Wednesday, December 28, 2011

He said, "I like dinosaurs.  I like Superman.  I really like dinosaurs dressed like Superman."

She said, "Challenge accepted."

Improv before I knew what Improv was.

So I’m sitting here thinking in a British accent.  I know…it sounds weird…but it happens to me often.  Playing a character at a renaissance festival for about 8 weekends in a row does strange things to you.  It gets in your blood.  The majority of the stuff we do out there is complete improvisation.  We say whatever pops into our heads and then make it work.  We were given training on how to do this and while I’m FAR FAR FAR from being a pro at it…I do know a lot more than I did before.

That being said…I’m reminded of once doing a little bit of random improv before I ever even knew what “improv” was.

I was at the mall with my daughter.  She was probably 14 or 15 at the time.  We had one of her friends with us.  She thought it would be cool to pretend I was just an older friend of hers and not her mom.  So she asked if she could call me by my first name and pretend I was a friend.  I said yes.  What could it hurt?  So we’re walking about the mall and looking for people she knows…and I am people watching…as I am wont to do.

As we are standing about, near the area formerly known as Gameworks, I see two little boys coming our way.  They are right in the middle of the walkway.  They are holding their arms out as if they have huge guns.  They are crouched down and looking from side to side as if they are hunting.  They are making quite a show of it.  I watch them look around and try to catch the eyes of the people around them.  Everyone is just hurrying past and ignoring them.  I keep watching, amused.

The spot me and we make eye contact and they headed straight for me.  When they get to me, they have these big, fake sounding accents mixed between British and Australian.  In these big accents they ask me, “Have you seen a rhino?”  I make obvious faces as if I’m trying to remember if I’ve seen one.  Then I very animatedly replied to them in an equally big, fake British accent…
“No.  I’ve not seen a rhino…but I did see a monkey.  It had a hat on and it was dancin’ around.  It went that way.” I pointed off behind me.

That was all it took.  Their little faces lit up like Christmas trees and you could tell I was probably the only one who’d responded to this act of theirs and gone along with it.  They grinned like little fools.

“Alright then!  We’ll get it!” they told me in the big accents.  Then they saluted me. I returned the salute and off they went…their physicality even bigger at this point.  I laughed.  I felt like I had made their day.

I turn around and realize that my daughter is now on the other side of the mall, hiding her face and pretending not to know me all.

Oh well.  Can’t win ‘em all.