Sunday, December 12, 2010

Andrea Kennedy

The Impromaniacs...
I was seventeen when my substitute teacher (Theresa) told me that I should go to some auditions for a group she was involved with. It was 1994 (I think!) and I was nervous, terrified, and completely unprepared. But miraculously I was invited to join and thus began some of the most poignant, amazing exhilarating, and significant moments of my post adolescent life.
What is the thing that I remember and love the most about The Impromaniacs? It's the people. These people who by opening themselves to being subjected to all manner of obscurities, open themselves to sharing in a friendship that reaches beyond borders. The members of The Impromaniacs from 1994 - 2001 are the people who helped to shape my life into what it is today. They are my mentors, my friends, the people I laugh with, cry with, and of course sometimes eat ice cream or drink with.
Each member gave a little part of themselves to the art of performing, every time they were handed a factory again they had to dig deeper to find something new, something different to help the story along. And each time they dug they gave a little more of themselves to us, to the audience. They revealed stories from their pasts whether funny or maybe slightly disturbing and allowed everyone to share in those moments. By doing this we created a place of what I can only describe as warm fuzzies. Some of the most important people in my life were involved in The Impromaniacs and it's the improv I have to thank for that. There are too many names to credit you all. But you know who you are.

Funny memories? Well there are a whole lot. I don't think I stopped laughing for 6 or (is it 7?) years. I miss that. Those times are incredibly hard to duplicate. I did learn though. I learned that a Singles Dating Event is not a better venue than a Wake. I learned that even with children in the audience my mouth could still say testicles instead of tentacles. as a Performance Director I learned that sometimes auditioners want to be in the company sooo badly they stalk you on roller skates and call you names, I learned that an Improviser will bash their body around and possibly get mild concussion at least once every few shows just for the laughs, I learned that being a chicken is noble, but being a cross-eyed window licking spinster is scarier and possibly more fun. I learned that people are unpredictable. I learned that no matter how much time passes Jonathan's marching/weird walk/finger wiggling/eye squinting characters still make me smile.
And so I thank all of The Impromaniac family for giving me so much, for giving the audience so much, for the many drunken dancing nights, for the games of tag on the sidewalk before a show, for the trips to Dairy Queen, the weekends away, the various costume and themed parties, for rehearsals in the park, drinks at the wicket, weeks and months spent planning rehearsals and shows, For long and ever lasting friendships and for every drop of goofy, void facing, obscure, hilarious, energy spent!
I could go on forever... but I won't!

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