After more than a year of classes and six weeks of shows, last night I officially graduated the iO Improv program. And what you see above is a photo of some of the most talented, funny, kind people I've had the privilege to meet during my time at iO.
I started in March of 2013 and I remember the first time I walked inside I had never felt more like the weird new kid at school. As I was trying to find my classroom I walked by the bar upstairs and it seemed like everyone gathered around it already knew each other and had their own community. They all seemed to have their inside jokes and little groups of friends, and as usual I was just the quiet creepster trying to find my corner to sit in.
I wouldn't call myself shy, I'm just not outgoing like a lot of the people you find in the improv world. Anyway, I remember watching a guy and a girl hug each other and one of them said, "Yea, I'm just starting level one tonight." And the other person responded, "Brace yourself, it's going to go fast."
And it did. It went too fast.
Last night after all of the grad shows were done we all took the stage for one final bow. Everyone hugged and danced and we took some photos. And I was making my way toward the bar, congratulating all of my funny pals on their amazing run and saying hello to new friends, it kind of hit me that I had become the guys I was envious of when I first walked into iO more than a year ago. I had somehow managed to find my comedy community.
I know I've said this before and I will continue to say it again and again, but the amount of talent in this city never ceases to amaze me. I watched every one of the performers above take that stage week after week and absolutely kill it. So I just want to say congratulations again to all of my fellow 5B pals out there, you guys are awesome. I'm pretty sure all of the iO greats who have gone before us would be happy with the way we ended things.
As for what's next? I don't think any of us really know. But I suppose if we just continue to treat everyone we get to work with in this world as geniuses, poets and artists, we'll all be okay.
That's all I've got for today. Zip, zap, zop.