Scruffy City School System

Eight members of the promotion department and the general manager of the radio cluster attended Tuesday night’s Einstein Simplified comedy improv show at Scruffy City Hall. Before the show, the GM treated them to dinner in appreciation for their hard work for all four stations.

I was in a committee meeting a couple of weeks ago when the idea to treat the promotion staff to dinner was suggested and approved. When they talked about having the dinner on a Tuesday night, I suggested capping the evening with an improv show. Even while having a good time, the crew might absorb some of the principles of improv that would help them in their jobs.

I think the top three improv skills are listening, accepting and supporting. You have to listen to your scene partners to know what’s going on. You have to accept and advance what they offer. You each have to make the other one the most important person on stage.

A slight schedule change meant that it would be my turn to be the emcee this week. When I noticed that I would be hosting instead of performing on the night my co-workers were coming, I thought about trying to swap turns with one of the other troupe members. I changed my mind when I realized that I could choose games that would highlight skills that would benefit my radio colleagues.

For example, one-word-at-a-time games require listening skills. I made sure to schedule “Complaint Letter,” in which a group of three composes a complaint to a corporation and another group of three composes the company’s response. The audience suggested that the complaint would be about finding peanut butter in the jelly. The scene was very funny.

As a hat tip to all the radio people in the room, I put a game called “Deaf Jam” on the list. In it, a deejay in a loud nightclub can’t hear what songs are being requested. The other people in the scene have to pantomime the titles of various songs. I asked the crowd to give me a song that would be found on each of the four radio stations in the cluster where I work.

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