It's begun. Some folk are already over the pond and resting on the lily pads. One such folk is Andrew "A-bag" Gentilli. He's been in New York - for improv reasons - and heads off to Chicago soon.
Improv seems to be a healthy and natural outlet for my brand of insanity. I get a thrill from losing myself in a character and cutting loose on an improv stage in various show formats. I run a short-form group 'The Inflatables', a long-form narrative group 'Storybag', and am a member of musical troupe 'Music Box' and Harold team 'The Family Business', who have just played at the Del Close Marathon in New York, which was unbelievably good fun.
What's the best improv call-out you've ever heard?
Which improv course are you doing, and what made you choose that one?
iO Summer Intensive in Chicago kicks off in a few days. I chose it because of strong recommendations from peers who went in recent years, and after a particularly inspiring class from iO instructor Jason Chin in London.
When/how did you start planning your trip?
Put the word out that I was going and there seemed to be a lot of interest from friends so we set about booking online and sorting shared accommodation.
Being challenged by the truckload of new techniques and strategies that the course will hopefully offer, and playing with a new team of improvisers.
Are there any shows you HAVE to see while you're over there?
I'll see what's on offer and take it from there, but the iO style is one that chimes with me so hoping to see plenty of inspiring gigs.
What are you going to do in chicago when you're not improvising?
See shows, socialise, relax, cook myself by the lake.
How do you think the trip will change you?
I hope to be humbled and inspired by seeing what's possible outside of my usual improv experience. I'll likely become quite annoying as I try to force my new learning on people back in London.
Do you think you'll go back another time?
It's likely, there are more styles of improv to explore...
If you could name a new impro group anything you like, what would it be?
A-bag is in Music Box and The Family Business.
Follow all the UK improvisers going to Chicago this Summer at #ChicaGoUK.