Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Fond (Albeit Temporary) Farewell To Phooka

Ultimate Phooka from David Etkin on Vimeo.

I've been performing improv for over ten years now. Ten years! And four of those ten years have been with my more recent, most beloved team, Phooka. The members of the team are more than just my teammates, they are also my family. Four years is a long time after all - longer than any relationship I've ever been in, that's for sure.

This week is our last show at the Magnet Theater. Our run has come to an end.


There are more good times, both on stage and off, that I'm able to remember (it's truly astounding how terrible I am at remembering a show - even a terrific one that I was totally hilarious in! -  from even two weeks ago), but I know for a fact that there's been very few other joys in my life that I could look forward to each and every week as this team.

Phooka was formed in 2008 - the same year as this blog, and though we never did get that website together, we stuck together through thick and thin (by which I'm mostly referring to the number of people in the audience) and formed a unified comedic mind that produced hundreds of strange, silly moments every week.

I feel the need to list at least one example here - this was never seen by an audience other than our couch, but during a practice one week we came up with a world that was essentially Lord of the Rings at a Fat Camp. Every character that came out was immediately given a name like "Blubemir," "Gafatriel," "Bilbo Big-Ends" or "Legolard," (my personal favorite) and the show explored the camp and the danger of the magical, never-ending Gobstopper that made you thin, but also like, totally super vain. We also had a practice set that we obsessed way too long over meatballs, which went about as meatbally as you could possibly meatball (our show literally devolved to that). But even that terrible set became a source of fun for our team, who thoroughly enjoys the high brow as much as the low.

On the verge of breaking with the team, a not at all uncommon occurrence
I don't quite know what I want this post to be - some perfect combination of a memorial, a celebration, and a goodbye. I'd also like this to be the place I thank all the members of my team for a truly wonderful four years of shows and happiness. So, without further ago, in no particular order: thank you Slate, thank you Maddy, thank you Etkin, thank you Emily, thank you Angela, and going back a little ways, thank you Bander for absolutely everything. It has been an honor and a pleasure to participate in so very many inappropriately sexual, vulgar, ridiculous and outright insane scenes and shows.

This is not necessarily the end of everything for the team. We will rise from the ashes like the great Phoenix at another theater (or perhaps the same theater) at some other point in time. But this is an ending of sorts, and a moment in time worthy of reflection.

I'm just going to ramble if I let myself, so I'm going to close this post out here. Thanks to everyone for the support over the years - and please come see our last show tomorrow night 8/30 @ 9:00pm at the Magnet Theater if you're around.

Thanks,
Matt


PS: Here's a classic show from last year that I love and had an absolute blast performing in. We came up with a new form based around scary campfire stories, and this was probably the best show we had from that run:



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