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June, 2017

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Marathoner Spotlight: Craig Kotfas

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon is going on RIGHT NOW! This year the 8 marathoners will play for 48 hours straight! The marathon is a fundraiser for our Kid’s Scholarship Program. Click here to donate!

We’ve asked the marathoners about some of their fears, expectations and comforts in preparation for the marathon. Craig Kotfas is one of the longest-standing improvisors in Austin and a Hideout original cast member. He was on all the original Hideout press material, that’s how long Craigy has been around!

1. Why were interested in doing the marathon?

Several reasons. One, I am honored to be part of an amazing event that gives youngsters the gift of improv. I was a mid teen when I started doing improv and it changed my life. If I had a George Bailey moment and saw my life without improv….nope, don’t even want to go there. Secondly, I am drawn to experiencing a wide range of shows in one weekend… like speed dating 48 different ensembles and genres for 50 minutes each. Majority of my shows nowadays are with Knuckleball Now, and now I am pumped to be thrusted into all these great main stage shows, experimental shows and slow burn narratives. And the best thing is I will be doing it with 7 others… 7 people I may not know too well now, some not at all… but come Sunday 5pm, I will have an unforgettable bond with these folks. To be honest, I don’t know what to expect. Most of my dearest friends have done it and say the same thing… well, I will just need to see for myself first.

2. What part of the marathon most scares you?

Hmm, the lack of sleep is a no brainer. I sweat like a mofo, so I will be focused on hydration and grazing, because big meals make me drowsy.

3. What part of the marathon are you most excited about?

See answer to #1. Honestly, I know this isn’t a lifetime achievement award, but as an old grandpa in this improv community, I am thrilled and honored to play with people I never played with. I have good friends that I’ve never shared a stage with until this upcoming weekend. So cool.

4. What comfort item are you bringing?

A positive attitude and gratitude. That gives me more comfort than any memory foam pillow or fuzzy blanket. No doubt, I will miss my comfy bed and my dear Shamayne this weekend, but I would not miss this opportunity.

4. What is your pump up jam?

“September” by Earth, Wind and Fire… always makes me swell with positivity!

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon runs from 5pm Friday June 23 – 5pm Sunday June 25!

Get your tickets here!

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Marathoner Spotlight: Margaret Hunsicker

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon is happening RIGHT NOW! This year the 8 marathoners will play for 48 hours straight! The marathon is a fundraiser for our Kid’s Scholarship Program. Click here to donate!

We’ve asked the marathoners about some of their fears, expectations and comforts in preparation for the marathon. Margaret Hunsicker teaches summer camp at the Hideout, performs at the Hideout and will soon be directing a Horror Musical (TM) at the Hideout. She’s a flaming ball of fire!

1. Why were interested in doing the marathon?

I’m interested in the marathon because it seems like an adventure! Something that’s going to be difficult, but rewarding. I anticipate learning a lot about improv, myself, and my fellow marathoners this weekend. Of course, I’m also very invested in the kid’s program at the Hideout; some of my best experiences as a teacher have been with kids that needed that scholarship. I wholeheartedly believe in what we do, and I think every over-tested, artistically under-stimulated, or misunderstood kid that comes through our theatre can benefit from our classes. Everyone deserves some improv in their lives.

2. What part of the marathon most scares you?

I’m afraid of my own body! I’ve never stayed up that long before, and I don’t know how it’s going to feel. I don’t want it to hurt! Luckily, I’m surrounded by people who are going through the marathon with me, and I’ve talked to plenty of people who have done it before.

3. What part of the marathon are you most excited about?

Honestly, I’m excited to play with my friends! I love being around people, I love being at the Hideout, I love performing. I get to do this pretty often, but not “48 hours in a row” often! There are also tons of shows, troupes and formats that I’m not involved with, but I’ve always wondered “what if?” Now I get to experiment with my own skills 46 times, and see what’s the most fun!

