Wednesday, November 04, 2009

with my little eye

People outside East Tennessee are often surprised when I tell them about the nationally known companies that are headquartered here. One such company held a corporate retreat today. They hired an Atlanta-based group called Laughing Matters to come in and run a two-hour team-building exercise. I got involved via an interesting email that arrived the other day:
Hi Frank, I have an uncle in Atlanta who is an improv comic. He is looking for several improv comics here in Knoxville because he is planning some sort of event. I thought I would pass your contact information along to him if you think you and some of your fellow comedians would be interested.
Laughing Matters performed at the Morning Show Bootcamp convention I attended in 2003, so I was somewhat familiar with what they do. I directed the emailer to the right page on the Einstein Simplified website. As it turned out, I was the only member of the troupe who was available for the gig. The other four slots went to local actors who perform in Oak Ridge and elsewhere.

Our job was to execute a very organized program called "School for Spies." After some improv warm-up games, the other facilitators and I each manned a different station. The six teams of co-workers had fun tasks to perform using children's toys such as Mr. Potato Head, Nerf pistols and a Twister board. They also had to solve some logic puzzles, word searches and other problems.

The event was held at the Capitol Theatre in Maryville, a fine venue with a neat little coffee shop. I was able to ogle their impressive dessert case and taste their coffee before exercises began. I'm interested in going back on my own time for a dance or a show.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's the venue where i've done a couple of plays! (cemetery club & steel magnolias, both with foothills community players.) glad you plan to return, they really have made it nice in there. :)

Blogger The Savages said...

Laughing Matters is awesome and a great choice for corporate team building, as they're very professional and conscientious about keeping things clean. We used them for a Plan Your Meetings event many years ago to teach a session on the benefits of using improv to team-build, entertain, train groups or just break the ice. I'm glad you had a positive experience with them as well.


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