Coach Lloyd Alqhuist Doing it Well….

Since coaching USS Rock N Roll, Lloyd Ahlquist has seen his career explode.  Lloyd or Epic Lloyd as his friends know him, is part of the infamous YouTube rap duo that make “Epic Rap Battles of History.”  Lloyd has never gone on record to say this, but he has told me personally that he owes everything to USS Rock N Roll for making him the success that he is today and wants to start paying us 50% of all his proceeds from YouTube.  Pretty generous if you ask me!  Here is my favorite Epic Rap Battle thus far.  I hope you enjoy!

Richard Lewis vs. Larry David

This great interview with Richard Lewis takes an indepth look at his relationship with childhood amigo and improv mate Larry David.  Grab some coffee, a biscuit and enjoy!  (article by Ali Lerman at OC Weekly, http://blogs.ocweekly.com/heardmentality/2012/07/richard_lewis_the_neurotic_man.php)

 

richard lewis.jpg
Richard Lewis is a very touchy-feely kinda guy.
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USS RnR Improv Documentary

About a year ago, we had a team meeting to discuss what new projects we wanted to try and pursue.  We started talking about a documentary about Improv.   We partnered with a wonderful director and producer and now we enter the stage where we raise funds for the project.  We have started a Kickstarter project page and are shooting for $5,000 to get started.

Here is the pitch video we have created.

We would really appreciate any support you could give us.  Here is the link to the page.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stephaniehubbard/the-improv-movie-a-documentary

 

Friday Funny Video

Do you love HBO’s “The Wire”?  Yes? Then you’ll loooooove this.

Our First Post Ever!

Ever wonder what the first post of this blog was? Me too. Well, here it is. The very first post (there was one before this but it just gave our show times so I didn’t think it was official) of the USS Rock N’ Roll blog from The Plague (Molly Hale) on 4/18/09. It was entitled “USS philosophy” Enjoy!

 

 

Picture from The New Yorker

Picture from The New Yorker

 

 

Friday Funny Video

I LOVE news bloopers!  Can’t get enough of them.  So, to increase your enjoyment of Friday here is a news blooper video to enjoy.

Tuck’s Mailbag

 

Today’s question comes from Vic Kettle from Carlisle, OK.

 

Vic writes: Tuck, I am auditioning at a local improv theater for the first time.  I really want to get on a good team!  What traits do you think people should have to make a great improve team.

Great question Vic! My advice is to think of your team as a group of superheroes who all have different super powers. If all of your superheroes have the same super powers, then you really don’t get much done. Also, if they all have the same weaknesses then everyone can be taken out with the same thing. So, you have to make sure that everyone can do different things really, really well.

If an average improv team has 10 members, here is what you should look for in each of them, in no particular order

1. The Great Scenework Person – This person is great to be in scenes with. They can create an immediate relationship and have fun playing within the scene that they are in. This person would be the Superman of the team. They are fun to watch and to be in a scene with. They do have a weakness though. When something comes up something that is abstract or arty, they tend to lose their way. You might notice the panicked look on their faces when someone starts something with just a weird sound or a quiet movement. The Superman will not know what to do and they can tend to freeze on the spot or slowly walk off stage.

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Coaching Tips From An Old Friend

I was looking back at some old posts and I thought this was a good one from Molly “The Plague” Hale. 

Enjoy

Today I want to talk about coaching young, green improvisers.

Getting a new team is exciting, especially if they are excited. Your young players are a blank canvas. They aren’t jaded. They haven’t nailed down any bad habits yet. They’re probably still way in their heads and willing to try anything.

Coaching a young team can seem like a cake walk, especially if you’re a new coach, because you know more than them. You’re put in a position of teacher/friend/hero/ and example. My advice to the coach of a team of young players is, be emotionally empathetic.

Listen with your whole body to your team. What are they telling you they need? Sometimes you’re going to need to run drills. They’re still young. They need practice on basics. But when are they fading out? Change it up with something fun from left field. Don’t let your players get away with bananas on bananas. You’re the only one who can help them realize when they are making unbelievable choices. But learn to feel when your side coaching is putting them too far in their heads. You don’t want them to second guess their own imagination.

Young players might become emotional during a rehearsal that is particularly hard. I’ve seen it DOZENS OF TIMES. It’s happened to me in a rehearsal too. If you’re a good coach, then you will be challenging your players to push their own boundaries. But pushing our boundaries is hard. Sometimes it means taking a good hard look at ourselves. Showing a young improviser that they are emotionally unavailable in scene work might mean showing them that they are emotionally unavailable in life. We play what we know. So be easy with players who seem raw after or during a practice. Reinforce ALL constructive criticism with positive reinforcement and accolades of good choices. Some players may need more hand holding than others. Be keen to this possibility. Remind your players that improv IS hard work, and that feeling stuck is part of the process.

I know you are a great coach. If you are able to be flexible by teaching strong lessons that take time and build character AND by having an emotional sensitivity to your greener players… your reputation as a coach will only continue to grow and grow. Soon we’ll all be able to pay our health insurance with the salaries we make from helping to build strong, unified teams.

 

Congrats to Levin and Annie!

Tomorrow, Saturday July 7th, Levin O’Connor and Annie Kouris are getting married.

I could not be happier for both of them.  They are my teammates, my friends and my family.

To commemorate this special occasion, I would like to share a few memories of each of them.

I met Levin in Chicago sometime around March or April of 2002.  We were both in Level 2 at iO in Chicago along with Dave Taylor and Molly Hale of USS Rock n Roll.  I don’t remember my first meeting with him or what are first words were to each other, I just remember him always being my friend.  We went through classes together and were placed on different teams upon graduation.  Even though we didn’t perform together we hung out from time to time.  I went to his place to watch the Super Bowl and think he was the first person so say, “Did we just see a nipple?” after the Janet Jackson half-time celebration.  He came to my going away party when I moved to Los Angeles.

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Happy 4th of July!

 

On this day of celebration, I thought it might be fun to provide some trivia about the 4th of July holiday and the birth of our nation.  This one goes out to Dave “The ‘brary” Taylor whose love of trivia knows no bounds.

 

  • The major objection to being ruled by Britain was taxation without representation. The colonists had no say in the decisions of English Parliament.
  • In May, 1776, after nearly a year of trying to resolve their differences with England, the colonies sent delegates to the Second Continental Congress. Finally, in June, admitting that their efforts were hopeless; a committee was formed to compose the formal Declaration of Independence. Headed by Thomas Jefferson, the committee also included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. On June 28, 1776, Thomas Jefferson presented the first draft of the declaration to Congress.
  • Betsy Ross, according to legend, sewed the first American flag in May or June 1776, as commissioned by the Congressional Committee.
  • Independence Day was first celebrated in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.

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