4. What comfort item are you bringing?

A couple:

-A big blue blanket to burrito myself into

-Mr. Guy, a floppy stuffed owl

-Clothes and makeup for fun outfit changes, if I can manage!

4. What is your pump up jam?

“Believe” by Cher

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon runs from 5pm Friday June 23 – 5pm Sunday June 25!

Get your tickets here!

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Marathon Spotlight: J. R. Zambrano

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon is happening RIGHT NOW! This year the 8 marathoners will play for 48 hours straight! The marathon is a fundraiser for our Kid’s Scholarship Program. Click here to donate!

We’ve asked the marathoners about some of their fears, expectations and comforts in preparation for the marathon. J.R. Zambrano is a regular Hideout Performer and is co-director of our current MainStage “How I Saved The World Over Summer Vacation”.

1. Why were interested in doing the marathon?

I thought it would be a chance to get to do a lot of good for people in a community that I love and care about. I am blown away by the amazing stuff that the folks at the Hideout and the AIC in general have been able to create with generosity and support and love. It’s a little intimidating to face–not in a bad way–but there’s so much outpouring from so many talented people it’s hard to comprehend just how it all works. But that’s emergence for you, i guess. Anyway, I was interested to dive in to all of that. I wanna celebrate it.

Plus there’s something joyous about trying something so exhausting/difficult. Right? It’s like saying “hey look, world, you can throw a mean right hook, but we can take it and do something cool.” That’s what being a person takes sometimes. Improv is all about finding joy in those unprepared, scary moments when everyone’s looking at you. So I wanna keep spreading that kinda empowerment.

2. What part of the marathon most scares you?

If I am honest, a lot of it is weird mental/physical things. Like when I get real sleepy/delirious, my brain will latch onto certain nuggets of information or things I’ve seen and create this whole elaborate backstory that, for a good 30 seconds or so, is incredibly real to me. So someone might hand me a rock, and I’m like, “oh right they’re giving me this because the dinosaurs need it at their rotary club meeting,” and then I’ll have to shake my head and be like, “wait that’s not a real thing. Even though I wish it was.” I mean, I do. I wanna hang out at a dinosaur rotary club meeting and talk about community outreach among pachycephalosauruses but I am scared about how all that will work out. It’s kind of a big fear of mine–the idea of not being in control of what you’re thinking–but thanks to David Lynch’s phenomenal adaptation of Frank Herbert’s masterpiece Dune, I have a trick up my sleeve for facing my fears. I just need to shout a lot and Sting is there for some reason.

3. What part of the marathon are you most excited about?

Getting to do shows with all the people who are going to be a part of this. The rest of the marathon performers are amazing people, and I am excited to know them better. But then also there are so many amazing shows that are happening–like I’ll Take the Physical Challenge (which I am looking forward to doing again), or The Black Vault, or one of the things where we get to do whatever we want and I will just try and make people watch David Lynch’s phenomenal adaptation of Frank Herbert’s masterpiece Dune, with me. Just hanging out, having a good time. That sort of thing.

4. What comfort item are you bringing?

I have no idea. If you have a suggestion for what comfort item I should bring, let me know.

4. What is your pump up jam?

This specific remix of  “Everybody Everybody” by Strongbad from Homestar Runner

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon runs from 5pm Friday June 23 – 5pm Sunday June 25!

Get your tickets here!

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Marathoner Spotlight: Yamina Khouane

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon begins TODAY at 5pm! This year the 8 marathoners will play for 48 hours straight! The marathon is a fundraiser for our Kid’s Scholarship Program. Click here to donate!

We’ve asked the marathoners about some of their fears, expectations and comforts in preparation for the marathon. Yamina Khouane is the artistic director of The New Movement and beloved performer at many theaters around town.

