Jul 17, 2013

Improv Everywhere's "MP3 Experiment Ten"

I had the pleasure of celebrating this year's Bastille Day by photographing a flash mob at South Street Seaport held by Improv Everywhere.  They're the same group that puts together the No-Pants-Subway-Ride each year, amongst many other things.  This particular event was centered around a roughly 45-minute mp3 that participants played simultaneously in their headphones, which directed a long-form flash mob that included silent dance parties, paper airplane throwing, bubble blowing, and randomly giving observers a dollar (I was on the receiving end of this last part a few times, so I guess this was technically a paying gig).

I'd only heard about it on my way out the door, so I didn't get a chance to download the track or gather the necessary supplies (i.e. paper, bubbles, dollars...), so I had to (/got to) witness the flash mob with fresh eyes.  I've seen a good deal of flash mob videos online, but I don't think I've never seen so many people in once place.  Pier 17 was packed like Mumford and Sons was headlining a music festival on the river or something.  I'd wager it was one of the largest mass bubble-blowing events in recent history.  The part where everyone suddenly stood still like statues was also pretty entertaining, though I suppose the effect is lost in still photos.

I've been photographing a lot of improv-related things lately, between The Chris Gethard Show, The UCB's Del Close Marathon, and now this Improv Everywhere flash mob.  I've noticed a lot of overlap of friendly faces throughout, and I've really warmed to the whole community.  I've got a lot of appreciation (but perhaps little understanding) of the improv world as a whole, so I feel really lucky to have gained all the access and trust of these communities.  Or maybe that's just how networking works.  Anyway, here's pictures!

Jul 3, 2013

The Upright Citizen Brigade's 15th Annual Del Close Marathon

I was more than a little excited when I found out I'd be covering the Del Close Marathon again this year.  It was one of, if not THE best experiences I'd had as a freelance photographer last year, so I jumped at the chance to go back.

I was anxious about being able to deliver-just-as-good-if-not-better photos than the year before, but once I got into the swing of things it felt like I'd just been there the day before.  I found myself in the same cramped spot on the floor of the UCB Chelsea Theatre, and pretty easily got back into the same groove.

It struck me how it seemed so familiar after being away for a year -- the faces, the pace of the shows, the inescapable heat, and that particular smell of a crowded little theater full of sweating improv fans.  Shooting through the night, crashing on my friend's couch as the sun comes up, sleeping a few hours and doing the same thing for the next two days -- it's a pretty incredible experience.  And on top of all that I got to see my favorite comedians practicing their craft live and in-person.

The DCM is a one-of-a-kind phenomenon, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been able to capture a little part of it.

The Chris Gethard Show (cont'd)

Here are some photos from my last to visits to The Chris Gethard Show. I'm enjoying myself more with each visit, and have loved getting to know the cast/crew/fans these past few weeks. Still a relative newcomer, it's always a warm reception whenever I'm able to make it to the show. 

With a car on the fritz and a full-time job on the horizon, I may not be able to make it into the city each Wednesday night, but in any case I'll always look forward to watching online. At the very least I'd really like to make it out to the near-approaching episode 100 - I've got no clue what's planned, and I'm not sure if they do either, but it should be one for the books!