Easy Baked’s Improvathon

Jessie Goodson, Campus Carrier Features Editor

Bailey Albertson | CAMPUS CARRIER

Sophomore Jack Padgett, freshman Mitchell Patterson and senior Stephanie Schwartz improvise a scene during the first hour of Improvathon.

Easy Baked Improv has this weird tradition called Improvathon where we trap ourselves in a room for 24 hours to do improv with each other. No one knows exactly who started it, but we have done scenes about going back in time and harming said person. Each hour has an audience-suggested theme and can be anything from Shakespeare to jail camp. Whether it’s Looney Tunes rehab or a baby revolution, you’re guaranteed to witness comedy. 

An incomplete recollection 

Stephanie Schwartz, senior

I have experienced Improvathon for three years in a row, and none of them have been the same. There have been different people on the troupe, different people in the audience, and different circumstances and problems surrounding setting up for the event. Improvathon is stressful and exhausting and makes me doubt ever joining Easy Baked in the first place, but I wouldn’t dare miss out on this event for anything.

Though none of us are certain when or how the Improvathon tradition started, we all agree that we hate the person who came up wth the idea. Performing for an hour straight is sometimes tiring enough. Stretching that out to 24 hours is downright insane. Despite this, Improvathon gives Easy Baked something we don’t get from any other show: Money. And a unique sense of accomplishment, I guess. But mostly money.

Okay, for real though, Improvathon is a pain. It’s stressful to plan and exhausting to execute, but when it’s over and done with, you realize that you just spent 24 hours trapped in a room doing something amazing and special with people you truly love and care about, who love and care about you. There is no one else I would rather constantly interact with during that long of a time period than my fellow Easy Bakers. Improvathon is about pain and openness and trust. If we weren’t the close-knit troupe that we are, I doubt that any of us would have made it through all 24 hours alive. But we did, and that is because we are, above all else, a family. 

I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I’m going to miss Improvathon next year. Maybe I need to sleep for just a few more hours… 

Laughter is the best medicine

Jack Padgett, sophomore

Twenty-four hours is quite a long time to be continuously conscious. The time frame is daunting and almost always associated with the dreaded “all-nighter,” a concept that finds most college students waiting in line for supplementary espresso shots. So why would anyone decide to willingly participate in 24 hours of anything straight? Why, for comedy, of course.

Being a part of something as legendary as Easy Baked Improv’s Improvathon is both exciting and nerve wracking. I found that the days leading up to it were filled with all sorts of self assessment and second guessing. Would I be able to handle the stress of a full solar cycle of improvisation? Would I live up to the standards of the Easy Bakers before me? Would I die? All very relevant questions. I never would have guessed that the experience would teach me all the valuable lessons that it did.

Now, let me be clear: those 24 hours were weird. They were filled with everything from a love story between a downtrodden firewoman and a man with a windowless van (hour 3) to a legless Samurai ghost named Setsuke that haunts the obstacle courses of Jail Camp (hour 10). But they were also filled with realizations. During my time on the hellish wood of the Evans Auditorium stage, I realized that laughter really is the best medicine, especially when your symptoms include (but are not limited to) chronic exhaustion. I realized that we as humans are more resilient than we think we are. And I realized that the people who go with you through the hardest times are the people you can count on to go with you through anything. 

Improvathon 2017 was simultaneously the greatest and most challenging thing that I have ever undergone. It pushed me to my limits but also showed me that I am capable of more than I believe I am. Will I do it again? Absolutely. But I’m going to need every one of the 365 days between now and then to prepare. And next time I’m bringing deodorant. 

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