Last week was a busy week, and the news never seemed to pick me up. So the last thing I wanted to do after a full eight hours of work was to go watch a three-hour-long rehearsal for Paducah Improv. I contemplated canceling and scheduling for another day, but I decided to go and get a feel for the group and skip out after maybe an hour.
Three hours later, I had laughed so hard my stomach muscles hurt and the boys were, in the nicest way possible, telling me it was time to leave.
I interviewed Paducah Improv when they were just starting out. We sat at a table in Etcetera while they told me their big dreams. You could feel the passion for their craft as they talked. But like a true reporter, I was skeptical. They could do big things — and with improv veterans Chuck Tate and Eric Hobbs at the helm the possibility was truly there — or they could just fizzle into a hobby.
Nothing turns around your day like a success story, and watching the eight performers go at it on stage proved that Paducah Improv is a success story. But another powerful lesson is that nothing can turn your day around like laughter.
I went into that rehearsal in as low a mood as you could get. I didn’t want to be bothered, and even brought my phone in with me preparing to play Tetris. Instead, I was floored. The eight guys on stage — Hobbs directs while Tate produces, and the Improv actors are Kempton Baldridge, Todd Holloman, Jorge Machaen, D.J. Wood, Andy Wiggins, Jesse Barfield, Kyle Davis and Matt Curtis — had chemistry and were absolutely hilarious.
The group makes its debut at the Evening of Performance on Friday at the Carson Center. It’s a free event, full of local talent to enjoy, so it won’t hurt to go get to know them. It’s a good appetizer for the main course: Their first solo show called “The Comedy Experience: NO REFUNDS” at the Carson Center on May 26. Tickets for that are only $5.
Last week I sat in a small space with a makeshift stage and participated in a show that made me giggle like a little kid. It helped me to escape for just a few hours, but what Paducah Improv really did was teach me a valuable lesson: Laughter really is the best medicine.
Call Corianne Egan, a Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652 or follow @CoriEgan on Twitter.