321 Improv Comedy – Every Show is Different
Recently we were able to get up close and personal with Carl Crispin, the founder and part of the 3-person team of 321 Improv. He was more than happy to fill us in on some of his behind-the-scenes thoughts.
Q: What is your favorite audience to perform for?
Carl: Great question! The answer I always give is any room that has a few more people in the room than the room is supposed to hold. If there are 550 people jammed into a room that has a capacity of 500, it’s going to be a fun night! Don’t tell the Fire Marshall I said that.
We get to perform for so many different types of audiences; church wide events, colleges, corporate events, student events. I think my favorite is the outreach night or date night type of events for the adults of the church. College students are probably the most creative audience we perform for, but being in front of all adults gives us the ability to do some subtle humor that many younger people don’t get.
Q: What makes you, Mike and Jeremy laugh during a show?
Carl: Just that question makes me smile! And there are multiple answers.
Many times there are inside jokes during the show that the audience wouldn’t even notice. We’ll have a conversation in the green room before the show or on our podcast or something and then a reference to that conversation will get in the show. That cracks us frequently.
Another one is when we do a joke or a story specifically about somebody in the room. Maybe we met them before the show and they told us a funny story. Or maybe we already know them and we’ll put something about them in the show. You know, it’s improv and many times during the show, in character and out of character, we’ll just be talking to the audience. We can make many references at many different points that most people won’t even notice
Then of course there are the times when Jeremy makes a completely obscure reference that maybe 1 or 2 people in the crowd even get. He thrives on hearing that one lonely laugh in a big room full of people. That in turn makes me laugh because I know how happy it makes him
I’m a big sports fan. Recently during a show I made a reference to an NFL story called Deflate Gate. The people in the crowd who are also football fans got the joke and laughed. After the show somebody asked me, “What was that Deflate Gate thing about? The people around me were laughing, but I didn’t get it.” I explained it was a football reference and she wasn’t surprised she didn’t get it.
Those are fun moments!
Q: What has been the highlight of your summer of travels?
Carl: Wow, we had a busy summer! We did almost 40 shows in over 10 states this summer in all parts of the country from Pennsylvania to California and from Wisconsin to Louisiana
I don’t know if I’ll be able to narrow it down. Camp Fuego in Louisiana and Texas is always a fun spot for us because we have so many friends there from being there over the years. We had our first stop at Lifest in Wisconsin and had a great time! We also got to go back to some places in North Carolina, Colorado, Michigan and Nevada that we love and have fond memories of.
We played a TON of Frisbee golf in California as well as disc golf in Colorado.
In Wisconsin, during the show, somebody in the crowd asked why we were wearing long sleeves. It was like 75 degrees and the show was at a music festival, so it was outside under a tent. Many of the people in the crowd were using handheld fans to cool themselves off. As we told them, we had just come from Louisiana. In the summer there it feels like it’s raining hot air. So 75 didn’t feel all that warm to us in that moment.
On a more serious note, I would say one of my favorite moments of the summer happened at a Women’s Conference in Pennsylvania. We were able to meet these 2 women who were sisters and had experienced a death in their family. I love that we got to meet them before the show. They shared their story with us and we all prayed together. Then we all laughed with 500 other women. And then we got to talk to them again after the show.
There’s something about that feeling. God put us all together in that moment. He ministered to them through the laughs. He ministered to us through the connection we made with that family that night. And He encouraged us all that we were exactly where He wanted us to be that night.
God is always at work, bringing His people together to point everyone back to Him. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this ministry and to interact with the people we get to meet everywhere we go!