Roy Janik (zinereem) wrote,
Roy Janik
zinereem

bon anniversaire a toi




I hate to be a broken record, but today is a special day, so I'll chop it all up and say it again.

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of my troupe, Parallelogramophonograph. Since we began performing, we've managed to compress about 10 years of activity into 2, and still we want more.

Sometimes it's been hell... lamenting over shows gone wrong, worrying about decisions, about hurt feelings, about our stability, our sanity, or what the future will hold.

But more often, it's been delightful, inspiring, gratifying work. After all this time we can still make each other laugh... still surprise each other,  still inspire each other.

Improv is crazy, because even though we train constantly, discuss theory endlessly... ultimately it's just us on stage with nothing to work with except each other. And amazingly, that's been more than enough.

I feel blessed to work with the rest of the kittens. And I truly hope and believe that we'll continue our journey together.

Looking back at the 110 shows we've done so far, and all the hanging out, and all the rehearsals, I know I've forgotten far more than I can recall. Here's a few favorite moments:


  • In our very first show, Phil being a reclusive father who reveals that he can move stuff with his mind... and then seeing a chair propelled by kareem fly across the stage

  • Phil accidentally getting endowed as George Washington Carver, and revealing his car that runs on peanuts

  • the first christmas sleepover, getting matching pajamas, and receiving a mysterious letter from the future... and then a later podcast interview with Mo where she said "I get the feeling you all have matching pajamas" and we all yelled "We do!"

  • writ mundanus

  • Wes and Kareem's exchange during the Hobo show regarding the half-dime, and who controlled the boxcar... not to mention Kaci's wooden spoon and "hobo justice"

  • The end of the last 1930s show... We were doing a radio broadcast in the dark, and Wes said "The following cities are currently being invaded by the Nazis..." and he and I took turns naming them... Paris... London... Atlantis... Mars... And then the lights slowly going out entirely... and the audience erupting in energy and yells and applause in a culmination of the entire run.

  • our silent show

  • watching a PGraph show from the audience and being amazed and jealous at how good everyone was on stage.

  • the scene kareem and I did (in a Whirled News Tonight, actually, I think) where he was a disney speech writer who used the word magic too much.

  • Valerie explaining the details of menstruation to Kaci for 3 shows in a row.

  • time traveling cat in the microwave...

  • Kaci making Wes playing cheerleaders and other dumb, flighty girls

  • Chairs!

  • Various kitty-cat roundabouts, which has worked well for us... especially the one where kaci played a lifeguard, and I played her nerdy friend.

  • The entireity of the French-themed Traveler show (and really all the Travelers we did in Austin), where Val played an American tourist in Paris. It was playful, with occasional breaks for deeper scenework, and it all ended in a terrible pun.

  • the run of scenes we did over a few months where Kareem was alone on stage with the rest of us as offstage voices.

  • Kaci's apprentice character Jasper in the OOB 2007, with his mischievous but good-hearted nature, and a propensity for getting nervous/passing out.


  • our second show in Omaha, where something clicked and we surprised ourselves with what we'd managed to do.


  • Immortal Tobacco Co. Barons... "newspapery clickety clackity"


and Val's sassy grandma, and Kaci's bowing servants, and Kareem's old men, and 1000 other things I can't think of.

It's a never-ending road, and I walk it in good company.

Tags: anniversary, improv, pgraph
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