Friday, January 15, 2010

Going BATS in San Francisco

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.

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