One of my aims while on my trip was to meet up, hang out, and play with improvisors from around the world. About a year ago I made contact with several improvisors in Sweden, France, the UK and the US, with that very aim. I only managed to connect with Swedish improvisors though, due mainly to the lack of improv over the summer months, and difficulties in contacting people once I was in the country.
Until San Francisco, that is.
A couple of days before I arrived in the city, I emailed my Facebook contact Rebecca Stockley (from BATS in SF); we had been Facebook friends for around a year, but had never had any conversations since making that connection. This didn't seem to matter though, as I received emails from her and two other SF improvisors within hours of my making contact. Where previously I had not had much luck with improv on my trip, I had now made contact with a group that seemed genuinely excited to hang out and play (and also a place to stay in San Francisco)!
I arrived on Saturday evening around 5pm, was picked up by the wonderful Lisa Rowland (an SF improvisor), and went straight to an improv show. I have seen a couple of improv shows during my trip, and they were all rather disappointing. But Saturday's show was from an improv troupe with seemingly similar interests and philosophy - and it was classic theatresports, which was not only a joy to watch, but also to be a part of. Yep, I got to judge the show, which I love to do.
It was a fun wee theatresports show: "Rock and Roll Theatresports"; where players get points based on scores from the judges, and also from a giant fluffy dice rolled on stage. There were some awful scenes, some wonderful scenes, and several scenes where the judges, and the audience completely disagreed with each other, and also a couple of scenes where the judges and audience completely disagreed with me. So much fun!
Everyone I met was a great deal of fun, and I had a complete blast hanging out with them. It's a shame I wasn't able to join them in a workshop or watch them rehearse, but I guess that's all the more reason to go back.
Outside of improv, I got to explore a good chunk of the city. More on that, later.