Don’t call them ‘Whose Line’
blog by Kathryn Przybyla • January 28, 2012 @ 8:00am
Chris Salmin, the current President of UB Improv has fond memories of how he got started in the college comedy scene.
“I was coming right out of high school into my freshman year at UB. I found a flyer within the first couple weeks of school and that day I joined the group… In April of 2010 we became a permanent club here at UB. As of now UB Improv is almost 30 members strong and growing… we currently have two teams performing on behalf of our club.”
As long as you are a UB undergraduate, even you can partake in the funny festivities that college improv entails.
“Anyone can come to the general workshops Monday nights. Technically, they cannot be a club member if they are not a UB undergraduate… but we have a handful of graduate students among us who are allowed to participate,” Salmin said.
With comparisons to other big improvisational acts such as “Whose Line is it Anyway,” the group considers there to be a similarity, but don’t think they are a copy act. “Ah yes, ‘Whose Line.’ We do share a similar act to them but not completely. ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’ consists entirely of what is known as short form improv. This style is characterized by scenes, referred to as games, that are usually less than five minutes apiece and are heavily gimmicky,” Salmin said.
“The other common form of improv is long form improv. This is what you would see if you visited one of the improv theaters in New York City like The Upright Citizens Brigade, The P.I.T. or the Magnet Theater. This kind of improv is usually much longer, lasting between about 15 to 45 minutes per scene and generally there are no gimmicks. These are the two forms we do regularly.”
UB Improv performs mostly on UB’s north campus at the Student Union, but occasional visit South campus for a show as well. As of right now, the group is looking forward to setting up some shows in the near future, hopefully at the end of February. But the big event that they are excited about is their second annual comedy convention, “COMEDYCON”.
Last year the headlining event was a Sunday evening performance by the Upright Citizens Brigade, opened by Buffalo Comedy Sportz and the Eclectic Improv Company. The dates for COMEDYCON is set for the last weekend in March with more details to come. Check out the UB Improv Facebook group for up to date events and workshops. You can also get in touch with Chris Salmin or any of the other Executive Board members of the club here.
The UB Improv kids are onto something. Check out this promo from a improv show they hosted in 2010. Funny stuff.