On Tuesday 30 January 2014 I played a ‘swing’ role in Improguise’s Improv Fest 2014 Western.
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A ‘swing’ character is a member of the cast with no pre-determined character.
At one point in the first act, the director called out for a lone stranger to arrive by stagecoach.
After a brief kerfuffle between the actors backstage, I was thrust into the spotlight dressed as a cowboy – jeans, a white shirt, red cloth around by neck and a brown wide brimmed hat drawn up at the sides on my head.
I introduced myself to the local sheriff, was sent to the local brothel to find lodgings, and became the barman of the saloon operated by the brothel owner, Madame Red.
Little did my new patron know that I was a turncoat for her arch-nemesis, the dastardly Diego de la Cruz. This monster of a man forced me to poison my new employer.
Torn up with guilt, I confessed to the Sheriff. Before I could help him apprehend Diego, Bethany – the local lady of the night – killed him with a pistol at point blank range.
I pleaded with the sheriff to release her from jail, and together we escaped into the sunset.
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It was a very successful improvised show where I learned the perils of babbling, the value of keeping a secret to yourself, and the power of really listening to your fellow improvisers.