K.A.R.L. Improv–the R stands for funny

KARL spelled outK.A.R.L. has a tradition of going to Chicago for fall break. K.A.R.L. also has a tradition of spelling our name out with our bodies in front of The Bean in Millennium Park.

What is K.A.R.L., you ask? Sacre bleu, I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned it before! K.A.R.L. is only THE BEST IMPROV GROUP AT WASHU! I might be a bit biased, since K.A.R.L. is the improv group I’m in. There are two other improv groups at WashU called Mama’s Pot Roast (short form improv) and Suspicious of Whistlers (long form improv). But this post is all about K.A.R.L.

Remember when I talked about making friends during my four-day improv pre-o? Campus Comedy is led by members of K.A.R.L., Pot Roast, and Suspicious. I did improv (Comedy Sportz High School League) for a year in high school, and I really enjoyed it, so I knew without a doubt that I would be trying out in college.

Here’s how improv tryouts work:

1. Everyone who comes to tryouts is arbitrarily sorted into one of three groups. Each tryout cluster rotates through the three improv groups and and participates in different improv activities. It’s a great time, so try not to be nervous. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to come to tryouts just to be silly and have fun.

2. Callbacks are posted soon after tryouts. Although you try out for all the groups at once, anywhere from 0 to 3 improv groups may call you back.

3. If you make it to callbacks, you go back and be funny some more. I got called back for K.A.R.L., one of the two short form improv groups. I remember there being pizza and cookies at callbacks. I also remember being nervous. I might have said something funny, I don’t remember. You won’t remember. If you’re as nervous as I was, it’s all a blur until…

4a. You get in! W00t! You’re welcomed by your improv family. Have fun at practice, and kill it at your first show! Fellow members of the improv community will shout “freshmaaan!” at you from the audience. Go with it; it’s a term of endearment.

karl freshmen

K.A.R.L. Freshmen! From left: Nathan, Alex, Dera

4b. IF you didn’t make it, don’t fret. It’s nothing personal. And you can always try out the next semester!

So that’s the tryout process. It’s great to be a part of K.A.R.L. Improv and to see such a wonderful group of people every week. Plus, practicing improv is pretty mentally stimulating. Improv is an art form, and one of the most fun art forms there is, if you ask me. It’s about more than just being funny. It’s about telling stories in the best way possible. Of course, sometimes it’s also about being random. Pillow.

K.A.R.L.’s mascot is the panda. Don’t ask me why (because I don’t know). Don’t ask me what K.A.R.L. stands for either (because I can’t tell you). I can tell you that K.A.R.L. practices at least twice a week, and we have several shows a semester. In fact, we have a show tonight, so I should probably get going. I’m out!

K.A.R.L. pyramid

K.A.R.L. family pyramid.