Tom Pearson recalls life as an Improv Comedy Producer and Actor
|" Gripes" marketable still 12 years later|
I came across this photo (me, left with fish hat) and a Canadian Improv Showcase ticket stub from when I was a Principal Actor, the show's original Producer and Co-writer ( 2 years TV & live shows), as well as handled the booking including gigs at Second City Theatre and across southern Ontario. I actually Produced and Performed while still in film school and a single Dad a tough juggling act in any circus!
Just before I came on the scene as Producer, they (Dick Wad and his original "Executive" Producer whom he eventually dumped via creating accusations about missing funds - like there was any! Ha!) were a bit lost and full of improv tv show knowledge but only from watching! Anyway, I originally came on board as a performer and these Einsteins had booked the Good Guys in Bad-Times Theatre (or something like that) in Toronto to tape a pilot episode, but they assumed all the tv production students they had asked to be camera operators and sound record technicians etc would have equipment - and they showed up without any! Hellllo!
It would have died then had I not approached Aurora Cable tv ( I knew then station Manager Steve Mitchell) to come tape at the Factory Theatre lieu of free season of taped shows for their station.So we got a multiple camera shoot complete with live switcher and a production truck, Director, Production Assistants, sound & lighting crew (theatre) and Cam Operators at no cost! Thank-you! And we even charged the live audience to attend so we made money making a pilot too! The "fun" ended for me when the then 20 something, but already rapidly balding "co-founder", turned on me next with similar crap as the Executive predecessor, and when I wouldn't play footsie with his ego and I questioned the turnover of actors seemingly being replaced with high-schoolers and the creative direction the show was taking he made it easy to take a walk. They went no-where. Too bad, great concept - spoofing Canadianisms through Canadian talent.
This is when I first started doing Don Cherry spoofs where the audience would make him an expert on anything from hair dressing to figure skating instead of hockey in character! ha...Justin Renwick (middle in pic) a noted Newmarket musician ( Mumble Ducks) was a phenomenal talent and impersonator though! The other guy was a complete dick.