Bearded guys have all the fun, single or married! The female-fan following that fellow bearded ICB team mates Nasir (Single! Avid-trekker – Marathon runner- Cyclist) and Rohit (Married! Enough said) were getting, is what prompted Abhishek (Still Single! The team’s tea –loving-trouble-shooter) to try growing a beard!
Well, the ever-energetic, multi-talented Madhu doesn’t have to try (growing a beard, that is) as her passion for theatre & singing does it all. Meanwhile Benson woos the audience with his spontaneous music taking every act of ICB to a higher level.
Destiny decided and Nasir plotted to continue his practice of Improv in Bangalore that he had been doing before with Improv Comedy Mumbai (ICM). After some months of nerdy chatter and a few trial & error attempts in his dingy basement – The current ensemble of Improv Comedy Bangalore found each other to form the dream team in June 2015.
The main objective of ICB was to promote the art of improvisation as a form of theatre in Namma Bengaluru and a means of learning in education, business and life in general for anyone and everyone. Improv is serious business…No Kidding!
While Stand-up comedy derives inspiration from punchlines (speech format), Improv is a kind of theatre (Hence the full form ‘Improvisational Theatre’) that involves physicality of a group of performers who become actors, writers, directors and editors all at the same time with a story plot that is made up entirely on the spot, unscripted.
Improv is a collaborative act and it relies on players being alert to cues, trusting the idea the other actor creates on stage and making the other improviser look good.
The team has cockily (read, happily) lived ever after since their first performance. Their big day was filled with an abundance of nerves, logistics and practice but they surprised themselves & the receptive audience with an enthralling performance. As Nasir fondly recollects,
Our first show could not have come at a better platform and at a better time (On 26 July 2015, At Jus’Trufs)!
ICB is totally audience specific and personalize content by asking the audience what they’d like to see and create scenes, dialogues, plays inspired by that! Every Improv show is about the team’s lives & experiences, the people they interact with, the traits and characteristics that many possess; with the live audience getting to see it enacted on stage and relating to all those moments personally. Going one step further with personalization, ICB takes some true and honest stories that happened to the audience and get inspired from it to play the scenes.
As improvisers, our philosophy, is to embrace the uncertainty- A simple belief which has surprisingly great results! And everything we do on stage, irrespective of show, audience type or location, a level of connect is inevitable.
When asked about memorable encounters, Abhishek admits that he has blanked out plenty of times and has been fished out (like the dead body he played one time in Rohit’s river) by his dear team mates. And Nasir has transformed from going mute & immobilised earlier to an active action hero…err, arrow (figuratively!) now. And Madhu’s pungi-playing to a co-improviser as a bossy lady snake brought the house down one time.
Improv is all about making the other improviser on stage look good! This helps us take even greater risks and create something fantastic. Improv is always about the unexpected and going with the flow.
In response to “Does Improv serve a purpose other than entertainment?” Building of trust & love is stated unanimously as a clear first. Nasir details that there’s definitely a new approach or outlook one can have towards life and business through the various principles that Improv is based on, like – Building on an idea because every idea is a gift, Always make the other person look good and Take risks.
Madhu adds, people across the world join Improv workshops not to be performers but to develop themselves. Business schools across the world today are including a section on improvisation as a part of their course. It is a practice that any individual can benefit from and most importantly it is all through play and fun.
Norms of Improv allow people to practice and understand mindsets for being innovative, collaborative, dealing with change, embracing risk taking, overcoming fear of failure, improving interpersonal communication and releasing one’s innate spontaneous creativity.
As per Abhishek, ICB in its shows delivers sadness, laughter, joy and a plethora of different emotions, all of which lead to a whole lot of bonding and love. Corporate shows for conferences and events, The Art of Improv workshops, Leadership building through Improv and Team events through Improv are also offered by ICB.
The creative arts is a powerful and positive medium to help every individual claim and hone their creative thinking abilities. Budding entrepreneurs should start by becoming good at what they do!
The team reciprocates that Bangalore is loving, welcoming and supportive to new & budding artists like them and in 5 years, they hope creativity and specially Improv will have more takers in the corporate sectors of India.
Madhu sums up by quoting Sylvia Plath,
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.