Archive for April, 2013

BYOI – Et Tu Vader?

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It was a beautiful day for improv at the Warwick Museum of Art! Thanks to the audience who came inside to play with us, especially Madeline, Grace and Sophia! Daniel started off the show explaining the rules of RESPECT before being joined by castmembers Krissy, Erich, Drew and Evan.

Greg was the lucky FAM, so he went home with a spiffy BYOI prize! Greg sells medical supplies and likes football and baseball. He likes to read fiction, like Charles Dickens, but not Shakespeare. He may have gotten booed by BYOI alum Stephanie, who was in the audience, for that one…

In FAM Tableau, we saw a scenes about baseball with a misplaced base and cinnamon buns in Princess Leia’s hair.

After a quick warmup by Evan, it was onto Movie Critics! We experienced what no one has ever experience before: Wookies meet Shakespeare…trust me, it was fun.

Trolley Stop started off our audience participation, with Madeline jumping in! We witnessed cheerleaders, shy people, gunfighters and Harry Potter’s owls waiting for the bus.

Interrogation Lineup featured a creepy cast of characters. Thankfully, the streets are now safe from dangerous criminals who lose pencils under the couch with Paul Revere!

Six Pack brought the return of Stephanie to the stage!! She played Erich’s daughter who was making her dad proud by doing everything wrong. She was proud of herself until she ended up in jail with dad so they could spend time together.

After the break, audience members Grace and Sophia joined Madeline for some games. We started off with Alphabet, where Krissy learned she’d get dinged off the stage for speaking like Yoda. Evan was trapped in a lifeboat but wasn’t allowed to yell, and Woodsie the owl was caught in a net.

In Story, Story Die, the cast and ladies from the audience told us the great tale of the pizza shop owner. He decided to start a business with golden pepperoni, which sold $7,000 pizzas. Unfortunately, no one could afford his pizza, so he needed Bill Gates to help him out. He eventually started making calzones and retired to Italy.

Short Cutz had movie focus groups, Erich as Stevie the crab and Charles Dickens’ failed pen name, Chuckie D.

The night ended in song with Hoe Down, where we unfortunately misheard Greg. He wanted to hear about anything but medical supplies, but we didn’t hear the “anything but” part…and we serenaded him with stories of gauze and other things he has to deal with all day. Thankfully Greg enjoyed the song anyway!

And scene!

BYOI – Kerri B’s B-Day!

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Hey Internet!

Joe here with another BYOI show recap!  Our April 26th show was even more awesome than usual due to an extra special birthday: our very own Kerri!  Those of you who are regulars will recognize her as our hardworking door person and she chose to spend her cake day with us.  During our interview with Kerri we learned about her dream job (newscaster), her current job (receptionist for a therapist office), and what she likes to do for fun (attending gay bingo and board game nights with her friends and co-workers).

We used these answers and more for a FAM-themed game of Sing it Again.  We learned what does and doesn’t sell on eBay and the desirability of radioactive Hello Kitty cellphones.

Krissy then warmed up the audience with some charms practice inspired by our FAM’s love of a certain literary boy wizard.  Once we had the audience under our spell, we could proceed to a game of Highlander where Coburn tried to pull Paul and Drew away from their Beatles album collection long enough to find his train ticket before cab driver Ian left him behind (though Ian didn’t seem to mind as long as the meter kept running).  In the end, winner Paul had to fill in all the roles.

Drew then hosted a game of Tableau.  We saw receptionist ninjas, a more bizarre than usual version of Cats, and some interesting sporting events while tailgating.  After indulging our need for living art, we moved on to a game of Chainsaw.  We were strangely close with our guesses of exterminators and robot cats, but it turned out we were supposed to be conveying bee morticians, furbies, and bowling alleys.  I fail to see the problem.  To finish out the first part of our show, we played a game of Six Pack.  Ian and myself got the suggestion of Rock-em Sock-em Robots, Drew and audience member Chris were truck drivers who couldn’t decide who was working for who, and Paul and Krissy were trying to enjoy their Groupon vacation.  By the time we were done, all of us were getting married by a cat minister.  Or a minister who was a cat.  It wasn’t totally clear, but Mr. Mittens was there for us in the end.

