There is one thing that household names like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Chris Farley, Mike Meyers, Seth Meyers, Mellisa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Will Farrell, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and Key and Peele all have in common. They all began as improvisers. In the last ten years improv went from being an underground pastime to a booming business, as places like The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre and The Groundlings started churning out superstars left and right. The improv community is so huge that there are thousands and thousands of people just dying for a chance to perform at these larger theatres. You can wait for a year on a waiting list just to get into a class at The Groundlings, and audition year after year after year to no avail in hopes of getting a coveted spot on a house team. Due to the enormous demand and a short supply of places to perform or “play”, students and performers began to take it upon themselves to make their own teams, and create their own shows. Very quickly, the “Indie improv Scene” was born.
For years, shows were put up in small theatres all over Los Angeles. People would do shows in livingrooms, basements of bars, and theatres that catered to other kinds of performance. Last January, The Clubhouse opened, and within one week had a schedule filled with shows from Monday through Sunday starting as early as 5:30pm and ending as late as 1:00am. During the day, The Clubhouse functions as a classroom, where independent teachers teach everything from Improv, to sketch writing, to improvised musical theatre, to video creation to physical comedy and everything in between. The Clubhouse has existed for less than one year, and has already become the new home of Indie improvisation, earning itself a place on the LAists list of Top Comedy Clubs in LA. Now The Clubhouse , and it’s amazing community of performers, writers, teachers and students, need a new place to call home.
Currently the Clubhouse is located in an alley in the middle of Hollywood. There is no front door, and our only entrance is a dark residential alley behind the property. It is bad for us in terms of safety, visibility and growth, and it is bad for the residents around us. We have no parking, which forces people to walk to their cars after hours in the not safest area of town. We have to be silent as we come and go from the building so as not to disturb our neighbors, which makes the Clubhouse a more difficult place to draw audiences and the improv community in general.
The good news is, we have found a new space. A big fat amazing space on the busy corner of Hollywood and Vermont, with a huge parking lot and no residents to bother. While the rent itself is paid through the shows that rent the space, and the donations they raise, we need some serious help to turn this amazing raw space into a fully functional awesome theatre and school!
We need to build soundproof walls, lighting rigs, buy more chairs and lights, paint the walls, fix the floors, build new stages and flats, hang curtains and pretty much turn an empty giant box into a theatre, a classroom and a lounge!
We have many friends helping us, and people offering free services, labor, and time. We need money for materials, equipment, and the permits we need to operate our business in the city.
The Clubhouse has become home for so many improvisers and actors and comedians and storytellers and writers in Los Angeles. It has become The Clubhouse it was named to be. Please help us continue to grow, foster talent, teach and learn, and be a place for artists to begin, embark, practice, work, achieve, commune, and play.
Thank you so much.
Risks and challenges
We are very lucky. Our biggest challenge will be raising the money we need to build the theatre we are dreaming of. We have thousands of people ready to help lift things, paint things, hook things up, sand things down, wipe things off, wait in line and everything else that doesn't require money! We have brilliant contractors who are building The Clubhouse for next to nothing. The only thing that could get in our way is not reaching our fundraising goal. The jobs that improv and writing lead to can often pay handsomely, but learning improv is pretty much the least lucrative thing a person can do. So while we are turning to our community for elbow grease and blood sweat and tears, we are turning to the rest of the world for the cash!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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