iO West and The Pool

A surfer. A salsa dancer. A cancer survivor support group organizer. A yogi. A MA theatre studies grad. A personality test aficionado. A dog walker. And a publicist. That’s who played in the second round of iO West’s “The Pool”, a show that features graduates of the iO West and iO Chicago improv training program.

Like “The A Team,” we were a special forces unit hand selected to perform a “Harold” on iO West’s mainstage. We had a four week run at 7 PM on Tuesday nights. We opened for various Harold teams.

If you’ve ever performed a Harold, you know how challenging it can be when eight strangers get together to try and create group mind, especially in just six weeks. Veteran improviser and our coach, Douglas Sarine, pushed us early and often to come from a place of truth. Aside from grounding our performances and creating a shared, relatable experience with the audience, it helped to simplify our approach to performances, i.e. less need to manufacture.

This was an extremely positive experience. The only bummer was that I felt like we were just starting to hit our stride in our fourth and final performance.