Thursday, May 12, 2005
PODCAST: Big Lick Conspiracy
Making up the funny on the spot, with your help
Who? The Big Lick Conspiracy
What? Improvisational comedy, babies!
Why? Because an improv teacher at Mill Mountain Theatre challenged them to do it last year. And they're a bunch of hams.
Where? Often at the MMT-hosted No Shame Theatre.
When? It's next performances are 10 p.m. April 9 and 23 at the Waldron Stage (Church Ave.) of Mill Mountain Theatre. Admission is $5. The shows last about an hour.
The troupe: Co-leaders Laura Tuggle Anderson and Robb Rouse, with John Bryant, Kate Cash, Ross Laguzza, Joan Ruelle, and Daryn Warner.
When improv goes out of control: "Man, it's improv. We are in a constant state of 'out of control,' " Rouse said in an e-mail.
But the audience is a participant at Big Lick shows, and once, two of their suggestions for skits divided the crowd, Anderson said. At one show, an audience member shouted out "a sharpshooter" as a suggestion. Another shouted out "The White House." Half the audience was shocked, and the other half was cracking up, Anderson said. But Ruelle, the host/moderator, pulled it together by saying, "Well, in the interest of national security, can I get another suggestion?" It was a funny line and distracted the audience," Anderson said.
Best April fool's pranks: "I love the old 'super-glue a quarter on the sidewalk,'" Anderson said by e-mail. "A good variant would be gluing it to the table of a fast-food restaurant — and watch the hilarity ensue."
Cash's father once put crayfish in her mother's fish tank to surprise her. By the time her mother discovered the trick, the lobsters' smaller cousins had made a meal of some of the tanks' residents. "Maybe he should have banded their claws before putting them in the tank," she wrote in an e-mail.
When one of Rouse's relatives was trying to sell her house, Rouse called her and put on a fake foreign accent. He insisted on buying the house for $1, and told her when he would be moving in. The woman hung up and did not return his later messages. "Told her months later," he said. "Oh, how we laughed, or I laughed."
Goals for the Big Lick Conspiracy: To keep growing together as performers and give Roanokers another entertainment option.