While I was away from DCH and the blog, I reflected a lot on the wonderful folks here that I call my friends and the many reasons why improv comedy fosters a sense of community. We spend a lot of time allowing ourselves to experience emotional vulnerability and working to overcome fears like stage fright. We’re taught to draw on our deepest desires, passions, fears, and joys, allow them to bubble to the surface and color our initiations and responses on stage. Exposing our deepest darkest selves, our hopes and dreams week after week (and for some performers, night after night) fosters a bond among troupe mates and classmates not unlike that formed by soldiers sharing a foxhole (Not really. I made that up. I would not expect any of you to take a bullet for me.).
A few months ago, when I started looking toward graduation, I also started considering the people I’d like to play with on stage henceforth. I would be honored to take the stage with any of you. But as an older improviser, I realized that I didn’t see a lot of folks like me on stage. I also learned that there were some wonderful improvisers within our community who had, for various reasons, not yet had an opportunity to participate in a troupe. I wrote about my plan to bring some of those players together. Read about it at "The DCH Diaries: The Over-40 Project."
Well, the Over-40 Project has been more popular and more successful than I ever imagined. From Day One, we had enough participants to field two troupes. Those troupes, "Been There, Done That" and "Get Off My Lawn!" hired coaches - the indefatigable Jerrell Curry and the inestimable David Allison.
Weeks of practice, hard work, fun, and bonding later, these two troupes are preparing for their debuts. I am delighted to report that "Been There, Done That" will compete at King of the Mountain this Wednesday, November 18. "Get Off My Lawn!" is scheduled to begin King of the Mountain on Wednesday, December 16. The shows start at 9:30 p.m. See the troupe rosters below.
Please come out and support these two troupes! Tell them how much you love their talents, their attitudes, and their ambitions. Let them show you that improv comedy is not the purview of the 25-year-old plaid shirted guys in our community (though we love you all, too). Improv changes lives, and it has changed the lives of every one of us associated with the project.
This is only the beginning for the Over-40 Project. Right now, we have almost 40 names on our contact list. In January, we will be holding a special meeting/jam/social for people (over 40, please) who are interested in forming new troupes. We’ll make sure you all know when that happens. In the meantime, get on our list by grabbing me at the Jam, in the bar between shows, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Been There, Done That Dan Sturdivant Glenn Smith Dawn Rummel Smith Becky Rentzel Gretchen Martens Camille Long Mano Galaviz Doug Barton Gaye Bagdwell Mike Asquini Carron Armstrong
Get Off My Lawn! Nancy Zalewski Dan Sturdivant Mark Rosenfeld Kristal Milazzo Gretchen Martens Darrin Larson Gaye Badgwell Mike Asquini
Carron Armstrong is currently a Level 5 and Sketch 1 student at Dallas Comedy House. In addition to organizing the Over-40 Project and its two current troupes, she also serves at the unofficial DCH house mother (like the one in a sorority, not the one in a strip club).