1. Why were interested in doing the marathon?

The first time I saw long-form improv was at the Hideout. That was about 10 years ago now. My favorite improvisers have all performed on the Hideout stages, and a lot of them have done the 48hr Marathon. I see this as a rite of passage in a way. Being a part of this tradition is a checkmark on my improv bucket list. Not to mention I am curious to discover what my breaking point is. After this experience I may never want to do improv again. Here’s to hoping I don’t murder my castmates!

2. What part of the marathon most scares you?

The possibility of falling asleep while sitting on the toilet and people needing to break down the door to wake me up.

3. What part of the marathon are you most excited about?

Meeting all these improvisers and playing in different high-concept shows.

4. What comfort item are you bringing?

Can I bring <redacted>?

4. What is your pump up jam?

“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon runs from 5pm Friday June 23 – 5pm Sunday June 25!

Get your tickets here!

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Marathoner Spotlight: Rob Yoho

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon begins TODAY at 5pm! This year the 8 marathoners will play for 48 hours straight! The marathon is a fundraiser for our Kid’s Scholarship Program. Click here to donate!

We’ve asked the marathoners about some of their fears, expectations and comforts in preparation for the marathon. Rob Yoho is operations manager at the Hideout as well as a teacher and co-director of upcoming mainstage “The Kindness of Strangers.”

1. Why were interested in doing the marathon?

I love The Hideout, and I love our youth programs, especially Building Connections. I have benefited from scholarships myself for most of my studies, and if I can support that cause while doing a crazy stupid stunt, sign me up!

2. What part of the marathon most scares you?

All of the weird stuff that I’ll do and say when I’m delirious. #nofilter. Even more so, I am terrified of letting my fellow marathoners down.

3. What part of the marathon are you most excited about?

Playing with these seven outstanding human beings and a cavalcade of The Hideout’s and Austin’s best improvisers and improv shows. Good lord, what an abundance of riches!

4. What comfort item are you bringing?

My pillow from my bed. It’s way comfy and has been with me through a lot. Not that I’ll get to use it, but I’m glad it’ll be there.

4. What is your pump up jam?

“Closer” by Tegan and Sara

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon runs from 5pm Friday June 23 – 5pm Sunday June 25!

Get your tickets here!

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Marathoner Spotlight: Katie Dahm

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon begins TOMORROW at 5pm! This year the 8 marathoners will play for 48 hours straight! The marathon is a fundraiser for our Kid’s Scholarship Program. Click here to donate!

We’ve asked the marathoners about some of their fears, expectations and comforts in preparation for the marathon. Katie Dahm is doing the marathon for the second time this year and she’s a regular Hideout Theatre performer!

1. Why were interested in doing the marathon?

The marathon is such a ridiculous challenge and honestly so fun, but terrible, but fun! I did the 45-hour marathon 3 years ago, and when it was over I immediately knew I wanted to do another one someday. I mean it was *hard* but so worth it. It’s an amazing gift to play with so many incredible Austin improvisors. How great is it that all of these badass performers are willing to bring their shows to the Hideout at all hours of the day/night and put them in the hands of 8 sleep-deprived people? It’s totally awesome and insane. And it’s really special to see our big improv community come together to raise money to bring improv to kids. I hope one day one of those kids grows up and plays in the marathon, full-circle style.

2. What part of the marathon most scares you?

Mmmmm, I’m a little scared my body is just going to quit before we make it to the end. Before my first marathon, I did all this prep work in advance – cutting out sugar and caffeine, resting up, etc. – so I was a clean machine. This year… nothing. I’ve done nothing to prep. I knew this was coming, and I did nothing. Why…….

3. What part of the marathon are you most excited about?

Holding hands with my core-8 buddies (they don’t know it yet, but it’s happening) ALSO Start Trekkin’, How I Saved the World Over Summer Vacation, Girls Girls Girls, changing clothes 50 times, getting uncontrollable giggles during the wee morning hours, watching the sunrise from the catwalk…

4. What comfort item are you bringing?

My sleeping bag. I plan on snuggling up in it between sets for a little quiet time (not sleeping, I’m just resting my eyes!). It’s like being wrapped in a cloud cocoon.

