Meet the Benicia High Improv Team, “We’re So Unfunny, We’re Funny”

By Frankie Dulatre

For a while, Benicia High School has had an improv team for all students to join and perform. Nikki Tillotson and Nathan Day are the directors of the team and the ones who formed the Improv Team . They give opportunities to students in Benicia High, to perform for the school and other events. To see how some of the students feel about the Improv program, I decided to interview three of them to see how they feel individually. I asked Spencer Reynolds, Robby Chambers, and a student whose stage name is Geist, their opinion and their time of being a part of the improv team. 

What made you join the improv team? Did you have any prior experience?

Geist:  I really enjoy comedy and improv in a really creative way. It’s just telling jokes with a mic on a stage. It’s more like telling jokes while yelling on a stage. Anyways, it very much adds an awesome way to do comedy combined with a physical comedy that is really fun. I have had experience in drama, but you don’t need much to prepare you in improv.

Chambers: I joined the team because in elementary school Nikki taught us a little bit of improv, and I thought it was fun.

Reynolds: Originally I joined improv as a desperate measure to have something for me to do after school as I was reintegrating back into school life after Covid and no other club sparked much interest in me. And yes I did have prior experience mainly through drama club in middle school and a core factor for me to join improv was to grow as an improviser and become better 

When you first went on stage for your show, did you feel more nervous or excited/confident? Why?

Geist:  For my first ever show, I was nervous, as all my shows, but I was mainly confident. For anything requiring you to perform, of course you are going to be a little nervous for each show, but it will get less and less with each show. During my first show I knew we would do good. We were funny. I believed in the team.

Chambers: I felt the same kind of nervousness as going out on the football field Friday, because all of the eyes are on me and a select group of people.

Reynolds:  Yes I felt terribly nervous for my first show having not felt much confidence in my improv skills. I remember right before the improv team went on our veteran improviser “Sean” told everyone to do a zipper check my first thought was “how unlikely for any of us to have a zipper down” but low and behold I had my zipper down and ever since then I have always done a zipper check before a show

Would you like to continue doing more improv outside of school (programs, etc.) or when you go to college? 

Geist:  I think I would. Maybe more of a hobby than a job, but yeah, I think I would.

Chambers: Yes, if the college I go to has an improv team I may join and have more fun!Reynolds: Improv in my life has so far proven to Be the greatest decision I have ever made based on peer pressure. Through my last 2 years as an improviser I have grown very much attached to the art form and the people who I do it with and intend to join an improv troupe after high school. 

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