Sunday, May 31, 2009

Watching the Dance---Life as Improv

Life just happens, whether we step up to direct it or just improvise minute by minute. Have you heard about Improv Everywhere? Based in New York City, this group of out-of-the-box comedians creates scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Begun in August of 2001 as the brainchild of Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 80 missions involving thousands of undercover agents/actors. Several of their spectaculars are circulating the globe on the Internet and inspired similar groups in major cities worldwide.

On April Fool's Day this year, they staged The Best Funeral Ever, fooling thousands of people into thinking that Todd had lost his judgment and done something horrible. Take a look at the video and judge for yourself. Everyone in the video is an actor. There was no funeral and no family. 30 Improv Everywhere agents found a random funeral in the obituary section of the newspaper for a man who had very few surviving relatives. Then they showed up to his funeral to send the man to his maker in awesome style instead of lonely anonymity that often is the fate of the elderly. I can't help but believe that the old man would have been delighted. Check it out. Life as improv. Death as improv. Incredible!

Visit their site when you need a lift. They've orchestrated a Cellphone Symphony, a Human Mirror and a No Pants Subway Ride to name some of my favorites. Go to: It beats most of the drivel that floods our email boxes.

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