Last night, I got to do a special two-man show with Kevin Mullaney. Click link for more info on Kevin. He runs the Hump Night show at the Strawdog Theater. When I originally reached out to him a few weeks back, I informed him about what I planned on doing and asked him if there was availability for my team. He had said no, but that he had another idea. What about doing a quick set with him in between one of the acts. I jumped right on the offer and took him up on it tonight. We did a quick 5 minute show. Might have been a few minutes more, but I’m not certain. We took a suggestion of a location to start. Ice Cream Parlor. Typical improv location suggestion. I started making myself an ice cream cone and initiated with, “I really want to quit this job Roy.” Kevin would play my boss Roy, who was co-owner with his brother. A brother who beat him all the time. My motive for wanting to quit was because I was a singer, but I didn’t have any support at home. My mother would constantly tell me to stop singing because it was making her ears bleed. We played a fun little game of talking about times where Roy’s brother beat the ever living hell out of him (like when the Parlor held a Poetry Slam).This would lead my character to suggest he run away with me and get away from it all. To join me in quitting. One move I was very happy I made was informing him that he could take his helmet off because his brother wasn’t around (thus implying that he had been wearing a football helmet the entire time we had been talking). A subtle detail, but one that added a little something to his character. I would suggest that I could protect him. A weird suggestion, which was called out on the spot for being weird. The scene would then be wrapped up very nicely with Kevin saying, “On second thought, I think you should go.”
Even though it was only 5 minutes, I think a lot was established. I was very happy with the moves I was making and how we were working together. I did object work, explored the environment somewhat, and played off of the character that Kevin had created. One rule-breaker I think we did very well was talking about people who weren’t there. That’s typically something you don’t want to do because talking about people who are not in the room can somewhat come off boring. If you’ve got someone in the room with you, talk to them. However, I think Kevin and I did it very well and the conversation we were having about the other characters (his brother and my mother) added some depth/layers to the characters we had created for ourselves. It went very well. I suggest people go see these Hump Night shows. It’s a fun night and the audience is very supportive. For the finale of the night, Kevin teams up with decorated improvisers around the city to do a set known as the Mullaney Chain. Without going into great detail, it was hilarious and there were some very well-known Chicago improvisers present.