Here are some thoughts from a Live Nude Improv cast member about the unique powers and gifts of each member of the ensemble, and how their talents combine to create a strong and diverse group.
“Can you hang back for a bit?”
It was a simple enough request. The audition had been a lot of fun and the director set a few of us aside after as the other performers filed out of the theatre, chatting about this scene, that game, what would the show be like…and, of course, plenty of naked jokes. When it was just the few of us left, the director turned to us and made another request, far less simple.
“Okay, you’re in. Who else do we like?”
Casting a show is a delicate process. You’re not just looking at individual talents, but how those particular talents and temperaments blend together. A balance of strange alchemy. There’s a diversity of style, training and experience in this cast that’s an absolute wonder to watch flow together. And the fact that each of us was brought into the casting process once we made “the cut”, through the auditions and callbacks and even the first few rehearsals, truly made this feel like OUR ensemble.
Imagine an all star athletic team where every member is incredible at a different sport, and what kind of mad brilliant game they might invent together. Imagine a heist team made up not only of expert thieves, but secret agents, super models, mad scientists, warrior monks and demigods, and what in the world they might be brought together to steal. Imagine there came a day unlike any other, when the world’s mightiest heroes were called together…to spin worlds out of nothing. And take their clothes off. It might look something like this:*
The Wizard- His brain operates on a whole other level. By the time you’ve thought of a line, he’s already written a symphony. When you think you know where a scene’s going, he rewrites the reality. Every choice you make, he’s backing you up and with a wave of his fingers helps you make it stronger. He’s a shaman and you’d do well to trust his wisdom.
The Clown- With a mad infectious grin and a bag full of tricks, she brings the playful like no one else. She’s a jester of the highest order, making you laugh but also opening your heart up. She’ll have your sides splitting with a quip or pratfall one second and the next bring such emotional depth to a scene that Harlequin himself would weep.
The Point Man- The first up. The first in. The bravest and boldest, leaping headlong into character, relationship and scene choices. He’s the advance, the vanguard, the trailblazer with a tracker’s mind and a sniper’s eye, ever mindful as he risks it all. And once you’ve seen how far he can go and in what strange new directions, you feel safer to follow behind.
The Scholar- Some people have innate talent and intelligence. Some people have drive to work their ass off. She’s got both in abundance. She has the instincts of a seasoned veteran. But she’s a student at heart with a questing mind to know more, do more, be more. Her mind is lyrical. Her calculations are precise. She’s already thinking 10 moves ahead. And because of that, she can throw it all out when she wants and just as easily embrace the chaos.
The Cosmopolitan- Sophisticated and eccentric, exotic and immediately charming. He’s seen the world and is not weary for it, but rejuvenated and joyful. He brings the fresh perspective, the angle you didn’t see, the question you didn’t bother to ask, with such passion and vigor you can’t help but feel inspired. He’s an explorer. He’s on an adventure. And he wants to bring you along for the ride.
The Warrior- She is brave. She is fierce. She is strong. She is brave because she can be afraid of a choice, but makes it anyway. She is fierce because she can feel shy and timid, but runs headlong into the fray of a scene all the same. She is strong because she has a tender heart full of kindness and loyalty, and will strip her armor away for all to see it.
The Trickster- With a merry glint in his eye and that hobgoblin smile, he comes from that oldest of folk traditions: Liar as Creator, as Storyteller. He weaves a playful havoc to capture your attention and spins lies out of truth, and vice versa. Believe him at your peril, but you can trust him to ALWAYS have your back and bring you through the intrigue safe to the other side.
The Pixie- She’s an elemental force behind the shining smile of a child, a fairy in the garden. Whisper your secrets and she’ll hold them close. The truth she sings is yours for the taking. She is delicate but mighty, an old soul in a girl’s body. The gravity behind her eyes can hit you like a fist…but then she’ll laugh and spin and you’ll find yourself smiling and clapping with delight.
The Dancer- The meter and rhythm she moves to are her own, in both motion and emotion. Here a graceful pirouette of fantastic silliness and fun, become a flurry of movement in a child’s tantrum, transition into the decaying waltz of an old woman circling senility, snap to a point of quiet intensity, come back round again to silliness and fun. The beat is her own, but she’ll play it for you and teach you the steps.
The Mastermind- It’s his vision we’ve rallied around, his direction we’ve followed into this untamed wilderness, his idea for us to take our damn clothes off in the first place. I’ve known him for years…an amazing performer, teacher and friend. I don’t know where this show’s going to take us. But I know with him at the helm, I trust we’ll get there.
*- Names have been changed to protect the innocent. And because it sounds cool.
Intrigued? Come see Live Nude Improv for yourself. It’s running Saturdays at 8PM in July and August. Tickets here.