I leave today for a trip of epic proportions. I am returning to where I got my start in improv comedy. I am flying out to Milwaukee to see the ComedySportz World Championship and celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the ComedySportz organization. CSz started in Milwaukee in 1984 in the back of a small restaurant, and they are represented by 21 teams worldwide and are still growing.

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I took my first improv workshop in the fall of 2007 under the amazing guidance of Alan Guszkowski. I learned the basics of performing improv {Yes And; Stage Presence; Stage Voice etc}.

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I also learned some of the basic CSz games {Blind Line aka Lines from a Hat, Countdown aka 60-30-10, Freeze etc}. The workshop was great and that’s when I learned that I loved being on stage, and I love performing improv. I learned a lot in the workshop, but I think my improv repertoire had the most benefit from the free shows. With the workshop I got free entry to all of the CSz shows. Each week, on top of my three hours of workshop, I went to four shows and occasionally saw the RecLeague shows. For the little time I had in Milwaukee, I spent a large portion of it in the ComedySportz arena living and learning the improv life.

I was sad to have to leave Milwaukee and leave ComedySportz behind, but after two years I am making my return for what is sure to be a weekend of laughter, learning, and lots of fun. On my return I hope to have plenty of stories to tell and games, tips, and tricks to share.

Now that I have spilled mine, why don’t you spill yours? Where did you get your start with the improv world, performing or audiencing? What are some of your favorite first moments of improv? Who is the teacher/improviser that you learned the most from or owe the greatest thanks?

See you guys in a week!

Jimmy “Time-Zone Traveler” Sorel