After intermission, we played a game of Say it Again where crazy watch salespeople sold different brands depending upon what accent they used.  My favorite was the werewolf(?) who sold me a cupcake watch.  Next, we competed in a game of Spelling Bee, hosted by Ian.  While it wasn’t clear which competitor won, the audience definitely did as we stumbled our way through pachyderm and lycanthropy.

Long story short, we then played Short Cuts where we learned that stoner ninja school is dangerous, Krissy has high standards for Play Dough cooking, Paul has higher standards still for Play Dough cooking show hosts, and that improv scenes should always end by picking noses.  Of course, that’s debatable, so we put it before our panel of experts in Debate Club.  Hilarity ensued as we debated bingo and somehow ended up debating the merits of salsa.  Chris proved victorious on that point.

With those points settled, the only thing left to do was end on a song.  Kerri picked our topic, which started with preventing the pursuit of amorous intents and somehow turned into the worst first date ever where one party ended up locked in a room and forgotten until morning.  Clearly we have issues.

Oh well, we love you anyway Kerri.  Happy birthday from all of us at BYOI!  And thanks to everyone who came out to Theater 82 to celebrate with us.  And scene!

BYOI – Block Island Pineapples

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We all learned about forsythias at the Warwick Museum of Art. Evan was joined onstage by Paul, Corey and Daniel.

And here we go! Charlene was the lucky FAM. She teaches 6th grade science, which currently involves salmon and chicken! Hopefully not together. Charlene likes sailing and gardening and hates unloading the dishwasher. Funny, my mom hates that chore as well.

Charlene was great and rang the bell a bunch of times for FAM Sing It! The guys went to Block Island for its natural pineapples…or at least they planned to! Daniel and Evan never actually made it out of their backyard, which was good for them since the 7 minute flight was soooo long. Paul and Corey were the kids who were constantly on call to fly the plane and keep the in flight movie selection stocked.

Evan got the audience on their feet doing the wave before using his hosting duties for evil to make himself the first one out in Highlander. The game centered around a coach of a horrible football team trying to recruit nerds. Corey ended up finishing up with the frenzied solo scene.

Charlene’s husband Larry joined the cast in Tableau, where they made pictures of salmon, Thanksgiving and a violent baseball game.

Remember when I said Evan turned to the evil side? It happened again in Good Cop/Bad Cop. Corey and Daniel were the vigilant police officers who got him to admit he had gotten a bad haircut at the beach with Roger Williams.

Daniel, Evan and Paul were overfed hobbits in Sit, Stand and Lie Down. They were going to put together a hiking party, except for that lying down part.

Six Pack was a ton of fun with the addition of brave audience members Mary and Bob. Who would’ve thought Corey’s pep talk would work? A bus driver wanted one of his students to walk, the dog ate chocolate pizza and was given the Heimlich Maneuver and janitor training was an experience.

Daniel led Spelling Bee, where the guys tried to spell date, forsythia and stokiomics, or something like that.

In Meanwhile, we met the Cheese Boss, who was a record setting pizza slicer. The worst tick therapist ever also popped up, and he was more interested in reading instead of listening to his client’s nightmares about life being meaningless.

The night ended in song, with Guidance Counselor! Corey had a breakdown of his own after listening to Evan’s complaints about his beauty and Daniel’s feelings of inadequacy after the kids ruined his flower beds.

Don’t forget to join us EVERY Friday at the brand new Theatre 82 in Rolfe Square in Cranston, and Sundays at the Warwick Museum of Art.

And scene!

BYOI – The Windowizer 3000

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Ryan here with the BYOI show recap for our 4/19 show. Once again we were at Theatre 82 in Cranston, RI. The cast for the night included Erich, Ian, Meredith, Joe, and myself. Let’s get this clambake moving!

Our FAM for the evening was John. John considers himself a do-it-yourself kind of guy. If it’s broke, he’ll study up, and then he’ll fix it. Leaky toilet? No problem. Too many books and not enough shelf? He’s the man. Low self-esteem? You’re on your own. John always has a hammer on hand, because you just never know. And please, people, keep the “massive caulk” jokes to yourself. With John’s interview, we went into a FAM-inspired game of Say It Again. Which reminds me, this blog entry is brought to you be the Windowizer 3000. Tired of dirty windows and a healthy spine? With the Windowizer 3000, all of your problems are solved. Just put it on, lock your eyes onto that grime, and let the Windowizer 3000 do the rest. Ask us about our supportive crotch-strap. The Windowizer 3000: No Pane, No Gain.

