Producer, director, and performer Deb Rabbai shares how to continue singing while staying in character. And gives a quick tip on the best way to do it.
Producer, director, and performer Rob Schiffmann looks back on decades of improvising. "The amazing thing about this 'life in improv' is how it has changed me as a person and how it affects my life on a daily basis."
What does your company party look like every year? Less than inspiring? Or a riot that is fun to top year and year? Either way, BNHM has teamed up with TrivWorks to bring you a holiday party that you will still be talking about on St. Patrick's Day!
We asked TrivWorks creator and CEO David Jacobson some questions to give you the info you need to make this holiday party a hit!
What would a TrivWorks/BNHM party look like?
Companies who bring in TrivWorks/BNHM to produce their office trivia party will first partake in a very brief (10 minute) advance customization call, so that we may tailor both the trivia as well as the overall experience to the specific group in attendance. After researching/writing original questions, we will arrive to the event with a troupe of master improvisers/musicians, as well as a professional corporate event emcee, who will conduct orientation and host full-room rounds of raucous team trivia. In between rounds while score sheets are tabulated, BHNM will take fictional song titles directly from the audience, and spontaneously perform those songs on the spot! The event culminates with a formal awards presentation, followed by a grand finale performance. The entire event is 1-2 hours, and can easily be integrated with cocktails, appetizers, or even a full seated meal.
What’s the number of people that this format works best for?
We can produce hybrid trivia/improvisation holiday parties for groups as small as 15, to 1,000 or more!
How do you handle pricing?
Pricing is very competitive with other forms of corporate party entertainment; our trivia/improvisation events are available in a variety of formats, to accommodate to a range of entertainment needs and price points
Tell us more how you can tailor the event to our company?
During our customization call (referenced above), we will utilize a proven process to tailor the experience precisely to the culture of the group in attendance, which requires minimal commitment or time investment on behalf of the client/planner. When crafting trivia questions, we will take into account the group’s age range, gender ratio, nationality, employment duration/managerial level and other key factors, as well as incorporate fun facts, inside jokes, past shared experiences, messages, etc. We will also make sure we know which specific topics to avoid; clients can rest assured there will be nothing political religious, controversial or otherwise inappropriate for a company event setting. For holiday parties, we will also want to know whether spouses/significant others will be in attendance, as we want to ensure they feel welcome and included as well!
What kind of companies have you done parties for in the past?
TrivWorks has produced company holiday parties in NYC and beyond every year since being founded in 2009 (in fact, our first event EVER was a company holiday party!) These have ranged from small businesses/departments with 15-20 people, to Fortune 500 companies with 200+ people.
What are people saying about past parties?
Planners love TrivWorks trivia holiday parties not only because they’re fun, laugh-filled and highly customizable, but also because they’re flexible/adaptable to virtually any venue, and can be done indoors, day or night, snow or shine! They also enjoy the fact that it’s interactive/engaging, and highly social – which is essential for a festive holiday party atmosphere! We also strive to make them turnkey, and as easy as possible for the organizers.
A final note from David Jacobson:
Our holiday parties are a truly unique offering, which groups will almost certainly never have experienced before. If companies are looking to “spice things up” at their annual celebration, this is an extremely compelling, highly professional option which people will be talking about long after the event is over.
At the risk of being a downer on a comedy blog, the world is kind of in disarray right now. Bad news overwhelms good. Tears and anger seem to drown out laughter. Yet, as the show biz cliche demands, the show must go on.
The Definition We Have to Make
Sometimes it appears that audiences have forgotten that they are engaged in watching art; subjective, messy, first amendment protected art. Recently I was given a note from someone in the audience 5 minutes before the show. Written in Sharpie embellished with little hearts and smiley faces on pink poster board was, "We are a church group. KEEP THE SHOW CLEAN!"
Broadway's Next Hit Musical is always a family-friendly show. You could bring your oldest, most conservative, deeply religious, easily bruised aunt or uncle and they'd find very little objectionable. However, that definition is ours to make. Sometimes we might stray into gray areas - 50 Shades of them to be exact. It's subjective. My idea of clean might not be the same as yours. That's the nature of humor. It's prismatic.
The same applies to post traumatic stress humor. When is it okay to mention Orlando in a joke? When can you play a policeman without it invoking the Dallas assassinations? When do #comiclivesmatter?
Get Past the Pain With Laughter
I used to be in an improv group that did a structure during which people died. That was the entire point of the game - to stage funny, ironic deaths. Then my dad died. Out of concern for me that game wasn't scheduled for over a month. I finally asked why and was told that people thought it would upset me. Kind, but unnecessary. I'm a grown up. Not doing that structure wasn't going to bring my dad back. Better to get past the pain with a little laughter.
I remember the first show I did post September 11th. The Disney comedy club I worked at in 2001 shut down for two nights. On September 13th I was given the honor of setting up the first show. I thought about it for a long time, not sure how I or the audience would feel. The overture played, the lights came up, I entered and asked, "Who needs a good laugh?"
I can still hear the audience cheering.
It was one of the most memorable moments of my 11-year tenure at the Comedy Warehouse. Instead of concentrating on what separated us, that audience and those actors focused on what brought us together. Perhaps if we did more of that the world would be in a better place.