If you're not near Nottingham, have a look at this genre rollercoaster from Trilly and Carl. They have to perform a scene but when the bell rings they have to change to one of the tv, film or theatre styles suggested by the audience. This is one of my favourites:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

To Hell WIth What People Think

When you're 14 and trying to fit in, the last thing you want to be is different. I remember desperately wanting to fit in at school and doing a spectacularly bad job of it. I was bullied for the strangest things and in the end I decided I simply didn't care anymore and so, much to the gasps of my "friends" I decided to try out for the school play. It was the best thing I could have done because, without questions, that school production of Annie was the highlight of my time at secondary school. (Before you ask, I played President Roosevelt, not Annie... although by that stage I'd have taken on the latter role because I really didn't care anymore).

Sometimes I believe you should say "screw 'em" and do what you want without a care for what anyone thinks. This is especially true when that thing doesn't harm others and gives you a sense of joy and purpose.

Take this guy and his series of YouTube videos - it's not what most guys his age are doing and, sure, it marks him out as different.

You know what? Keenan Cahill has over 17 million YouTube views, has been on national television and has a loyal following... just by posting some videos of him messing about doing something he loves.

Keenan has become such a hit that rapper 50 Cent has performed with him... on YouTube... and they made the video in the same bedroom Keenan always films his videos in. This now has over 20 million views

Keenan Cahill is so popular artists search him out as they know it's great promo for them (search for the David Guetta megamix he's done).

The media, "opinion formers" and institutions all around the world can sometimes conspire to stifle who we are. Sometimes it's a very good idea to say "to hell with what people think" and go and do something that brings us real pleasure. I think that's the path to real success and Keenan Cahill is living proof of it.