People who know me well know I was involved in the opening of the Bad Dog. And now at the end of the month, it will be closing down. The physical space, anyway. As they point out, their community will live on.
I’ve been involved with the people who helped to get the Bad Dog open. They were a semi-nomadic tribe back then, and being a semi-nomadic tribe is annoying, but not impossible.
Classes would be in one location for a fair amount of time. Performance spaces tended to be wherever the artistic group could find affordable space. I think the best time I had back in the day was when I was doing That Friday Show at the Village Playhouse. Not only was the group fun to play with, but near the end of the run there, they were bringing in guest teachers to do a small workshop at the end, after the audience had gone home.
But, for multiple reasons, at one point I’d had enough of the improv, and I left to go do scripted acting. There sometimes comes a time when the pain to reward ratio in an environment gets too high, prompting you to move on, and I’d reached mine at that point in time.
Over the years, though, I would check into improv once in a while. See some shows. Take a class here and there. I didn’t want to do it full-time, but I didn’t want to entirely abandon it. Something about it called to some part of my performing soul.
Then, last fall, I took a level 400 improv class at the Bad Dog and really hit it off with the class members. It really felt like it did when I first started doing improv, a long time ago, before cliques and other BS moved in. Playing at the craft, having fun, respecting each other.
And then the news this month that the Bad Dog was closing.
The people from that class have started a group, and I am continuing to participate in it. We again are semi-nomadic, but the Bad Dog community lives on outside of a physical space. And that is what will bring the Bad Dog back to life, that unquenchable community spirit.
The Bad Dog isn’t closing. It’s taking a short break, but the show will go on.