I taught the first beginners improv workshop of the season last night and it was so much fun it reminded me why I’m doing this in the first place. I love teaching beginners, it’s so exhilarating watching people do improv for the first time. I love the magic moment when someone says or does something and has no idea where it’s come from. We had a lovely group too, it actually felt like a ready made team arriving.
Hoopla have been on a bit of a break over August, with just a couple of things running, but we’re back properly this week. Over the summer I’ve been focussing on #improvadmin (lots of) and now I’m back properly into improv land.
Here’s what I’m looking forward to about this season:
Last night reminded me how much I love running improv workshops so I’m looking forward to all the courses starting this week.
Hoopla Ten Years Party
Hoopla are ten years old this weekend and we’re having a big party on Saturday night at The Miller, all welcome. It feels weird writing ten years old, it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like yesterday we were in The Bedford in Balham once a week drinking and smoking during workshops.
It’s been a bit of a balancing act squeezing in everyone this season, but we’ve got a nice variety of shows lined up including Paul Merton coming back in September and also lots of up and coming new groups.
We’ve now got lots of lovely volunteers who are going to be helping out at our shows with things like front of house, hosting and sound & lights. This enables us to put on more shows and improv community events, and also means the show groups are more supported when they come and perform. I’m really looking forward to having a team of people all working together on shows.
More nights at The Miller
Having more volunteers helping out has meant we’re able to take on running more shows at The Miller, so next year we’re going to be running shows there 4 or 5 times a week instead of 3. This is going to mean more space for up and coming impro groups, and more gigs for everyone basically.
Working with The Nursery and The Maydays
We’ve always had a lovely relationship with The Nursery and The Maydays, we’re like Morecambe & Wise in bed together, and this season its stronger than ever.
The Nursery have got a great new workshop venue and we’re going to be running lots of courses there. I think it’s lovely having so many improvisers in one place.
I’ve finally got organised and started recording some podcasts. I think I might be the last person left to do one. We’re keeping it simple, it’s just me and a couple of improvisers each week chatting about and then playing their favourite improv exercises.
It’s designed to help new improvisers or people in improv groups to give them some exercises and show games that they can use, even if their miles away from any improv company they could hopefully listen to some exercises and have a go at playing them. Maybe we’ll also send them into space and encourage an inter alien impro scene.
Slapdash the International Impro Festival is going to be at The Miller this year which is really exciting. Jules, The Nursery and C3Something are programming it and I’m going to be helping to promote it. It’s such a great chance to see improv from around the world.
We’ve got John Cremer back to teach some more guest workshops. He’s the first person I learnt improv from and I think he creates the most amazing environment. He’s going to be running a one day workshops on improv and also a two day workshop on teaching improv, so a good chance to learn about how to set up a supportive workshop environment.
Improv at Work
I’ve been working with Max Dickins and others on bringing improv into the workplace. Max does an amazing job at working with companies and making improv relevant to their work, and I feel like we’ve now got something really fun and helpful.
I really love how Hoopla is becoming such a strong team. We’ve got some lovely teachers and we’re now chatting together more than ever, swapping exercises and still learning loads. Also the show groups and the front of house volunteers and everyone else all working together to keep trying out new shows and growing impro.
Most of all thank you to my lovely wife George. She’s basically Hoopla’s external consultant and I bounce so many ideas of her and she’s always there to listen and hug.
Blub blub hug hug hug love love lovey!
Happy improvising everyone! It’s crazy isn’t it? But we love it!