Our improv shows consist of two teams, and MC, and a Voice. The teams compete by performing scenes. The MC announces games, explains games, and keeps things moving. The Voice announces scores, introduces players, and explains prizes. I’m normally on one of the teams.
On Friday, I was the MC.
I’ve been doing improv informally for the last 15 years. I’ve put together groups for one-shot performances and I’ve been in charge of semi-regular groups. In that time, I’ve run several shows, mostly because I was the one most familiar with the format and the games.
I’ve been a part of this group for a little over a year now. People pay actual money to come and see us, and it’s all a bit different than what I’ve been used to all these years. For the time I’ve been with this group, we’ve had two main MCs. I have seen two other group members MC when the main two were out of town, but they weren’t “official.”
About a month ago, we had a workshop where all who were interested in being an MC could come and learn how to do it. Anyone who attended would then give it a try by MCing a show. I wasn’t necessarily interested in MCing, but Matt & Kat said I was going, so I went.
Kat was the first new MC to do a show and she was fabulous. She kept the show moving, was funny, and did all the things an MC is supposed to do. She set the bar pretty high, and my nondesire to MC was only increased by her performance.
Regardless, my time came. I fretted about it all last week. Being sick wasn’t helping anything, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around all the stuff I was going to need to do for the show. Usually I just go to the show and do whatever I’m told: “Play ‘Forward/Reverse’,” “act like Celine Dion,” “rap with words that rhyme with ‘Ed’.” Now, I’d need to elicit suggestions from the crowd, judge the teams’ performances, and remember to do all the “MC stuff” in between.
It went okay. I forgot to do a few things and I stumbled over a few other things, but the show went on and no one was killed or humiliated in the process, and, really, that’s all you can ask for in any show. I’m not in any hurry to do it again, but if I’m asked, I guess I could manage. They’d be better off with Kat, though. She was better, and I’d rather be in scenes.
The biggest kick I got out of the evening: I sent out an email to some friends and coworkers to tell them about the show and that I was MCing. A friend of mine, who is a caseworker, came and brought her boyfriend and a co-worker. This co-worker, also a caseworker, was named “Casey.” For some reason, the pairing of “Casey” and “Caseworker” struck me funny. “Casey the Caseworker.” It still brings a smile to my face.