I’m back from DSIF8. What a blast. Zach and the rest of the DSI crew know how to run a festival, and it ran smooth as silk. I think that every time I go to one of these festivals, I see the quality of improv get better and better. The festival regulars, like Bassprov and UCB’s Death by Roo Roo just keep getting better and better. I see the effect on lesser-known teams too, as they are inspired and learn from the greats.
My festival favorites this year were One Night Stand, a group from L.A. that does full-out improvised Broadway musicals. I saw them perform twice, and they blew me away both times. Death by Roo Roo also threw down some incredibly aggressive and funny improv, attacking the stage with energy and play that left everyone in awe.
Big in Japan didn’t make it to the festival this year, and plenty of people told me they were disappointed about that. I think we put on a decent set last year, and people were looking forward to seeing us again. Plus, we’re just real nice Canadian folk. But, not having Big in Japan opened up an opportunity for me. KPR arranged that he and I would play with Jeff Griggs, who’s one of my all-time favorite improvisers. He also wrote the book Guru, about the time he spent with legendary improv teacher Del Close. Griggs is a modest guy and a generous player, making everyone on stage with him look good. Anyway, I barely remember the set, because I was quite nervous about playing with Griggs, but we got good feedback on it. Also, because I was sharing shooting duties with another photographer, there are pictures of me on stage with KPR and Griggs!
There were some technical challenges for shooting this festival. There were three different venues, with vastly different light between them all. I had to really work the manual white balance to get consistent color, and in the earlier photos, I didn’t quite succeed. I got better at it towards the end though.Here are some of my favorite photos from the festival. In the photos, you can see the final beat from the One Night Stand set, which was an arm wrestling match between the main character and his love interest, in which he wins her over with his poetry.
For other photos, check out the Tumblr for the festival. Everyone got the address to submit to the Tumblr, which I think is a great way to share images among a group.
It wasn’t all sunshine and roses down there though. Everyone seemed to have this hacking cough and sneezing, achy cold. Guess what? I got it too. I’m hoping I can kick this thing fast, because it sucks being sick.