The cast then went through a bit of Growing and Shrinking. Did you know that competitive chess can get really rowdy? Seriously, I have seen less drinking at a frat party. Also, the cure for arthritis is still a long way away. I’m sorry, but this is a truth we will all have to accept for the time being. Once that was done, it was on to Rope, where we learned making the joke longer will not actually save you from having to start over. Rope is a vicious mistress, and she shows mercy to no one. But once in a while, she will just let you go on. Rope is as inconsistent as she is vicious. So you do have that on your side.

I want to take this time to apologize for being late to work, and was forced to make up some Excuses, Excuses. As it turns out, being late for getting caught up in the news or re-shoeing a horse is outrageous. Tell your boss you were stealing a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow so you could quit. That they will believe. In Sit, Stand, Lie Down, we learned a plumber’s trade secret for getting someone out of a giant drain: scare them with sensuality. Who knew the crack in the back was supposed to be enticing?

Revolver showed us that the best job in the world is being a professional cereal eater. You never go hungry, and you absolutely can’t get fired. It’s wonderful! I have to admit, however, that it seemed to be too good to be true. I figured that there must be a catch. But it turns out it was much more pleasurable than I realized. Moving on to Slogans, the group looked deeper into the world of babysitting. Which reminds me, are you tired of watching kids that are not yours? With the Windowizer 3000, all of your problems are solved. Just put it on, lock your eyes onto that grime, and let the Windowizer 3000 do the rest. Ask us about our supportive crotch-strap. The Windowizer 3000: No Pane, No Gain.

Next up was Freeze Tag, and a classic tale of young love. Boy meets girl. Girl denies boy. Boy spazzes out. Sort of brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it? We then ended the night with a musical round of Do Run, sending everyone home with smiles on their faces and doo-wop in their hearts.

Be sure to join us every Friday at Theatre 82 in Cranston, as well as every Sunday at the Warwick Museum of Art.


Saying “Yes, And” to the Boston Marathon

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The picture above was taken today, April 16th, in front of the Charles River in Cambridge, MA. One day removed from the tremendous tragedy that took place at the Boston Marathon, members of the Boston community run. Morning breaks, they rise, and they run. Some run right along the police blockade that currently separates the city’s inhabitants from a site that will never be traversed in the same way again. Boylston Street will forever be a place of remembrance. There will always be this unexplainable moment that lingers. That moment might fade as time goes on, but it will never fully go away.

I have a connection with Boston. I have had the privileged of doing some theatre work in that very area. It’s a slight connection in comparison, but I’ve had my moments walking down Devonshire at night, a mile away from the blast, and thinking that this was a city I could fall in love with. I’m someone that looks forward to riding the Red Line, and I’ve been pleasantly stranded at South Station at least once. I can’t say it is my home away from home, but I’ve found comfort and solace in Boston. On Monday, in one fell swoop, it was shaken. I was shaken. I know that the people are strong enough to move forward. Many of which moved forward in that moment, not thinking of themselves and doing what they could. But the adrenaline has gone down, my head is clear, and a good amount has been processed.

I’ve been involved with improv for about ten years. My philosophy on the craft and on life have sort of intertwined. I accept certain things much easier than I used to, and I don’t take reacting for granted as much. My experience has been built on the notion that if we don’t react, we cease in every way. And if we have not ceased, give it a minute. Our lives generally don’t erupt into chaos because every so often we say “no”, however there are some things we can’t negate.

I think it is very easy for all of us to want to negate what happened. Every aspect of this event is something we want to say “no” to. We don’t want to accept terror on our front steps. There are families and loved ones that will be saying “no” to this for the rest of their lives, and they have every single right to. If we could erase this event, along with its consequences, there is no doubt in my mind that we would do just that. We can’t do that. And like in improv, we can’t move forward if we say “no”.

