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Master and Apprentice Alike

This post is by Dan Pavatich,  LMA’s Artistic Director

I have been lucky enough to perform with some extremely funny and talented people, some of whom have been performing for decades, and others for only a matter of weeks. Such was the case last night at The Night Shift, when I had the chance to play with Ryan Karels (16 years experience) and after that we held a Student Jam where some of our students got the chance to play with our performers on the night.

During the Jam there was scene set at a dinner party. As you might expect,  entertaining for us, but uncomfortable for the characters. A situation arose between the host, his son and one of the guests, during which the rest of the party-goers stood idly waiting for the onslaught to end. That is until, during a pause in the conversation, where one of the bystanders (a student of ours) took two awkward steps to the cheese table, discretely loaded a plate, and quietly ate in the corner. The room exploded in laughter. A few minutes later the same, and bigger laughs. I was in tears.

Ryan spoke to the student afterwards where he shared his wisdom, which I’ll paraphrase here: “I just thought, what would I do in this situation? I’d get something to eat. So I did.”

Genius! And it reminded me of an email Ryan Karels sent out to his Samurai students a week earlier, which included the following quote:

“Think of your moves by the space they create for teammates to make moves. Likewise, when your teammates make moves, you can speak to the move or you can speak to the space made by the move…” – Ryan Karels

Improv can shine on the experienced and the less experienced alike. But the work we do is the fairest game in town, and the rules are the same for all:

  • Funny is simple.
  • Funny is true.
  • Funny is me and funny is you.

Everyone has something to teach you. And yeah, Yoda might know a lot about the force, but he doesn’t know anything about power converters.