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Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So after our horrible day in Akibo we were ready for a rest. I fell into a deep sleep on top of my bed within minutes of entering the hotel room. The guys decided to take one for the team and go to meet Ken for our very early call time so the three of us could rest and meet them later.
We repaid this by being about 30 minutes late due to absolute breakdown in organization. The guys were stressed, we were stressed, things looked bad.

Anyway, we arrived at 6:30PM at Shinjuku Station to two stressed friends. The station, Ken told us, is the busiest train station in the world. Every day 2 MILLION people go through its gates. Dave would like me to add: "That's like taking all of Boston, sending through the station, and then making them do it again and it's still not even close!"

I KNOW. We had no time to enjoy the sights because we needed to book it to the teatro since we were so late. The name of the teatro that Impro Japan is based out of us called "PUK PUPA TEATRO," and has something to do with puppets. The space is so hip, it was amazing.

We warmed up, and reconnected after our stressful delay. Then we met the cast of Impro Japan, who were all super friendly. We had a chance to do a small rehearsal with Ken doing lights and a really talented improv pianist accompanying us.

Impro Japan should really be called "sokyo tokyo," because that means "improv tokyo" and it rhymes, which we think is awesome. They don't get why we like it, but they agreed to all themselves that for the night. We have decided to call ourselves "Cuddlefish," but introduced ourselves to the audience as Improv Boston for fairly obvious reasons.

Sokyo Tokyo performed a long form set. It was really interesting to watch. They had highly stylized opening and closing, pre rehearsed ... maneuvers. I liked the opening because they played loud music and the lights flashed on every few seconds and each time the lights flashed there was one more player and they were in a different pose until they were all there.

Their improv was very compartmentalized. They edited very cleanly, no scenes overlapped, and usually they said "edit-o" when they did. I recognized an environmental deconstruction edit at one point which was cool, and also maybe an Our Town construct. The audience was so quiet, they enjoyed it a lot, but lauging out loud was reserved only for the most direly funny moments.

Next, our turn: Our input was "hot dog." So here was my first improv scene for an audience in a foreign country: I played a fat man opposite Steph's fat woman eating too many hot dogs. Then she got sick so I handed her a pill. She ate the pill and became pregnant. I became her fetus, John became a clock. I was birthed as a hot dog. Steph lunged for me hungrily, I shook my head and cried "Mama?" while the audience howled, and then she ate me. "Edit-o!"

We had a fun, simple set that was well received, and even sang two songs, which we didn't plan for. We ended on a harmony in a song about love in spite of forgetting someone's birthday.

International Improv: Absolute success.

1 comment:

liz said...

I am howling with delight.

You do know what happens to people who go to Japan and tell me stories, right?