There are those who might say that we have to accept that these things happen as a sort of normality. This is the world that we now live in. I don’t know if I agree with that, but I do know that we have to accept that this event happened. No one event can define the lives of a generation, but it does become part of those lives. It’s not easy to accept, but as an event, we don’t have a choice but to accept. I am not concerned with the “yes”. How we follow up is the important thing. What we do after accepting this terrible event into our beings is how our sons and daughters will define us. Yes, I witnessed a truly evil act in my lifetime right where I live. Yes, the tragedy at the Boston Marathon affected my life…

And now I’m going to appreciate the people around me that much more. And now I am going to acknowledge those who fought to make this better the second this happened and not those who merely seek blood. And now I am going to find patience and realize that the right thing will happen. And now I am going to love those I am meant to love and remind them of that. And now I will refuse to take this life for granted, and I will refuse to have this life dictated by fear.

We will take our time to mourn. We will always remember. When we accept, we will react with goodness in our hearts. We will move this life forward and upwards. Running.

BYOI – One Swedish Fish and A Bag of Gummy Bears

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School vacation started off fun for the families who joined us at the Warwick Museum of Art! Drew started the night off with RESPECT, before being joined on stage by Daniel, Paul and Meredith.

The lucky FAM was Grace! She’s a 7th grader who loves science but doesn’t like history. She came to the show with her family–all of them–and has fun dancing and playing basketball with her dad, who would’ve been king in medieval times. Grace recently danced to “Finding Nemo” for her musical theatre class–and speaking of music, she likes it, except for Nicki Minaj. Because she was the FAM, Grace ended up getting a spiffy BYOI soup canister for school!

Grace rang the bell frequently in FAM Say It Again, where students bribed teachers for candy. A weary teacher found out he had a surprise 16 year old son, a child didn’t like paint flavored candy, and kids were running amok.

Meredith warmed everyone up making sure they were happy (and they knew it), before starting off the Growing & Shrinking Machine by attempting to play basketball on the beach. Nicki Minaj decided she wanted to become a librarian, John Hancock had illegible handwriting and Nemo was found! …And filleted for dinner.

Audience members Will, Zac and Brianne played Rope with the cast, and did great! It wasn’t only because Drew intimidated them, I’m sure.

Speaking of Drew, he was late for work in Excuses, Excuses. Daniel, Meredith and audience member Laura helped him explain to Paul that he was late because his dog ate a shoe, he crashed his car into a lion, and he saw an alien cross the street.

In Revolver, Paul loosened a tooth, Meredith and Zac sparred with daggers, Paul channeled his inner wrestler and Meredith was the uncool mom who embarrassed Will at school.

After the break, audience member Mary Jo joined Paul and Drew in Sit, Stand and Lie Down. The trio was attempting to spice up a sermon with jokes, but kept putting each other to sleep.

In Slogans, we learned that edamame isn’t just for Trader Joe’s anymore, and audience member Will Sr. closed out the game to cheers.

Freeze Tag featured hungry Drew unhappy about having to run around the block, zombies with lice, a friendship between Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj and kids wanting to borrow the car.

The night ended with Paul and FAM Grace hosting Greatest Hits. Daniel, Meredith and Drew serenaded us with the hits of “Finding Nemo” where we learned that no matter what, we have to just keep swimming.

And scene!

BYOI – Not Nearly Enough Tuba

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Ryan here with the BYOI Show Recap for our Friday, April 12th show. This was our second show at our new space in Cranston, and the cast featured Erich, Anthea, Evan, Ashley, and myself. Onward with looking backward!

We had a very special FAM over at Theatre 82. Maren has been a very dedicated audience member, and has been to enough shows where she has earned her very own BYOI t-shirt. A dozen or so more shows and she gets the official “You’re Still Here?” iron-on patch. Maren says that she does a lot of research with water, but I think she is just trying to say that she likes to splash in puddles after it rains. And if you are going to wear water-proof boots, what’s the point? At any rate, the gang created some great FAM-inspired scenes in a game of Revolver. We saw The Mighty Ducks: On Ice, flirted with Tiger Woods, and proved that we could use smart words. That’s right, smart words. Stephen Hawking who?

Over at Fortunately/Unfortunately, we enjoyed the nightlife and indeed liked to boogie. But when the dance fever cooled down, it was time to rip some tasty licks on the tuba. FREEBIRD! Villainy was afoot in Curses, Foiled Again! Thankfully we had a team of mistake-ridden heroes and musically-inclined strippers to save the day. And what did the strippers play? MORE TUBA!

