When Luke sent me a text asking if I would like to be in an improv comedy troupe, I immediately said “YES” because to be honest, I love attention. In fact, attention and I have a special bond (don’t worry, Brandy knows about it). Plus, from past experiences in entertaining this community over the years, there’s one thing I know for certain: people in this community love to laugh…and it just so happens Naturally Improvable loves to make people laugh. I too love to make people laugh, so really, it was a perfect fit.
It started back in August of last year with a few of us in the back room of Lost Beach in Fort Smith playing some improv games and laughing, drinking and just having fun. Fast-forward 6 months. Still playing improv games, laughing and drinking…still having fun…and doing it in front of crowds, sometimes crowds of 100 or more at Lost Beach…and over 15 other venues. Not just in Fort Smith either. Fayetteville, Poteau, Russellville, Tulsa, Little Rock….really? How did this happen? In only 6 months we’ve reached over 700 likes on Facebook and almost 9000 views on YouTube…and that’s just the beginning. From workshops to shadow casting shows such as Rocky Horror Picture Show and Grease, to future full stage productions, it’s no secret that Naturally Improvable is rapidly growing, always looking ahead, & constantly improving their game. How well received are we? Just ask around. In 6 months time, we’ve created a “buzz” around town. No doubt about it. Ask 10 random people if they’ve heard of Naturally Improvable….half have heard of us and the other half will by the end of the year. Bold statement? Nah, just the facts folks. Laughing is indeed contagious, and once you catch it, there’s no getting rid of it.
Approaching our final performance at MovieLounge (where we’ve been since November) it’s exciting to see things happening for us. Up next, we’re headed downtown. This is where we’ve said we wanted to be when spring and summer hit. It’s not necessarily good to get “spring fever” in February, but hey, when the weather warms up, you can catch us on a patio or outside stage near you. Playing “Hoe Down” on Garrison Ave puts a smile on my face just thinking about it.
There are many factors that play into our success. First and foremost it’s talent. Holy s*** the talent! I won’t go into detail of exactly how deep our talent pool is, but let me just say that you couldn’t have assembled a more well-rounded team if you literally hand picked them. High school diplomas to doctorate degrees. Advertising executives, graphic designers, IT specialists, teachers, lawyers…..I could go on. If the zombie apocalypse hits, I’m secure with saying I’d feel safe with this group.
Luke Perkinson, our Second City trained coach and creator, has been quite an inspiration. You won’t meet anyone more passionate than Luke. Get him on the topic of improv and entertainment and you better pull up a chair because you’re likely to be there a while. His enthusiasm is quite contagious and vision is clear. Entertain, educate, expand. I don’t think that’s really his motto, but it make sense. Entertaining speaks for itself. Educating is another aspect of Naturally Improvable that will secure the future of its success and something Luke has been diligent about keeping on the syllabus. Training our kids in the art of improv comedy does a variety of things to them personally (i.e. helps shy kids become more outspoken, helps greatly with their communication skills both at home and at school, teaches them how to work with other people as a team to reach a common goal (in this case, creating a scene and getting a laugh), helps improve their self-esteem, and oh, the big one…IT GIVES THEM SOMETHING FUN TO DO!!! “There’s nothing to do in this town for kids…” Don’t even get me started.
Luke is also very open with letting people know where he wants this to go. He absolutely wants to expand, but is quite content with it doing so right here in his own backyard. Sure, there will be gigs in Kansas City, Dallas, OKC, and beyond, but to bring people HERE to the great city of Fort Smith, AR as a comedy destination is something he is inspired to do, and with the team he’s assembled, he’ll do just that.
No question things are moving fast for us. You hear the phrase, “it’s not good to grow too fast.” I’m here to say with the RIGHT people in place, it most certainly IS good to grow at this pace…which by the way, isn’t too fast.
If you’ve not seen us, check out www.naturallyimprovable.com to see where we’ll be next. Chances are, we’ll be on stage in a day or two. We’re typically a family-friendly PG-13 entertaining group, but we do have “naughty” shows from time to time, but it’s always very well advertised. Speaking of advertising, “Like” us on Facebook (that’s almost becoming cliché). Facebook has been very good to us. It’s a great way for us to reach out to people and for people to reach out to us.
Hope to see you soon! If you have any questions or want to chat about having us come to your event or show or office party…give me a call or text or email or Facebook me or Tweet me or tag me or poke me ….or come see me!!