By Drew Walton  

As most in the office know, I love doing Improv comedy. So much so that I participated in Sketch Dash, a weekly improv sketch challenge at Dallas Comedy House. The premise is simple, five teams of two are each given a phrase provided by the audience. Some sketches take months to create. Saturday Night Live writes them in a week. We only have 30 minutes to write, memorize, block, and costume a sketch based off an audience suggestion.

The stage where all the action will happen

The stage where all the action will happen

In case you didn’t know, sketch comedy is a short comedic play or performance, typically consisting of a single scene in a theatrical show (like something you would see on SNL or Mad TV).

The suggestion from the audience was “Hello Kitty Spasm.” Following that, our teams found a secluded space to hunker down for 30 minutes and create a sketch!

We took the phrase and brainstormed or word webbed different ideas from the suggestion. We spent 4 minutes outlining ideas: Japan, Godzilla, medical condition, sickness, punk band name etc.

After creating this list my partner and I decided that the phrase “Hello Kitty Spasm” would be the name of a punk band and the premise would be at a moment in time where both members were caught in a dispute.

Time is ticking, no time to waste – so with this in mind we started doing improv with each other to flesh the idea out, scribbling on notepads phrases and ideas. We ended up with a funny bit about conflicting bandmates right before showtime.

A rough script

A rough script

With the remaining few minutes, we raided the prop closet for clothes and wigs that would convey a punk look, brooms worked well as make shift guitars.

The sketch was a hit, the crowd loved it! All the groups were great and came up with interesting interpretations of the phrase resulting in some very fun sketches!

And it’s not over yet! All the teams come back in a week to perform the sketch that has been perfected with more practice, props and overall refinement.