Sketch and Improv Comedy on the Playa

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Sketch and Improv Comedy on the Playa

Postby FishBlaster » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:23 pm

Hey all,

I'm Ian. This will be my first Burning Man, but I've been an active regional burner with Firefly in New England since 2005. I am looking for fellow sketch comedians and improvisers who would want to put on a show - roving, with stage time, whatever works. No props, just us and our material.

I have about 10-15 sketches in my stash that we could do, but I'd rather do at least 1-2 from each person who wants to (I'm fine with supplying all material, but would rather have us all throw down - I'll be in yours if you'll be in mine!).

My preference is for sketch, but am also game to do improv - just not as strong for me, but I am competent (been doing it steadily since mid 2009 with the Magnet in NYC). Even better, we could combine and do a double-bill - a sketch set with a 20 minute Harold/Montage/Slacker/Monoscene to follow. I don't mind specifics at this point so much as just finding others down with the case who want to play.

Who's in?

Feel free to reply directly in this thread, or e-mail me at ianthefish(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Re: Sketch and Improv Comedy on the Playa

Postby Eric » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:56 pm

I've never seen sketch comedy on the playa (doesn't mean it isn't there, somewhere), but my gut instinct is that unless it's absolutely brilliant every second, people are going to look at that blinky moving thing over there and move on.

I've seen roving improv done, usually with a theme. More character-driven humor (Junkie Mormon Missionaries and Attack of the Playa Hookers are two I see a lot of, there have been others) just wandering and interacting with people, which you'll be doing anyway. The roving humor really depends on the strength of the people doing it- a couple of the Missionaries are brilliant, most of them are meh.

The sheer scale of the event is completely different from any of the regionals, and you might want to make tentative plans but leave them open to flux once you get there. You may discover you just want to run around & play all day and night- honestly, that's what I did most of my first year.
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Re: Sketch and Improv Comedy on the Playa

Postby FishBlaster » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:30 pm


Thanks for the tips, man. I plan to do my share of running and playing, but I'm optimistic that if we set up a spot during the day, and start performing shorts, people will be able to stick around for at least a couple sketches before moving on, and hopefully we'll be able to attract a few folks. There's bound to be lots of blinky lights, but I'm hoping people can be captivated by humans for 20-30 minutes otherwise - and since this'll take little prep, I'd like to give it a shot.

I'd hope for an arts festival of 50,000, there are at least a few who will appreciate something different than the norm of straight-up A/V art.

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Re: Sketch and Improv Comedy on the Playa

Postby Irreverent Moniker » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:12 pm

Last year there was at least one place that had live comedy (amongst other things), one of my friends is a comedian and did a set there and killed.
Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors.

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Re: Sketch and Improv Comedy on the Playa

Postby Savannah » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:19 pm

Hey Ian,

I can't deliver extra players to you personally, but you might find stages in this thread:

Stages Looking for Artists


Playa Info (at Center Camp) is looking to fill their stage and trying to get the word out, so I think it might also be okay to tell you:

Looking for an intimate venue? For acoustic / spoken word / low amplified DIY performances,we've got a stage and cool setting that's just right day or night. Come check 'em out! Performers step right up or sign-up on the schedule at the stage.


Monday, August 29th, 2011 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Thursday, September 1st, 2011 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday, September 2nd, 2011 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Contact playainfo at burningman dotcom

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Re: Sketch and Improv Comedy on the Playa

Postby FishBlaster » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:08 pm


Thanks for the heads up! I'll definitely be hitting them up for a stage once I find some others who are in.

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