Incredible Improv

All jokes aside, the new members of Exit 1-6 share their feelings about their experiences so far.

Rachel Reiter

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Quick, name four of the biggest names in comedy. Did Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Steve Carell, or Aubrey Plaza cross your mind?

So, where did they get their start? For each one of these accomplished comedians, their debut into comedy was through improvisation. LHS’s own improv troupe, Exit 1-6, is already in full gear and the new members this year have adapted to the quick pace of the club.

Exit 1-6 practices once a week on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. They practice games to improve and hone their skills. They receive notes from alumni of the club, who give them feedback and criticism. This year there are five brand new members of the Exit 1-6 team.

“I feel like I’m in a family,” sophomore Kage Lenger said. “The chemistry is so strong and we’ve only been with each other for a few months, it’s insane. I feel really comfortable when I’m around the rest of the troupe because I know that no matter what happens, they have my back.”

Senior Kelvin Rodriguez agrees that it’s a unique opportunity that can’t be replicated.

“The people in the club are just great people to be around,” he said.

The family atmosphere isn’t all there is to love. The new members also expressed how much they enjoy the spontaneity of improv.

A big part of improv is the ability to “go with it.” Imagine it: you’re up on stage like these new members find themselves every so often. You’re building up to a big joke that you’ve thought out masterfully. You finally speak the final syllable of your big joke, all you’re greeted with is a few half-hearted chuckles. What would you do in that situation?

“You have to keep working at the scene because you can’t just stop the scene there,” sophomore Gracie Thompson said. “You have to make it enjoyable for the audience.”

But why not prevent the situation entirely?

“Stay true to yourself,” Rodriguez said. “Nothing is holding you back except for you.”

The members of Exit 1-6 pay attention to the crowd’s sense of humor from the very beginning. Usually, there will be a joke the audience responds positively to near the beginning of the act. Based on the delivery of the previous jokes, the members use similar jokes and punchlines to gradually build up and create more jokes that the audience will enjoy.

“The students have to be willing to share the stage, that’s the key to improv,” sponsor Chuck Zavos said. “You always have to think about how you can make the other person on stage look better, and that means you give, as opposed to take.”

That willingness isn’t the only quality needed to succeed at improv. You also need confidence and persistence.

“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about when you’re on stage, so just embrace what you said and go with it,” Rodriguez said.

There will be a lot of empty shoes to fill when auditions come around in May.

Thompson has a positive outlook on the future for students who are thinking about trying out next year.

“Just go for it. You never know if you’re going to make it or not, and if you don’t try, you definitely won’t get in,” she said.

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