Improv comedy in portland oregon

Where can I see an improv show in Portland? And then it becomes Where can I do improv in Portland?


When you make a new friend that knows you like comedy, they take you to see improv shows. And you like it a lot. And you want to get involved.

Curious Comedy Theater was one of the first places I saw improv, and the theater I started taking classes from.

I can’t imagine that I’m not spoiled at Curious. It is a truly great theater with truly amazing staff and leadership.


Actually hmm does the Brody Theater win the “first improv show I saw in Portland” award? I believe they do. Searching for a comedy show and finding an improvised musical (Brody’s A Something Kind of Musical) was great. This really attracted the musician in me.


Kickstand Comedy Space is in competition up at the top of the list for “street cred.” When I’ve asked improvisers where to go, Kickstand has come up plenty.

And there is something romantic to me about a theater with a Harold night. That is cool.

There are others.
Okay at least two more. People mention them to me and I say “Ah cool. I will check that out.” And then here we are.

Oh yeah, The Ape is one of them.

The adventure continues.

Getting started with improv

A few months ago, on a friend’s recommendation, I started listening to The Backline, which is a podcast where Rob Norman and Adam Cawley discuss improv comedy.

I did not realize that kind of podcast existed. I had been listening to improv4humans and Comedy Bang Bang, where funny people improvise.

And those are two different ways to learn.

1. Learn by watching (listening to) someone do a thing.

2. Learn by talking (listening to others talk) about a thing.

A combination of both will work great, especially when you add in 3. Learn by doing a thing.

I initially skipped over their first episode. I had been improvising for six months already—what use would “1 – Getting Started” be to me? I had already got started.

I thought, “I’m already dipping my toe in improv,” and calmly moved on to episode two and others.

I’m glad I came back to this episode, because this episode is about diving in head-first, not toe-dipping.

Honestly I probably wasn’t ready to hear it back then. I hope it will do me some good now.

Diving in is always difficult for me and many. It can be scary.

Italian musical terms that I do not know

There are a couple hundred Italian words used in written music. Most are not important to me now or yet, but a handful have come up in my piano studies. What do they mean?

Poco maestoso
Poco is “a little.” Maestoso is “stately.” Okay stately is a good direction for a pianist—maybe you’re kinda playing it pretty straightforward and rhythmic and broad.

Poco expressivo
“Expressively.” Obviously. So maybe you’re bending time a little bit. Or stressing the moments a little bit extra.

Okay this is just ritardando abbreviated I guess. That’s fine. “Slow down.” It’s just when it’s just “Rit.” in the music, I tend to pass it over without noticing it. Let’s face it, I continue to pass over all these words without really taking them in. It’s hard enough just to read the music in the first place. I’ll work on it.

Simile. “In a similar way.” So play it like whatever similar part comes before this. Like some notes are marked staccato, and then it says “Sim.” and that means the rest are staccato too, we just didn’t label them all.

Subito. “Suddenly.” “Quickly.” Used with other terms, like “subito fortissimo.” So it suddenly arrives at that dynamic.

This probably deserves a part two. And parts three through twelve. And maybe by then I will be a great pianist.

the interrogation sketch

Mr. Show with Bob and David. And then With Bob and David on Netlfix.

How about the interrogation sketch as the “perfect sketch” from the new Netflix series? So great.

This is what has always attracted me to sketch comedy since I was a kid. This is what attracts me to trying out sketch now.

1. Turning the norm upside-down
2. Great writing—I enjoy every word of this scene. I will watch this again and again because there is so much to appreciate—too much for one viewing.

First they just immediately flip the bad cop concept to our delight. Perfect reveal. Such great comedic acting from Bob Odenkirk.

When you think of the premise of “the asshole bad cop doesn’t know he’s the asshole bad cop,” you probably know the rest of the sketch could write itself.

But there are so many great moments where Bob and David are playing the “what did he just tell you about me?” game.

Good stuff.

“What’d you say to him? He just dis-invited me to his wedding.”

“I mean, I tried to use obsequious in a sentence but I don’t think I—”

“—No no why’d you do that? That my word; he knows that.”

I just like this sketch all the way.