Members of Upright Citizens Brigade chat about tonight's show at the Orpheum

A little about Tampa Improv Festival's finale show and its performers.

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Upright Citizens Brigade
w/ Post Dinner Conversation Inc.

Sun., Nov 9, at 9 p.m. at The Orpheum in Ybor City.
$18, $30 for VIP and $60 w/pre-show workshop at 6 p.m.
Click here for tickets.

Remember the television series Upright Citizens Brigade that aired on Comedy Central in the late ’90s? Well, you have a chance to see a touring group from the UCB theatre when they come to The Orpheum in Tampa tonight.

Touring company members James Smith, Jenny St. Angelo, Mike Kelton and Marshall Stratton took a moment to talk about the anticipated show with CL.

“Everything that we do is made up on the spot,” St. Angelo said. “Nothing is planned. We go in not having a clue what we are going to do

Kelton also describes improv as, “an inside joke. You just have to be there in the moment or else the magic just doesn't work. Last night there was a really funny scene where I talked about having sex with a guy with a pig dick. You had to be there because it was so funny.”

UCB is based in New York, but also has a touring aspect of it. Each tour is generally made up of four performers who usually do one performance a night, usually at a university for orientation or family weekend.

The way that the players start off the show is by interviewing an audience member for about 10 minutes to find out what is going on in the community or the university. They will then take that info and base their show around the information given.

The show is made up of skits. A player will stop the skit by running in front of the scene to let the others know that it is time to move on. It is usually done during a funny scene.

No skit is also ever repeated.

“What we do is so insane it would be impossible to repeat," Kelton shared. "The lines that came out of all or mouths last night were so bananas, that for us to be able to remember them wouldn't make any sense. Thats the beauty of improv. We literally have to make it up. You couldn't say what we said last night because it probably wouldn't be funny again.”

Kelton, who wanted me to include that he “loves Florida and dolphins” said what he loves the most about improv is the support aspect.

“I like being on stage with people that you appreciate and support and think they are funny,” he said. “I like knowing that you don't know what they are going to say or they don't know what you are going to say, but knowing that its going to be okay.”

“We don’t have to bring props or work on lines.

St. Angelo — who grew up in Texas and moved to NYC to be an actress —  signed up for an improv with no idea it would turn into a career path. Never did it before her first class.

"On the road it’s very silly," Kelton said. "We have a very fun and silly time. In New York the audiences are less lenient with silliness, whereas on the road people like silliness more. ...They usually go to the shows looking for good improv. The fun-o-meter is higher for colleges." 

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