Apr 2, 2013
Improv comedy puts uncertainty on center stage -- performers usually start by asking the audience for a prompt, then they make up the details as they go. But two actors in Chicago are taking this idea to its absolute limit, and finding ways to navigate the unknown.
When TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi get on stage they introduce themselves, work the crowd a bit ... and then, the lights go off. And when the lights come back on, they're just standing there, staring at each other. The audience is waiting, wondering what's going to happen. And so are TJ and Dave. There are no audience suggestions to kick off the show, there’s no plan -- TJ and Dave begin each night as a complete blank, without even a glimmer of an idea about who they're going to be for the next hour, where they'll find themselves, or what might happen with all those eyes on them. And yet, so far without fail, an elaborate, operatic, two-person play filled with incredibly rich characters and situations emerges. In this short, Robert Krulwich and producer Sean Cole talk to TJ and Dave about stepping into the unknown, take a peek into one of their performances, and discover a very unusual strategy for dealing with the stress of having no idea what's going to happen: just assume it’s been happening all along.