Evan was then on hand to open up the Everything Emporium. Through his MFA in Retail, he was able to satisfy customers with sob-inducing blenders, Wonder Woman pizza-shooters, and cat litter (dog edition). After all of this comedy, things had to get quite serious for a moment in Serious Scene. Class was in session, and the fiscal cliff just wasn’t geographically accurate enough for this rag-tag band of jerks.

Don’t blink, or you’ll miss the Quick Scenes! Oh! See what you did there. Let us now remember the sketch you missed with some Famous Last Words. “Three was never enough for me!” Yowza! Moving on to Follow That Action, we found that smoke signals just make angels cough a lot, and the Lego army will soon be upon us. Fortunately the safe, not-nearly-as-painful Duplo will see that humanity lives on.

We wrapped up the night by serenading Maren with Do Run. By serenade, I mean we talked rhythmically with the intention of rhyming. By talked rhythmically with the intention of rhyming, I mean we wrapped up the night.

Be sure to see us soon. Remember, we are in Warwick every Sunday at the Warwick Museum of Art, and now each and every Friday at Theatre 82, located on beautiful Rolfe Square in Cranston.

Before I officially sign-off on this blog, on behalf of the group I’d like to wish Anthea all the success in the world in her future endeavors. Anthea is joining the ranks of our Alumni, and it’s been a joy to perform with her in Boston and beyond. Be sure to visit sometime, Anthea, and best of luck.


BYOI – Belle Bradley Benefit

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Today we performed for the Lay-Z-Boy Sit-a-Thon to benefit the Bradley family.  People were sitting for charity, so we came in to entertain them and their children for two hours.  The cast was Joe, Evan, Meredith and myself and our FAM today was Melissa, Belle’s mom.  She works at Amgen in quality assurance, loves Game of Thrones, Wreck-It-Ralph and She-ra Princess of Power.  We started her off in FAM Centerpiece where she ate many villages made of food, employed a dragon and beat me up.

We practiced kitchen safety, self basting turkeys and Evan carried an entire dangerous petting zoo to the fourth floor apartment in Growing and Shrinking Machine.  Meredith was the Child in Because I Said So and learned why the sky really is blue.  The dating game had me choosing between The Italian Eiffel Tower, Halloween and Chinese Food invented by Edison.  And what better game at La-Z-Boy then Sit, Stand and Lie Down.

For the second act, all the kids started joining in!  Pillars had built us a buttery car to Christmas Town.  Trolley Stop gave us Robots, High Pitch Voices and Apes.  Highlander had an amazing scene about nothing, something and everything that Joe had to finish by himself.  Follow That Action brought us from “Wall” mart to a tropical Islands and straight ties.  And finished off with a rousing round of Do Run.

Had a great time supporting a great cause!  Thanks for everyone who helped raise money for this event!

And Scene!

BYOI – Mis pantalones es en fuego!

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Tonight we opened at our new Friday Night venue at Theatre 82 at The Artists’ Exchange in Cranston, and did we ever open big!  Tonight’s show had Krissy, Joe, Ryan, Erich and Myself with Drew, Coburn and Paul hanging out in the audience.  Our FAM tonight was Kenny, who enjoys skiing, anchovies and will never forget his underwear. Tonight, Kenny won a T-Shirt!

We started off with FAM Centerpiece where Kenny hit the underwear gym, learned how it felt to be a anchovy and hurt a yeti’s feelings.  Next up, I brought everyone to a double diamond ski slope and we learned how to ski.

Next was Highlander where the Bob’s were to work at the packing plant. Then the Trolley Stop brought us Gilbert Godfrey, rainbow riding leprechauns and spanish pants on fire!  Timmy in the Well shocked everyone as Krissy blew through a paladin ran out of toilet paper in the Congo!  We finished up with Six Pack where salsa chocolate milk, Cranston nails and vegetarian chicken clearly all go together.

Back with the second half, we saw Helping Hands where Ryan and Paul needed to iron the clothes they were wearing before Mom came home.  Spelling Bee spelled “Banaaa” for Banana and Follow That Action gave us a shrunken medieval wedding.  We finished up with Busta Rap and Drew conquered all once again!

Come see us every Friday night at this great new venue!

And Scene!