Hope you had a good Christmas. I love this bit of the year, the gap between Christmas and New Year, it’s a blissful oasis of solitary admin for me. I tinker on the hoopla website like real men tinker on MG Roadsters in their garage. I don’t talk to many people this week, and go a bit improv cold turkey.
I have to say that after a break from improv it now seems completely nuts. I currently get nervous asking platform attendants when the rail replacement bus service leaves, and can’t imagine having to say anything in front of an audience, let alone something entertaining. I don’t think I’ve changed my voice, posture, emotion, tempo or face in 10 days, and in improv we end up doing that 100s of times in an evening. It’s nuts!
I’ve also recently had loads of conversations where I didn’t actually say what was on my mind there and then, or talk about the relationship. It was quite nice actually, very relaxing. I largely talked about Star Wars, John Lewis, food, brandy and cats instead. I don’t think my Christmas would make a very exciting impro scene.
But having a break from improv makes me appreciate it even more. It’s a very odd, very wild, very fun and a different thing that seems to break the routine of normal life and send me in new directions.
Now I’m feeling rested and refreshed I’m ready to jump into impro again, and as I’m currently planning some things for next year I thought I’d share what I’m looking forward to:
Making more stuff
I’m really looking forward to making more stuff. I feel like I should have a big plan and focus on one type of stuff. But actually I think it’s just going to be lots of different stuff. We’ve made a start on our youtube channel this year (www.youtube.com/hooplaimprov) and I’m looking forward to making it a regular thing next year.
We’re going to be releasing at least one video a week next year, with a mix of improv tips from the wonderful Katy Schutte, recordings of live improv shows, sketches and various interviews and things. Mike, Conor, Ed and others have been doing an awesome job directing and I can’t wait to do more.
There’s also a podcast/audio thing with Joel Butler, Sophie Pumphrey, Ella Jean and I that I really need to edit and release as it’s my favourite thing and makes me laugh. In fact me writing this blog is probably me procrastinating about editing that. But anyway, look out for Jobsworths.
Recording every improv game ever
Another thing I’m keen to do is attempt to record every improv game ever over the year. We’re going to be using my sitting room as a mini studio to do that (thanks George), so anybody that wants to come on over and be in a game for youtube get in touch! I’ll put on a buffet.
Return of cabaret
Over Christmas I realised I really missed the Hoopla cabaret night that we used to run, where it was a mix of improv acts and shorter cabaret acts in between improv. So we’re going to be running that again monthly from early in the New Year. So I’m currently booking in cabaret acts and improv groups for shorter sets, email if interested.
If you have a fun 5-10 minute cabaret act get in touch!
I’ve decided to make our weekend shows a bit more mainstream and suitable for a wider audience who maybe don’t know much about improv and are up for a big night out. So I’m keen to book improv acts that are up for that, maybe a bit showbiz and most of all really fun and up for a fun weekend feel. We’re going to be doing some wider advertising to get The Miller full each weekend and really lively, and I’ve also been chatting to some set designers and builders to make the upstairs a bit more showbiz with less kitchen noise!
So get in touch if your improv group is ready for a more mainstream crowd.
We’re going to be having TheatreSports back at The Miller on a monthly basis, run by Faye at Story Kitchen. I’m really looking forward to being part of this, it will be great to back in a regularly rehearsing and performing team again as I’ve been away from that this year and I’ve really missed it. Faye has gathered a great cast and has a great plan for the year so we’re going to be supporting it lots and hopefully making it a big show. Can’t wait!
Osho Leela, Improv Residential
I’m back there with The Maydays in Spring and can’t wait. It’s a really good experience, improv all day and evening and the ability to chat to people afterwards without having to worry about last tubes and night buses.
I teach best after a break. Anything I can’t remember I figure I forgot for a reason, so I’ve found our courses in January and February tend to be more simple and fun.
We’re now training together as a teaching team and swapping notes more than ever. We’re very lucky to have such a great bunch of people so I’m looking forward on doing even more as a team next year.
Edgar and I are going to be running some improv workshops in Ibiza in the summer! Don’t know how or where yet, but it’s happening somehow. Also me and him are going to be teaming up on one some kind of improv meets party meets club event at some point.
New Workshop Venues
For our improv courses we’ve got some new workshop venues we’ll be using including some in London Bridge, within staggering distance of The Miller! Which means finally next year there will be workshops and shows happening in the same area!
I’m keen to get more involved in supporting up and coming groups. That might be by coaching, or producing, or just giving advice on promoting and things. I’m especially interested in supporting committed groups that are up for rehearsing and performing regularly over the year for a big weekend audience. If that’s you, get in touch!
London is now having LOADS of improv festivals. Slapdash is back, there’s another one with City Impro in February and we’re going to be running a whole week of impro in July.
I can’t stop myself, I’m going to be doing some weird things still. The Creep is going to be creeping about Edinburgh for no reason, masks are coming back to The Miller, and I love fancy dress so that will be happening more.
Big Summer Party
We’re also working with Jules at The Nursery on a big summer party and some other events too.
Improv, Bikes, Running, Countryside
We’re going to be combining all of the above somehow in the summer, but not sure how yet.
I miss Dave Waller so I’ll be bugging him soon too, along with many others!
There’s loads more, looking forward to it.
Happy New Year Everyone!!!!