Improv performers hit the stage at the Comedy Club
It's virtually unheard of for performers to hit the stage without any idea of what they're doing, but one group has admitted to doing just that. YNN's Vince Gallagher has more.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- It's a theater company with their own motto, "We make stuff up." It's the Mop and Bucket Company, also known as MopCo. When visiting them backstage, YNN’s Vince Gallagher asked what they had planned for their performance that night and they responded with, “We have no idea."
That's the whole point. MopCo consists of actors, singers, and performers, but when they hit the stage here at the Comedy Club in Albany, they're really improvisers.
"The cool thing about improv is you're sort of acting and writing and directing all at the same time,” said performer Kat Koppett.
Their material comes from a source that's not usually part of a typical performance, the audience.
"We ask them for ideas. We give their ideas back to them. They hear how clever they are. They laugh. They applaud. We take the credit," said artistic director Michael Burns.
A MopCo performance combines the creativity of improv with the excitement of a real sporting event; and because of this, no two shows are ever the same.
"When we're rehearsing it's a like a team practicing. There are certain skills we have, just like a basketball player has skills. They don't know what's going to happen in the moment of the game, but they know they need to know how to shoot or pass the ball," said Koppett.
Working "without a net," as opposed to a rehearsed approach can enhance the performance to another level.
"People like to see us work on the edge and do something dangerous; and, if we fail that might be just as entertaining as if we succeed, as long as we're committed and engaged."
The group has a foundation they work off, each other
"Because if I'm in a scene with someone else and each of us is working to make the other person look good, so that's the thing we can really count on,” said Burns.
MopCo also offers classes and workshops on this improv approach. They've even served as consultants for several companies, as this has been known to increase productivity and teamwork. After all, you could say this is all a part of life.
"We all make those things up. You're just seeing a bunch of people doing it, making it up for your entertainment, but life truly is just making it up as you go along,” said performer Amy Tierney.
Sometimes you're better off not knowing the outcome. You can catch the improv of MopCo every Saturday night at the Comedy Club.