Silverado participates in first in-person improv show


Jillian Garcia

Parker Lumos (to the left) smiles in amusement as Seth Klein (to the right) makes and becomes a funny character right on the spot.

Jillian Garcia, Reviews Editor

After two years of staying at home and trying to keep things rolling through a computer screen, Silverado’s Improv Club finally went to their first show on Feb. 7 to perform at Clark High School, and I got a chance to be a part of it for the first time.

Four days prior to this show, my fellow improv peers and I practiced the improv games we were going to play with the team that we were going to go against in front of an audience. Our advisor, Issac Glover, prepared us by having us practice these four improv games: Radio, Townhall, Scene Translation, and Four Corners. I had no idea what Radio or Four Corners were, but Issac made sure to go over how to play each of them, so that when it came to the actual day of our first show, we wouldn’t be fumbling so much.

To elaborate, Radio is a game that requires several people to stand in a line side by side with each person having an assigned topic from the audience to have a radio channel to act out as. That topic could be anything, and you’d have to make a little show out of it. The host will go down the line of people and switch to a “channel” at any given moment.

Townhall is a game that also requires multiple people to play, but they are to sit within the audience like a town hall. The mayor/host will issue a meeting with its citizens, and half of these citizens will be against whatever topic the audience gives them and the other half will be for it. In this game, it is very important to make up a distinct character compared to your other fellow citizens to not only make it more interesting, but also so others won’t be mixed up with another character.

Scene translation requires eight players that are split into two teams. The first team is given a scene from the audience to act out while the other team is step out while they perform it. The other team is then told to come back out while the first team is to reenact that same exact scene but in gibberish. Taking whatever information they could get from that reenactment, the second team will reenact what they saw in how they interpreted it, but in real words.

Four Corners is a game that requires only four people to play in a four-square formation. There should be two people facing the audience, and with each different pair that faces the audience, they will have a different scene to act out giving a total of four different scenes being played out. The host will call switch to the left or right and a different scene will be played.

When Saturday, the day of the show, finally came along I was quite excited to see how the show was going to turn out. I was absolutely pumped to see my peers perform because I assumed I would just be moral support that day, but when I arrived at Clark High School, I was greeted with an invitation to perform that day. My fellow classmate, Seth, informed me that they needed one more person to perform with them, and since I arrived at the right time, they thought maybe I could be their fourth person.

I was absolutely flustered and anxious because I had never performed an improv show in front of strangers before. I only ever did those performances with my Improv Club classmates. It was pretty visible that I was nervous to the very bone with my uncontrollable shaking and nervous laughing, but all of my improv peers were so reassuring and optimistic about how I would do great and that it was basically like performing during our club meetings. The other team that we were going against were super kind and welcoming as well, including their coach, which just made me feel less nervous about the whole thing.

My teammates (Seth Klein, Nathan Olson, and Parker Lumos) were pretty experienced in these competitions, so I knew I would be in good hands and that the only person I needed to really worry about was myself.

Before it was time to actually perform, we were all told to walk on stage to our once our name was called. I was the first person to be called up, and I just finger-gunned the audience which was a little embarrassing, but I mean we were expected to do a little something once we go on stage to hype up the audience a bit.

The first game we played for our show was Townhall. Our team was told to be for hedges and the other team was told to be against hedges. It was an absolutely random item to be against, but you have to always just go with it when it comes to improv. My favorite part about this part of the show was that everyone was interacting with each other like an actual town hall meeting. I was pretending to be an unreliable doctor that kept reassuring the audience I was reliable and to listen to everything I said since I was a doctor, and I just kept pretending to receive bribes from the CEO of hedges, which was another teammate, Seth.

The next game we played with the other team was Scene Translation. When it was our team’s turn to play out a scene the audience suggested for us while the other team went backstage, it turned out less dramatic and became a little more comical. I say this because when we played out the scene where we are supposed to have seen a train wreck, we just kept repeating how bad it was, and doing absolutely nothing to improve the situation at all. The only other thing we brought into the scene was Tom Hanks, who ended up being played by Nathan.

Our third game we played as a team solely was Four Corners. The four scenes that we received were a child locked in an uncle’s dark garage, two caterpillars trying to learn geometry, two apes having a heated argument in the zoo, and a wealthy guy talking down to a servant. I ended up doing the child stuck in the garage scene, and I think I did pretty well in this scene that I did with Seth. I pretended to be a stranger trying to pass off as an uncle to justify why the child was in my garage, and Seth was the child asking endless questions on where his location was and why he was there. I kept giving very vague and dubious answers that made me appear absolutely distrustful, yet Seth just kept trusting every word I answered.

The last and final game we played to conclude our show was Radio. Both of our teams stood in a single file line and intermingled with one another. The topic I was assigned was to shave other people’s legs for a living. I ended up acting like I was doing an infomercial and even involved the other team’s team captain to be my subject to demonstrate my amazing leg shaving abilities. I also involved my other team member, Parker, who was assigned the topic of having a bad case of the British. I pretended to crossover channels and said that I would shave my British uncle’s legs since he was European and it was safe to say that his legs would need shaving.

We wrapped up the show by letting the audience choose which group they thought was a little funnier. The audience clapped a little louder for our group, so we were announced winners for our first show!

My experience for not only my first improv show but everyone else’s first show in-person since the lockdown went absolutely well. I couldn’t be more proud of how well we did. I thoroughly enjoyed just how much we took every chance we could get to make the audience laugh to the point where we even forgot that we were supposed to compete in the first place, and I think that’s the spirit of how these shows will be for the rest of the year.