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Old 12-15-04, 08:12 PM   #21
Rex Boyd
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ComedySportz in Milwaukee is fantastic. I saw them at Kalt's and at their own venue as well in the early '90's. Several excellent performers and a really upbeat show you can't fail to enjoy.

That same improv spirit and some of the same games were of course taken to the street by Derek, Eric and North, the 3 Canadians. They even invented some of their own versions of Theatresports games that were then mentioned in a book by Keith Johnstone, their very own improv guru from Calgary.

I think doing improv games is a great way to present comedy on the street while trying to break away from the same old skills show approach, but I also think the real ultimate challenge is still doing straight stand-up on the street and that is why there are so few examples of it being done. The right location and type of crowd for the shows is always going to be much more important for a stand-up, but I think it really comes down to being completely vulnerable as just a performer and the words you say. There's no chance to fall back on easy applause points or a big build up to something "dangerous". The audience is either going to like you or not.

About Robin Williams... I have heard many stories about him joining in with improv groups or stand-up shows when he just turns up. I think he really does enjoy the chance to perform in that setting and why not? It would be VERY interesting if one day he did a street show with the 3 Canadians somewhere. Now that would be worth seeing.

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Old 12-15-04, 08:43 PM   #22
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Slightly changing the direction of this topic...

The last time I saw Jeff Bradley several years ago he had been doing lots of comedy club work at the time a so this was influencing his street style. He was using a mic stand and playing a tighter circle and probably doing very much the same variety performance set that he was doing in comedy clubs at the time. Anyone seen Jeff lately?

This is a good chance for me to point out that a proper hand held mic is always going to sound much, much better than a headset or lapel mic. You can also get a very good hand held mic for less money than a cheap wireless. AND that mic will last you many years. I've had my hand held for about 8 years of battering on the street and it's still good as new. I've been through several wireless mics which always cause hassle. Most comedy clubs and rock venues will use the Sure SM58. The mic I have is a notch down on the Sure list and I think it's called the 14. The main difference is that mine has an on/off switch on the mic. This is bad for a stage performer who doesn't want to accidentally turn off the mic, but it's good for the street performer who wants to lay down the mic for a moment without having to run over to the amp to turn down the level to avoid feed back.

Last summer I tried once to do a couple of minutes or so of stand-up style on the streets on a show I was enjoying. I have never done a show of just stand-up however, although I usually do a lot of talking and improvising on the mic in the crowd gather. Having said that I am now doing a fair bit of stand-up indoors and am very interested in using the streets to work on it. Main problem of course is finding the right pitch and the right time to work it. Much of my indoor stand-up set is not going to be appropriate in front of an all ages street crowd. I think I will force myself to get out there and try when the weather turns nicer though. Anybody else up for a little self-imposed challenge and we can compare notes?

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Old 12-16-04, 06:03 PM   #23
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Talking of Chris Lyneham, I was compering at Glastonbury in about 88/89 in a venue called the mummerandada tent. Chris headlined every night and the audience would arrive 30 minutes beforehand to make sure they got a seat. One night he lost the audience so totally and then got them back so brilliantly that it was gobsmacking to see.
One day at Covent Garden he hit me really hard for laughing at a sexist joke he had just done (I was sitting in the front row of his audience and he didnt know who I was) and all I could do was carry on laughing.
Genius.
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Old 12-24-04, 09:01 PM   #24
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Hey, Butterfly --

In a recent "Actor's Studio" interview on the Bravo Channel Williams makes reference to his experiences doing mime on the steps of New York's Metropolitan Museum when he was a student at Juliard.
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Old 12-25-04, 04:39 AM   #25
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Robin Williams ... working as a mime while at Julliard ... sure he did ...

granted, I've seen him pretend to be a street performer, but he never was one ... he's a fuckin' liar ...
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Old 01-27-12, 03:52 AM   #26
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how would these street comedians start there show? what was the draw? How did they even possibly gather. It just baffles my mind.
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