Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas at the Club

We had our Christmas gathering at the club last night. I’m trying to recall whether I’ve missed one since I started performing. I don’t think I have, which means last night’s extravaganza was my 11th.

I’ve performed at the club only sporadically over the past few years. I’m there just enough to avoid letting go completely, and though I’ve had thoughts of doing so in the past, I really don’t want to walk away.

Improv will probably never be quite the thrill it once was for me. I think that’s the natural course of things, especially for someone who abhors the ruts that form over the course of one’s existence. I sometimes question whether I even enjoy performing THAT MUCH, or if it’s just about the people with whom I perform.

Man, have I met some fun, smart, talented people through improv.

So what happened at the club? Why isn’t everyone still down there 3 weekends a month? Over time, our crowds diminished, most of us were slighted in some way, we moved to the next step in our lives, and we started to come around less (or quit altogether). I won't go into the missteps along the way.

Last night, there was very little of the “old guard” in attendance. That’s the state of affairs. However, for the first time in many years, there was a huge dose of new blood. Eight new players were in attendance (another five could not make it). Most of them have theater experience. I played with four of them last Friday. They had played 13 shows collectively. Their improv skills are raw, but they had energy and stage presence—which means they have potential.

The nostalgic side of me saw the eight of them sitting there in their little group, making each other laugh, and I thought maybe—just maybe—they can inject some life back into the club.

For the record, I picked the first gift…a Vivaldi “concertos for the flute” CD. Since that was voted “worst gift”, I ended up with the bonus gift—a DVD of George Carlin’s last HBO special. I feel better now.


Unknown said...

The Christmas parties at the club were always a good time, the boss seemed to always put out a good spread plus it was fun sampling all the pot-luck dishes. Of course the gift exchange was the highlight of the night. Some memories included an underage Brad getting a bottle of champagne and saving it until he was 21. It was also a haven for regifting. And who can forget Pete always had a bottle of some hard stuff that we passed around, I think that made the gift exchange all the more fun.

JJSKCK said...

Even though things have changed (a lot), Chinese Christmas was still a lot of fun. I've just come to grips with the fact that nothing at the club will be quite like it was, and in a lot of ways that's a good thing. I don't miss getting home at 3:30am at all.

Joe said...

Wow - 11 years?! I remember when you first started. And I saw that raw potential, like you're seeing in the new crowd.

I think the greatest gift I got I used to re-gift at Hughes' wedding!


JJSKCK said...

Yeah, funny how time gets away. And yeah, still trying to figure out what this "potential" stuff means.