4. What is your pump up jam?

“Radio” by Sylvan Esso

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon runs from 5pm Friday June 23 – 5pm Sunday June 25!

Get your tickets here!

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Marathoner Spotlight: Ryan Austin


The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon begins TOMORROW at 5pm! This year the 8 marathoners will play for 48 hours straight! The marathon is a fundraiser for our Kid’s Scholarship Program. Click here to donate!

We’ve asked the marathoners about some of their fears, expectations and comforts in preparation for the marathon. First up is Ryan Austin, a Hideout teacher, director and performer!

1. Why were interested in doing the marathon?

I just want to play, man. I love it. I love it so much that I sometimes get sad when watching shows because I’m not up there with them. It’s not a jealousy thing so much as it is a feeling that that’s where I belong in some way. I’m not saying I’m as good as anybody (I’m not), it’s just something I felt from the very first Maestro I ever did. I knew I belonged on that side of the stage.

Although I used to think the people in the marathon were bananas, I now see the joy and challenge and support of everyone in the room. Everyone is at the marathon as a performer, producer, volunteer or audience member because they know they belong there in some capacity and the sense of purpose is so strong I nearly cry just being in the presence of it. I’m big on purpose and striving to be everything you know you can be. I knew I belonged on that side of the marathon and had to be there at some point.

(Believe in yourself!)

2. What part of the marathon most scares you?

I’m scared of two things.  1: Not getting to take a shower. I’d take 4 throughout the marathon if I could. Though I do plan on taking a bucket shower at some point. Maybe I’ll make poor Craig dump a pail of water on my sleepy, naked body out on the catwalk. I haven’t talked to him about this yet. 2: My feet. I have fallen arches and it’s painful to stand up for long periods of time. I’ve consulted nurse Cat [Drago] and the prescription was lots of icing (the action, not the cake topping).

That’s it. Just dumb practical stuff that I probably won’t notice anyway. I’m not smart enough to be scared of things I should be scared of.

3. What part of the marathon are you most excited about?

Pine Falls! It’s a Twin Peaks type show directed by Brad Hawkins and Ceej. It’s my favorite every year because they do such a good job with it.

On the whole, though, just getting to play a lot. Even after playing back to back sets I always want to do one more show when I step off stage and I never feel like I’m done. I can’t wait to do 48 hours and finally give that little improv voice inside of me what it keeps asking for. Boy is it going to be more careful about asking in the future.

4. What comfort item are you bringing?

I’m bringing my Bible but I doubt I’ll have time to read or even process what it says after a certain amount of time. But having it there and reminding me of who I am and what I believe will help bring me back to reality and remind me I’m doing a marathon, this isn’t my whole life, it’s just a weekend. It should also remind me to be loving if I’m being a total jerk so that will be good.

4. What is your pump up jam?

“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen

The Hideout’s Infamous Improv Marathon runs from 5pm Friday June 23 – 5pm Sunday June 25!

Get your tickets here!

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Announcing 48-Hour Improv Marathon!

Announcing the 48-Hour Improv Marathon! Starting at 5pm Friday June 23 and going through 5pm Sunday June 25, eight improvisors will perform for 48 hours straight! Each hour will present a new format and challenge to keep the players on their toes. They’ll improvise, sing, dance, everything but sleep!

The marathon benefits our kids’ special needs program called Building Connections and as well as benefits our kids’ improv scholarship program! We’re aiming to raise $5000 this year. We’ve set up a Go Fund Me so you can donate today!

The marathoners are: Ryan Austin, Rob Yoho, Yamina Khouane, J.R. Zambrano, Patti Stiles, Margaret Hunsicker, Craig Kotfas and Katie Dahm!

Check out the schedule here!

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