On the Jam

An improv jam session can be intimidating, even for an experienced improviser. After watching an excellent performance by members of the Nashville Improv Company, I felt some butterflies when taking the stage to perform with them last night during the Gatlinburg Improv Fest. I’m used to performing with the same guys every week. Fortunately,  my nervousness ended when the scene began.

The improv jam happened after the scheduled shows ended. It wasn’t closed to the public but most of the people in the theatre at that late hour were members of the participating troupes. Members of five groups played in the jam session. They were: Nashville Improv Company, Shenanigans, Improv School of Atlanta, The New Fangles and Einstein Simplified.

Einstein Simplified had two performances before the jam on Friday night. We shared the bill with Shenanigans during an 8:00 p.m. show. When our show ended, around 9:40, we walked over to the Hard Rock Cafe to perform again. Shenanigans did a set at 10:00 and we went on at 10:30. Immediately after that, it was back to Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre for the all-play improv jam.

The highlight for me was a guessing game called Irish Wake. Lacie Madison of the Nashville group asked for a volunteer who liked to guess. I raised my hand and she explained the game to me as we walked outside to the street. When I returned to the stage, I played a minister who had to lead a prayer service for a celebrity. By listening to the remarks of the mourners, I had to guess the name of the deceased, how they died and where it happened. One of the guys from the Atlanta troupe played the part of the body. They all were pleased that I gave my character an Irish accent.

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