Improv Everywhere and the art of the public disturbance
New York City based improv group Improv Everywhere is a guerrilla performance group that stages public "missions" (so called by founder Charlie Todd, from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre) meant to be "non-demeaning" [Wikipedia] experiments in social run-amuckery. And it's not just for trained folks, neither: Improv Everywhere is also proudly Improv Everyone. As a fellow improvisor, I can think of nothing better. Their slogan is We Cause Scenes. Just don't call it a flash mob.
Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 60 missions involving hundreds of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City.
You are invited to participate in our next mission, The Mp3 Experiment Four. Please take the time to read all of the instructions on this page.
Please note: This is a participatory event. If anyone wants to cover this event for the press, you may only do so by participating, not observing. No press cameras allowed.
This mission was amazing. I’m still smiling. The fun was about 4% “Yay, we’re in on the joke”, and 96% “Look how many dorks live in NYC (or elsewhere!), getting kicks out of high-fiving strangers.” You can’t help liking all the other participants. I don’t know, but I think a worldwide mp3 experiment would go a long way towards world peace. “Israelis, find a Palestinian and give them a high five!”
Walking through the park, I was thumbs-uping and high=fiving total strangers, and it was hard NOT to be smiling the whole time. I remember there was a bicyclist in front of me who seemed to get completely swept up in our German-led parade! I noticed him later sharing an iPod with another member of the Experiment! Priceless!
It seemed like the whole area was filling up with only people wearing red, yellow, blue and green, and it was hard to find a place to sit away from everyone else. Catching a few people’s eyes as they walked by, it was pretty easy to tell the agents from the civilians, but I think we kept up the charade very well until starting time.
The mp3 experiment is one of my favorite things about NYC. I always leave with such a good feeling. I’ll never miss it. I love the mp3 experiment and everything it stands for. I would love to see it turned into a book, a feature film, a breakfast cereal and a church.