Thursday, May 29, 2014

It Takes 2

Hi All,

Well, we did it.  We opened on Friday, May 23rd and it was great.  We had a full house, a great cast, a wonderful staff and we hired a photographer to document the whole thing.  I'll post those photos next blog.  The opening weekend was very busy and a lot of fun.

Now we are in the "after Memorial Day" pause which means that it's gotten very quiet on the island.  The streets are pretty much empty after 8pm.  Our houses are much smaller like much, much, much smaller.  Tuesday we had 12 people and last night?  2.  2 people. It's very odd to go from a super busy weekend to super non-busy but it happens every year.  It will start building next week until we are at fever pitch by the end of June and then it doesn't stop until Labor Day.  Then another dip and then it builds to Columbus Day weekend.

But let's talk about the 2 people who came last night.  We've done shows for 2 people before and we also canceled shows because we only had 2 people.  Why the different reactions?  A few years ago we only had two people (during this exact week) but they let Larrance know they were at ImprovAcadia because it was their anniversary.  They had driven down from Bangor (an 1.15 hour drive) and were so excited to see the show.  We did an anniversary show just for them. They came back the next year and we had a crowd.  They volunteered for the interview and told the whole crowd about their private performance.  It was real nice.

Other times we cancel because the 2 people are uncomfortable or they can come back the next night.  We take it on a case by case basis.  We talk to them, see what they want and adjust accordingly.

Last night, as I mentioned, we had only 2 audience members.  Larrance got to chatting with them about what they wanted to do - come back the next night or have us do a show - and they asked if we could do a workshop.   A workshop.  They asked if we would teach them the basics of improvisation, let them try it and maybe perform a little.  So, we did!  It was great. They were naturals.  They grasped "yes, and..." immediately and asked very astute questions.  We ended the workshop performing a Larrance's Choice for them.

In all my years working here, I've never taught a workshop instead of doing a show.  It was a really fun and so very rewarding.  We got a chance to interact with them and they got a chance to try something completely new to them in a safe environment.

They're coming back tonight to see the show with the improv-ized eyes.  I can't wait to hear what they have to say!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Eleventh Season!

Hi All,

We open for our Eleventh Season this coming Friday, May 23rd!  Yay!  The first show of the season at ImprovAcadia will be at 8pm on Friday.

However, we also open for our First season at Tall Pines!  Our first guests arrive on Friday too!

We didn't think we'd have any renters in the cabin until later in June so this was a welcome surprise.  It also meant we couldn't put the cabin on the back burner.  We had to get it, the theater and the house all ready by today.  It has made the last month truly jam packed.  I don't think we've had one full day off this month so, frankly, opening for business seems like a break.

The theater was pretty easy to get ready.  We touched up the paint in the dining room and the annex.  Cleaned everything.  Ordered a ton of delicious desserts, wine, beer and drinks and we are ready.

As a little pre-season amuse bouche, we did a 30 minute show for the Annual Bar Harbor Bank & Trust dinner.  There were 150 bankers and their spouses and we made them laugh!  It was a great way to kick-off the season.

At the cabin, we've been cleaning and re-organizing everything.  It was so much work.  The cabin was built in the early 90's.  The original owner cared for it but filled it with knick knacks from floor to ceiling.  The second owner (we're the third) cared for it at first but then it seemed to fall into neglect about 8 years ago.  No one had really gotten in there to look at all the nooks and crannies.  We threw out like 20 bags of garbage.  Granted like 5 of those bags we're from the new stuff that we had to buy but most of it was from stuff just left there.  Here's a before and after of the kitchen...

 The most dramatic is the living room but I don't seem to have that photo.  Well, here's a few more of what it looks like now.

As with any new business there were all kinds of things that needed to be done that we didn't anticipate.  We made lists to keep ourselves organized. It seemed that every time we took something off the list, three more things took its place.  BUT we're done!  Well....almost.  We'll go back after this weekend and do some yard work and work on getting a fan to ventilate the bathroom.  BUT I think it looks great.

The house gets spring cleaned twice a year.  We empty each room and clean it.  This year there was extra cleaning because of this noob:
But we were glad to do it.

Alright, enough.  If you're in Maine this summer, come up here and see a show, stay in my rental or meet my cat.  Biiieeee!