It hasn’t been one of our better fortnights. The CE’s foot has been screaming with pain and I’ve been flat-on-my-dysfunctional back. After a couple of weeks of this, you start to greet the world with a scowl. Which is why we were very lucky to be jolted out of our funk last weekend for an evening of “Instant Karma”.
Multiple choice question: What is Instant Karma?
a) a song by John Lennon
b) the title of a “House” episode
c) the name of a local improv troupe
And the answer is: All of the above!
Here’s the late and legendary John Lennon singing “Instant Karma”. If anyone can explain to me what Yoko Ono is trying to tell us in this video, I will be eternally grateful:
I’ve become a late-in-life Beatles fan, and almost nothing makes me happier than watching “House”, but the particular karmic form to which we were treated was a performance by the talented group from the Ventura Improv Company. The members of “Instant Karma” include Dan Gunther, who swapped out a career as a physician for one dedicated to laughter as the best medicine. He may be better known here as the husband of loyal and brilliant Polloplayer commenter, Katherine.
Have you ever gone to an improv performance? We hadn’t. We were gobsmacked. There were so many synapses firing on that small (and sold out!) stage that I expected the whole place to light up like a Tesla coil at any moment. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how they kept it going and remain mystified. All I know is that it takes a lot of courage and brain cells to stand up in front of an audience with no script, no props (and probably not much of a paycheck) and make them laugh out loud. I can’t even stand up in front of one of our cats and make them laugh. Of course, we all know that felines have no sense of humor.
Dan and his troupe members Jeanie Hays, Nicole Hollenitsch, Talia Savren and Paul Tevis (who’s got an Ed Helms doppleganger thing going) played off one another’s riffs and spun from one sketch to another. In the end, I have no idea how they did it, but it was an entertaining evening – check them out if you can.
Oh – and I almost forgot – there’s one more definition of Karma I haven’t covered. It’s also the moniker of Dan and Katherine’s cherished pup, one of the most noble creatures to grace this planet. If what goes around truly comes around, these three have a lot of laughs ahead.
“Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.” – E.B. White