Did you see Inspirado last night? If you just answered no…read carefully. It was an intentionally inspirational Inspirado! Phooka, the Kim Kardashian of Improv teams was up against the current Inspirado champions Upstate. Trash talk was short and sweet and then…there was improv. Not normal improv…well you’ll see!
Phooka was up first and chose an Individual challenge and received Insane. All of Phooka’s characters were mental patients at a Spring Dance, and they all suffered from different illnesses. This piece was filled with grounded touching moments between extremely crazy people. The girl who had many imaginary friends was able to enjoy a dance with the guy who was “watching everything”. Despite all of the crazies, the piece was eccentric and character driven, two things Phooka had no trouble enjoying.
Andrew Yurman-Glaser of Upstate took the stage next. He tried to get his teammate, Dustin Drury on facetime, but quickly realized he was on his own. He chose a Stylistic challenge and received Brokaw. Yurman-Glaser had to do a piece in the style of a Nightly News Show. What followed was a brilliant mulit-character piece that moved perfectly. Yurman-Glaser was able to create a show with 5 characters and keep all of them straight. After the show we sat down with Yurman-Glaser and asked him a few questions about his un-precedented one-man Inspirado triumph:
Inspirado Blog: Congratulations! What was it like doing a one man set?
Andrew Yurman-Glaser: Thank you! It was a bit nerve racking before hand, but similar to 2-prov, once I started there wasn’t much time to think about different things that can go wrong. You’re just forced to be in the moment and deal with stuff. Using Upstate’s mono-scene, multi-character form that we tend do use a lot worked from the one man perspective. Luckily, I was able to create distinct enough characters so that I didn’t confuse myself jumping back and forth between them. Chris Simpson on the lights too! Whew, how cool? He spotlighted each character as I jumped around. I remember at least on a subconscious being comforted by that. It was nice to know someone else was a) watching and b) that I wasn’t alone up there.
IB: What did you think when you heard the challenge? How did you attack it?
AYG: My challenge was to have the show be a “newscast” (I think that was about it). I just jumped into setting up a stage picture for what I thought a studio would look like and I as I went into it, you start thinking about what types of characters would live in that world. Hence my two anchor characters, producer, camera man, and weather guy. In retrospect I wish I had tied things up a bit more neatly at the end. Thinking about it post-show I really liked the stuff about the Peabody Award, but I never really followed through with that. Or even little character games I gave myself, like having the lead anchor be asleep to start off. What a fun thing to have played with throughout the show. But, I ended up dropping it, because my brain. Obviously couldn’t handle everything. Next time, right?
IB: Any more one man shows coming up?
AYG: If Upstate wins the next two times I’ll do another one man show, because Dustin’s heading to Washington state a couple days early for the Improv Olympia festival we’re performing in. So, hopefully I’ll get another chance to do it real soon.
Andrew Yurman-Glaser and UPSTATE return next week to defend their title! Will they move on? Will AYG have another chance to do a one-man show? You decide, next week at 11pm! INNSPIIRADDOOOO!!!!!!!!!