Improv 1, Homelessness 1

aka, Habifest show postmortem.

Wednesday night was the Ship of Fools’ performance for Habifest, a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. This was also scheduled to be an outdoor event. Remember how I said that last year’s Relay for Life was ass-butt cold and held outside? Well, last night was similarly (but not quite) butt-ass cold. Fortunately, arrangements were made to have the improv show indoors.

We were scheduled to go on at 8:00 and do an hour-long set. Around 7:40 or so, we were asked if it’d be a problem if someone affiliated with Habitat gave a 15-minute talk before the show. No problem, we agreed. Little did we know that 15 Habifest minutes equals roughly 35 of our Earth minutes. Unsurprisingly, the talk was about the homelessness problem in our society (globally, nationally, and locally), listing all sorts of statistics, how the student population drives up the cost of apartments and puts them out of the price range of low-income families, etc., etc. Nothing like having your improv comedy show immediately follow that sort of buzzkill.

(Yes, I know the whole point of Habifest, and Habitat for Humanity in general, is to address this problem. And I know I probably come of as an utterly insenstive jerk for saying it. But still, from our perspective, the speech could’ve been given at a much better time, as the audience was left somewhat deadened.)

Nevertheless, the show went fairly well. Not as well as the Relay for Life show did, but still pretty respectably. A few slow spots here and there but nothing tanked. My portrayal of Dennis, the D&D player with a level 18 Paladin, in “good/bad/worst advice” got more laughs than I was expecting from the crowd, not that I’m complaining or anything. Maybe the phrase “+3 hamper of urine resistance” is intrinsically funny or something.

Plus, rumor has it that the Crazy Monkeys, the far more established improv group on campus which just so happened to follow our set on Wednesday, got a response from the audience similar to ours. So, we couldn’t have done too badly.

Doubleplus, Wednesday also marked our first attempt at videotaping an actual performance. I don’t know how it came out yet or anything, but we had the video camera perched atop the old-school slide projector in the room we performed in. (When you look at the slides, the slides are looking back at you!)

Tomorrow (Friday) night we have yet another show, this time being held at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church. Hopefully we’ll still have some of the funny left.

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