Fridays at ComedySportz are always a bit odd. Saturdays, we almost always have a full, if not packed, house, but Fridays are inconsistent, and we’ve found ourselves playing to as few as eight people before. Last night, we had a group of kids coming out for pre-Prom fun, and a group of pregnant women having a booze-free Girls Night Out. There were others, also – walk-in traffic, and some friends of one of the troupemates. It was an energetic crowd, really. But I wasn’t really focused on audience analysis, I was too busy trying not to be nervous about my first time as team captain.
CSz, as I’ve mentioned, and as anyone who’s been to a show knows, is improvisational comedy played as if it were a sport (hence the name), so we have two teams of playerz: Red and Blue, and after each round the audience votes to see who gets points. The teams have names, usually puns on local city names, but the names change and are there for the audience – we just know which color we are. Last night, I was the red captain.
Captains usually choose their teams games, and also make the decisions (with input) about who goes out to guess in guessing games, and stuff like that. There are also bits throughout the match where we challenge each other, or otherwise interact – the coin toss at the beginning, etc. Most of the time, the captain is the most senior player on the team. When I saw the (c) by name in the liners last week, and knew who else was ON those liners, I thought, “This is a typo.” But it wasn’t, and I told three people I’d get to be captain because I was excited.
And so we played. We opened with “Beastie Rap”, which Blue won. They played “Arms Expert” for their first game, and we played a really manic game of “Changing Emotions and Styles”, and we (red) won the round. Then Blue challenged us to “4-headed Broadway Star,” and we challenged them to “Dinner at Joe’s,” and they won that round. Audiences are generally fickle, and generally vote for whichever game they see last. Blue got to play “Five Things” – and we had some suggestions we’d never seen before – the celebrities chosen were Walter Cronkite and Pete Rose, a wakeboard was replaced with a seal (And BZ had to apologize after the game because he’d mimed clubbing a seal to death, and the audience groaned. He went through a long apology in which he said, “I want all baby seals to die in their sleep” and the audience didn’t like THAT much either, so finally he stalked off saying, “Just take the point already!” In the almost-year I’ve been with this group, it’s the first time I’ve seen an apology not work.
After half time, we played a “catchup” game. I’d been thinking about playing Blind Line, and talked about it with our director, who was running sound, and our ref, but then I changed my mind, because Blind Line takes a long time to prep, as the audience has to give lines, and we were running long, and I wanted to use volunteers, so we played “Slide Show” instead, and I sent ER to narrate, because, as I told him, his narrations are always deliciously mischievous. It was a disturbing game of Slide Show, with bigger responses than we usually get. “Story” was our next game, and I was so into listening to ER do a monologue at one point that I forgot to watch the ref, and was eliminated. We ended with “185” and then we got the final scores, and we’d WON. I know it’s all about entertainment, and we’re not supposed to care if we win or lose, but still, it’s fun to win.
Especially since as captain, I got to do the bit where I pretend to pay off the ref after the game. I’m not the best at slo mo or mine, and combining them is harder than you think, but our director said I’d done a good job, as I was leaving, so I’m happy, and psyched, and I get to go have my hair turned PINK today, and then I get to play again tonight, and WOW, CSz weekends are the BEST.