Roy Janik (zinereem) wrote,
Roy Janik

43 Hour Improv Marathon Wrap-Up

I've been talking up a storm about the 43 Hour Marathon on Facebook, and I just don't want to stop. 

I'm not even sure what I have to say at this point, but I don't want to let it go. I know it's narcissistic, but I just feel so good about it.

First off, the Marathon was run better than ever. Kaci, Kareem, and Andy took turns running the show, and with a legion of volunteers, it went off without a hitch. 

The audiences were up across the board, and there were no almost totally dead hours, like there have been in the past. I think the smallest house we had was 10.

That was of course in large part due to the Hardcore 4: 4 women who watched the entire Marathon. How awesome is that?

We did a ton of work in the lead up this year. Loads of blog posts, full color mailers, 2 press releases, 3 runs of posters, arranging volunteers, and in general just beating the hammer loudly.

I also feel like I put together the best collection of shows/groups so far. I learn a bit more each year about what works and what doesn't. Preview of next year: more shows that are deliberately more patient, or specifically 2-3 person scenes... not boring, but just making it possible to have scenes that breathe. 

That's the logistics of the running of things. I'm super proud. It was a lot of hard work. I'm sure the Marathon will lose money as it usually does, but the payoff in terms of community good will, bonding, and general buzz is more than worth it.

As a performer, I had a wonderful time.

Actually, I did the Marathon 2 years ago and it was amazing. You can read my show wrap-up here:

This time felt a little different, but equally awesome, and more personally rewarding for myself in terms of self-esteem. Part of it I'm sure is that I had 2 more years of experience under my belt.The thing is, I had been beating myself up a bit about the last Marathon because I held back in some shows, and just didn't participate much in some of them. I loved all of it, but felt that I could have contributed more.

This time my whole goal was to throw myself into every show, regardless of if I felt like I knew what I was doing, or if I felt worthy.

And it totally paid off. I played bolder than I normally do, tried things I haven't done before (Rock Opera!), and surprised myself. Was I always 100% confident? Hell No! But I put that fear aside and went for it anyways. It helped having Jill Bernard around. She's always throwing herself into things quickly and at 1000%, so I just kind of followed her example.

The cast in particular was incredible. There was very little drama, and everyone at least was there for every show. Sometimes they'd immediately go to sleep backstage, but I'll let that pass. Between every show our mantra was "I still like you," and that remained the truth. I felt like I was surrounded by generous players who weren't letting anything get in the way of the work.

Some takeways/things I want to work on:
  • The Marathon sealed the fact that I want to do more musical improv. I'm thinking about putting together a little side project to explore that more. I had a blast in GGG, Drum Machine, and ROCK. I don't have the best voice, but I seem to be able to come up with lyrics on the fly alright, and as long as I overcommit, it's been working out. The thing I like most about it is that once I'm singing, I get totally out of my head. There's just no time for me to think, and so it's easy to lose myself... which is something I'm always chasing in improv.
  • I suck at mining information from monologues or interviews given at the top of a show. I mean, I can do it for the first scene, but remembering what was said once the show is going is a skill I still need to work on. I guess it just takes practice.
  • I start withdrawing if I'm in a montage and things are too crazy/unhooked from reality. I don't quite know how to enter. I need to learn how to handle freewheeling montage type shows better in general.
  • I'm a little more okay with the fact that I'm always smiling and having a good time onstage. This has been something I've been pretty perturbed with lately... my propensity to break in scenes. But again, watch my fellow Marathoners, all of whom I admire greatly... my favorite moments were still when they lost it, or were clearly happy to be there. I just need to trust that if ta scene calls for gravitas, I'll be able to do the right thing.
I can't even really begin to describe how great everyone was. I hadn't done much improv with Ratliff, Eric, Emma, or Jill before the Marathon, but they were all as generous, kind, and talented onstage as I suspected. And Marc, Halyn, and Jon were as great as they always are.

Maybe this'll satisfy me for a while.

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