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Author Topic: Improv people  (Read 1882 times)

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Rillion

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Improv people
« on: December 05, 2009, 01:53:20 PM »

Listening to NPR right now, This American Life.  They're interviewing a guy named Charlie from Improv Everywhere.  Basically what these people do is plan performance art stunts in public places.   Charlie says it's to make life more interesting for people, give them an unpredicted part of their day that they'll appreciate.  He makes it sound like they're following some grand mission.  

One example of what they did was The Moebius.  The group planned it out to happen in a Starbucks, to sort of make fun of the repetitiveness of what life is like there.  A couple goes in, gets in line.  The girl opens her purse, and the guy sees cigarettes in it and picks a fight about her smoking.  She storms out and he goes after her, calling her name.  Another guy sits at a table reading.  He knocks over his drink, gets up, and runs to get napkins and cleans it up.  Another guy gets up to go to the bathroom, notices the line is too long, complains, and goes back to his seat.  Another guy enters through one door of the Starbucks carrying a boombox playing "Shiny Happy People."  He dances through the shop and exits through another door.  The group repeats these actions at the same time in a loop, 12 times total.  Eventually people start to notice and comment.  They wonder why the anti-smoking guy bothers to chase after his girlfriend again and again.  They start to form theories about why the same things keep happening.  After 12 cycles, the group gets up and leaves.  

Another example is Ted's Birthday.  The group decides to go to a bar and pick a stranger, and pretend it's his birthday.  They decide his name will be Ted, and each plans ahead what his or her relationship is with "Ted."  In actuality, "Ted" turns out to be a shy college student named Chris who is freaked out by the whole thing.  He doesn't understand why these strangers are talking about their common history together.  He shows them his driver's license, but they laugh it off and encourage him to accept gift cards and free beer.  He tries repeatedly to leave, but they keep offering "Ted" more drinks and begging him to stay there.  Chris keeps thinking that eventually the real Ted will show up and want to know why he's hanging out with his friends, accepting their gifts.  He goes home confused.  The gift cards are there the next day, but Chris sure isn't going to use them.  The next year about the same time, Charlie calls Chris, refers to him as Ted, and says he wants to celebrate again. Chris does not call him back.  

Cool concept?  Pretentious excuse for fucking with people?  Your thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2009, 02:04:34 PM by Rillion »
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Zat

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Re: Improv people
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2009, 02:10:58 PM »


Cool concept?  Pretentious excuse for fucking with people?  Your thoughts?

Either one is okay with me.
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fatcat

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Re: Improv people
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2009, 07:19:36 PM »

Pantless subway ride! In Winter!

[youtube=425,350]9La40WwO-lU[/youtube]

There are plenty of misguided and downright dumb attempts at ImprovAnywhere, but I appreciate anything that breaks up the insane monotony of standard social convention.
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Bill Brasky

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Re: Improv people
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2009, 11:07:51 PM »


Cool concept?  Pretentious excuse for fucking with people? 

Both. 

For me, it depends on the depth of these guys.  How they view themselves.  If they have a nose-up, avant garde elitist snobbery that goes along with it, they're no better than the people they're trying to elicit a response from. 

John Lennon used to bug me bigtime when he was in the depths of his elitist phase, we're so mind-expanded very few can comprehend the depths of our art, which came across as a bunch of idiotic wailing from his gerbil-minded concubine.  Just admit it, you're publishing abstract crap, and the people who "get it" are full of as much shit as you.  The first time I heard Ummagumma by Floyd, I wanted to rip my fuckin' hair out, and all these people were diggin it.  I was like, get over yourselves.  This is horse shit. 

Not saying the acting troupe are at that level, because I get it.  Its cool.  But if they have that elitist self-perception, it bugs me, and they're probably dicks. 
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Robin

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Re: Improv people
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2009, 02:27:33 AM »

i like Improv Everywhere, nothing like a good old fashioned freakout.
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But now I'm on a mission to mend. Everything that broke and make it glisten again. Strip down, redesign, construct, and improve. While the rest procrastinate I'll be making my move.

davann

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Re: Improv people
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2009, 03:43:49 PM »

I like "Scare Tatics" better.
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