Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Project 52 2014 (20/52): The Entertainer

.:Project 52 2014 (20/52): The Entertainer:.

Oh, look! I found a workaround to having to do lyrics every single time I write one of these things by picking a song with no lyrics! Ain't that a hoot?

Well, the past weekend has been all about being the Entertainer. As a member of Switch Improv, I've been part of a new and dynamic improv troupe that has been doing its own thing for the past year or so. It's definitely been fun, and something I've genuinely enjoyed doing, and our performance in Plantation Bar last weekend was one of our best shows to date, as we performed for an audience that was almost completely uninitiated to improv. We were there as a team, and we definitely delivered as a team, as we had a crowd that started off wondering to themselves what in the world those guys onstage were up to, and singing along and clapping along with us by the end of the night.

Switch isn't exactly trying to reinvent the wheel, though. There's no need to fix something that isn't broken. In fact, we want to call what we do "honoring the guard," because those that came before us, such as S.P.I.T., Philippine Playhouse, Big Bang Cheery, Kinenkoy, or even Whose Line Is It Anyway definitely paved the opportunity for a ragtag group of improv enthusiasts with mostly no theater experience to just have the chance to entertain people.

I relish that opportunity, and as does the rest of us in Switch. That night, we really had a great time, and we were on an emotional high that really kept us going all the way 'til Mother's Day the next day, when I ended up having an impromptu demonstration of levitation during lunch for my grandmother's 40th day. My mom was amused.

I guess that's what keeps me going. I like making people think when I write. Or when I perform. I like opening their mind to possibilities and to ideas. But at the core of it all, I perform to entertain, and that is my only drug: the rush of knowing people appreciate what we do and what we bring to the table. It's a kind of validation that comes with the hard work we put in, and definitely something I could never take for granted.

Unscripted, unrehearsed, a show from the top of our heads, Switch Improv brings you the high-energy art of improvisation that makes you, the audience, an active participant in the creation of entertainment. That's really the beauty of improv, isn't it? There's always something very special about seeing performers who follow their feet, and simply push themselves to a masterful performance without any actual idea where they're headed.

Every weekend for the rest of the month, Plantation Bar in Makati will be a hub for comedy. This Saturday, the one and only Ony Carcamo will be performing comedy ventriloquism as standup comedians strut their stuff as well, and the Saturday after that, May 24, Switch Improv will be back to do more improv comedy, as we continue to honor our roots and influences by entertaining people and spreading the cheer that improv brings.

The Comedy Cartel has always been known as the pioneer group of Pinoy point of view observational standup comedy locally, but as they welcome other comedy performance styles like ventriloquism and improv, they show that this ironically serious world of comedy can get bigger and better by dissolving boundaries. It's hard to argue with that kind of openness.

So here's hoping we get to see you guys at Plantation Bar this May 24. We're aiming to put a smile on your face.

Let's join us!

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