Troupe Talk: Cell Block Tango

Cell Block Tango (Sung to the tune of "Three’s Company Too") Come and knock on their door... They’ve been waiting for you.... Where the monoscene is his and his and his, Three's company too.

Come and dance on their floor... Take a tango that's new... They’ve got a loveable show and want you to go, Three's company too.

You'll see that life is a ball again, laughter is calling for you... Down at DCH (it’s true!) ... Three's company too!

Down at DCH (it’s true!)... Call Block Tango is Three's company too!

Hey Guys! Let’s kick this off by you telling me about the best show you ever had together.

Colten: We had a practice set once in which we all played bees who couldn't stop dancing. We were practicing in a field, and I know some people saw us, which is why it counts as a show. Daniel: One time we did a scene that took place on an airplane and character popped between a bunch of characters. By the end we were playing 10 or 11 characters between the three of us. Ryan: There was that time Colten ripped a door off the stage. I may be confusing “best show” with “worst I’ve ever frozen on stage.”

What is Cell Block Tango's style? Do you follow a form?

Colten: We shoot for a fun monoscene. An interesting, “behind the scenes” tidbit is that Daniel is always in charge of naming every character, including his own. Daniel: Because we have 30 minutes to do one scene, we're not afraid to go off on stupid conversational tangents. We basically spend the whole time trying make Colten break character. Ryan: Form: We perform a monoscene with no real rules other than, “Hey no edits.” 
Style: We’ve been described as “three friends hanging out together on stage,” which I’m going to hope was meant as a compliment.

Tell me your true feelings about the phrase "Three's a crowd"?

Colten: Sounds to me like whoever said that was trying to exclude a third person from their group, probably because of romantic ulterior motives, which seems passive aggressive to me. Why not just tell me what you're up to, you know? Anyway it doesn't apply to improv troupes for sure. Daniel: Crowds must make for fun improv teams. Ryan: I’m partial to “three’s pretty good if you’re all trying to fit in a sedan that has a small back seat.”

What's your favorite improv rule to apply to real life?

Colten: Just listening. I have no idea how many things I didn't hear before I started improvising, but it must have been a lot. Daniel: I've stopped using real objects all together. Everything is pantomime now. I've never been more hungry. Ryan: Stop planning and just have fun.

Famous Trios: Who would be who in--

The Three Stooges (Moe, Curly Larry) Colten: I think Daniel is Curly. And I think that Ryan is also Curly. And I'm definitely Curly. We're all Curly. Curly is my favorite. Daniel: I'm the meanest, so I'm Moe. Ryan has nice hair, so he's Larry. And Colten is Curly because he always goes NYUK NYUK NYUK WOOPWOOOPWOOOPWOOP Ryan: Curly!

Peter, Paul, and Mary (Peter, Paul, and Mary) Colten: My first question is, Mary as in Magdalen or as in the Virgin Mary? Also, I don't know that those three really constitute a trio either way, granted I'm not well versed in the Bible. Ryan: Solid Q, Colten. If we’re going biblical with this, I for sure wanna be Samson.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (...the good, the bad and the ugly) Daniel: I can’t answer this without being self-deprecating. Let’s just say that both Colten and Ryan are good. Ryan: Can we all be the Bad? Colten: I'm Bubbles, Daniel is Blossom, and Ryan is Buttercup, and we have all avoided answering this question directly.

Destiny's Child (Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle) Daniel: Can we all be the yonce? Colten: I like Daniel's idea that we're all the yonce. I think Ryan and I are her legs, and Daniel is her upper body.

See Cell Block Tango perform at the Dallas Comedy House on July 17, August 1, and August 21.

Tori Oman is a Level Five student at DCH. She’s trained and performed with the Second City and iO in L.A. and Chicago. Favorite pastimes include being irrationally competitive at Monopoly, eating an apple in every country she’s traveled to, and being the sole person on this planet that thinks Necco Wafers are a delicious candy choice.