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May, 2012

The Game Changer, Part One

Last year, Ryan Hill basically stumbled into watching the 42 Hour Improv Marathon, and it changed his life. Yesterday, I talked with him about what happened, and how it’s affected him over the past year.

Roy: How did you find out about the Marathon last year?

Ryan: I had been hanging at the Hideout Coffee Shop telecommuting like three days a week. My office was downtown, so I had free parking a couple blocks away, but I only went into the office two days a week. The other three days I was usually at the Hideout.

Late one afternoon my friend Thedward Blevins walked in. I’ve known him for 15 years, but I hadn’t seen him in a while.

“What are you doing here?,” I said.

“Going to improv class,” he replied.

Thedward? Doing improv? Seriously? I think that was a couple weeks before the marathon. Thedward took me to a Threefer, it was Local Genius Society, Secret Senate, and Two to Beam Up. Thedward had also introduced me to Andy Crouch in the Coffee Shop.

Roy: So what did you know about improv before the Marathon?

Ryan: I didn’t know much about improv before that Threefer show. I loved “Whose Line?” like the rest of the world, but I had seen some comedy sports that I thought was pretty bad at the time.

I was amazed by that Threefer and wanted to see more. I had met someone in Secret Senate at a party and was surprised to see them on stage.

The next weekend I was looking for something to do (I had just quit a five year World of Warcraft career and was astounded at all my new free time) and Thedward mentioned the Marathon.

Roy: How long were you planning on staying?

Ryan: I thought I’d go to an hour or two that Friday and then maybe come back on Saturday if I felt like it.

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The First Hardcore Four

If the 8 improvisers performing for the entire 43 hours of the Marathon are the Crazy Eight, then these are the Hardcore Four.

This year Ashley Lowe, Amy Dietze, Ryan Criswell, and Cat Drago  will attempt to WATCH THE ENTIRE MARATHON.

They look sane, don’t they?

I (Roy) am STUPIDLY excited about this idea. I’ve wanted to make it happen since the first Marathon, and I’m stoked that it’s finally becoming reality. I have NO IDEA if they’ll be able to make it.

In my mind, watching the entire marathon will be much harder than performing in it… at least from the whole “staying awake” perspective. Wouldn’t you just fall asleep? As a former Marathon performer, I know that the shows where the format involved sitting or lying down were death. This seems impossible.

Of course, this whole enterprise seems impossible.

But to help sweeten the deal, we’re offering up a prize to these 4, and any audience member who manages to watch the entire Marathon from start to finish.

If they make it all the way through, they’ll get:
* a Marathon t-shirt
* a season pass for the rest of the Hideout mainstage shows in 2012
* a season pass for all the 2013 mainstage shows.
* a show in next years Marathon where whoever made it through will call the shots
* our everlasting admiration

Wanna join them? The offer stands for anyone, and there are still some Marathon passes left.
Head on over to http://hideouttheatre.com/improvmarathon or just click this button:

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Michael Brockman is the sole musician for ROCK, The Improvised Rock Opera, but somehow he pulls off sounding like a full band. In this post, Michael talks about discovering something in improvising music that we also teach in the Hideout classes… you do your best when you lose yourself in the work. 

Have at it, Brockman: 

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Avengers Marathon Cards by Polywog Design

Polywog Design and Deano Jones (AKA Batman in The Hideout’s Holy 1960s Batman, Batman!) whipped up this amazing Avengers-style poster and trading cards in honor of the 8 people brave/stupid enough to attempt the 43-Hour Improv Marathon this year.

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Rock Opera: The Swim Class

by Amber Shae

In my mind, levels of improvising coincide with levels of water and I am certain that my being cast in an improvised rock opera feels as it would to be tossed as a feeble young babe out into a lake of murky water well beyond the “Warning: Sudden Drop” sign.

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Prepping for the Marathon: A Voice of Concern

by Jon Bolden

When I was asked to be in this year’s 43-Hour Marathon, I accepted and immediately emailed my vocal therapist currently working in Ohio to ask him a few questions. He replied very concerned about the health of my voice what I had just signed up for.

Let me back up.

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Announcing the 43 Hour Improv Marathon Schedule

The Marathon returns June 1st-3rd. Here is the schedule for the 43 Hour Improv Marathon.

It’s full of guest groups, old favorite shows come back from the dead, crazy experiments, and fun challenges to keep the core eight improvisers on their toes.

The core, or “Crazy 8” are eight performers who will be in each and every show. They will not sleep a wink, and instead will be performing straight through from 5pm on Friday to noon on Sunday afternoon. And as you can see from the lineup below, they’re in for quite a wild ride.

The “Crazy 8” for 2012 are Roy Janik, Marc Majcher, Halyn Erickson, John Ratliff, Emma Holder, Eric Heiberg, Jon Bolden and Jill Bernard (from Minneapolis!)

You can buy tickets for any and all of  these shows by clicking this link.

Full Marathon passes will be available soon for $75, so if you’re feeling brave, look out for that.

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