Starting an Improvisational Comedy Company

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I can’t tell you how many ideas I’ve had to do something and never followed thru.  I have learned that in every attempt or thought, I have gotten the experience of unfulfillment.  It’s a really shitty feeling.  I didn’t learn how to do anything better, I just got sick of feeling worthless. 

Additionally, I finally understand passion.  I’ve never found anything to consume me like my newest project.  I’ve been an actor, comedian, sales person, manager and many other hats.  These are all things that I would consider myself to be good at or even above average, but the fuel never burned like improvisational acting does. 

I was in a troupe by the name of Laughing Gas for a couple of years and prior to that a host of disconnected appearances.  I really thought that stand up was my ultimate route to success, but it turns out I just love to create something out of nothing on the spot and feel the energy of a crowd motivate me. 

Laughing Gas, unfortunately went out of business and there was a real void in my life.  I performed for THEY Improv in a number private gigs, but I really missed the stage.  An opportunity presented itself when a co-actor in a play posted a job opening for teaching improv to kids at the Showtime Theatre in Boca Raton.  Upon visiting, I realized quickly that the space was a perfect Improvisation spot.  Capacity of 100 people, intimate, big stage, close to the audience with audio and lighting.  It’s really a dream location.  Plenty of bars and restaurants in the area to fill the house.  Truly a special opportunity.  I asked if I could start in Improvisation Show and Marilyn Perry, the owner of Showtime, was kind of enough to allow it.

The moment it all became real was when I had to write a business plan for the company.  The moment I had to address real issues that affect a company… cost, revenue and promotion.  I started the Sick Puppies Comedy fan page on Facebook and as of today already have 76 fans and we haven’t even had one show.  Tonight we have our first round of auditions.  really amazing stuff.  Likely to have 20+ people come to be a part of this.

Some of the interesting things I have found from all of this.

  • People are flaky, even in the face of opportunity –  there are people that have been begging for an improv venue closer to their home and when it arrives, they crumble.
  • Support – the imrpov community is so supportive.  Special thanks to Todd Rice and Fawad Siddiqui for providing me with so much great information to get my feet wet.  Anthony Camillo and Michele Domb have also been able to add real flavor to what we are trying to do. 
  • Passion – I am consumed with this.  I understand why people lose themselves in their work.  I thought I understood it in the past, but I didn’t.  All I think about is this company, it’s vision and it’s mission.

That being said, it’s off to another day.  Wish us luck.

Casey Casperson – One Sick Puppy.

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