By Justine ReSPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
You walk in and the sound of Beyonce’s voice tingles through the room, setting the playful mood for the night. Hofstra University’s improv comedy troupe, Tequila Mockingbird, is a cohesive group that keeps the audience in hysterics. Tequila Mockingbird has about three shows a semester.
If you missed Friday night’s performance, you’ll want to catch the next one.
Their humor is effortless. The group creatively transitions from each improv game format to another. There were different types of formats of improvisation throughout the night. The show opened with a tag like game – as different troupe members got different ideas new troupe members would join the scene.
Also, amidst the games they would send each other the occasional curve ball. They would exclaim “new choice” and their fellow actors would take the scene in a brand new direction.
For instance, a scenario involved a girl moving into her room, finding a dead body in the corner. Like clockwork, to the actor playing the dead body, a troupe member exclaimed, “New choice!” Instead of lying on the floor he contorted his body into a bridge like position, which gave the actors on stage a great deal to play with. The running joke was “Wow, for a dead body look at those muscles,” since the “dead body” was able to hold that position.
There were many standout scenarios. In particular, the crowd went wild when the troupe pretended to be Foster the People and instead of singing “Pumped up Kicks” they sang their rendition entitled “F***** up d****.”
Another one of my favorite scenes took place in New York City where a few members of the troupe played hobos. The hobos were telling the “newbie” hobo played by Will Atkin – the president of Tequila Mockingbird – that you have to get high-end clothing out of the dumpster if you want to hang with the hobos on 5th Ave.
Atkin stole the scene as he pretended to rummage through the dumpster. The troupe allows their imagination to run wild. Another format used required the audience’s imagination. Prior to the show starting, the audience was given the opportunity to write down scenarios of their choice and put them in a hat.
On stage, the troupe picked the scenarios out of the hat to perform. Some standout scenarios were things that you do not want to talk to your parents about (intimacy), phone conversations that you wish you did not to overhear (someone cursing out their mom), and things that you would not tell your in-laws (filing divorce papers), etc. The audience’s creativity complemented the troupe’s artistry and cleverness.
One highlight of the show was when the troupe was in a circle. The way this game worked was that the troupe pretended they were sneakers. This game was super interesting as the troupe snowballed deeper and deeper into their responses ranging from the struggles of pretending to be athletic, to finding the right sized shoes. Eventually the troupe turned the game into a raging Cockney British accent fest.
If you think you have comedic chops and you would like to give improv a try, you’re in luck. Tequila Mockingbird offers workshops throughout the semester so that Hofstra students can be part of the fun.
Atkin encourages students to come down to the workshops.
“The troupe is so welcoming and it is awesome to have a big community of people. Also, you are funnier than you think you are,” said Atkin.