Femprovisor Fest Offers Woman a Voice!

We  had a chance to interview Jill Eickmann who runs the Femprovisor fest now in its 5th year. Take a look and consider submitting for this fest. It takes place in San Francisco, CA.

What are you looking forward to most this year for the fest?

This is our fifth year! We are looking to showcase a diverse women collective.  We are crossing our fingers that a trio of femprovisors from Improv Mumbai will be joining us this year, making this our first year as an international festival.

How important is this festival for women in improv, especially in light to what is happening in our industry?

What I find so important right now- is creating a safe space for womxn to connect and play together.  We need a space to truly be ourselves without any pressure to conform to any female stereotype or role.  Those of us in all lady teams often agree- this pressure to be a certain type of woman starts to fade once you are not the “only” or “one of the only” womxn on a team.

We need a space to be unapologetic with our voice, truly be ourselves- in all its multiplicities, and take big risks. Most importantly, we need a space where our sisters can support our choices.  When in a male majority or patriarchal industry, a feeling of scarcity can ensue for female artists.  In addition to healing our male/female relationships, we also need a great deal of healing from our sisters.  Femprovisor Fest gives women the opportunity to support and lift one another up.  This festival is about supporting cooperation over competition.  I also see this festival as a space to recharge and get support from other bad-ass Femprovisors to then go home and keep your voice alive.

What kind of shows are you looking for?

We want to see womxn play together with delight and love for one another.  We want to see unique and under-represented voices, experimental forms, and performers who share their voices unapologetically. Off the stage, we are seeking artists who support building community and are excited about engaging in the many festival offerings: workshops, seeing shows, participating in panels, and of course- PARTIES!

Tell us about the venue

This will be our second year at The EXIT Theater- MainStage in downtown SF.  The EXIT is home of the SF Fringe and a wonderful, risk-taking venue that has been a haven for SF Bay Area artists of all walks of life since 1983.  From magicians to burlesque dancers to Shakespeare to new works to the rowdy sketchy show- The EXIT is home to ALL.  The MainStage theater is an 80 seat house with an intimate and fun cabaret feel- perfect for improvisational theatre of all kinds.

Why choose the Femprovisor Fest?

You are an improvisor who not only wants to play boldly and take big risks but you also are extremely passionate about social change.  You want to be a part of the conversation, you want to inspire others, and you want to lift up and support your sisters on and off the improv stage.

You can instantly submit to the Femprovisor fest right HERE.

I’m an Improvisor Offstage Too!

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I guess it’s not new news. I guess I’ve always known it, but I started thinking about it today and I realized that my offstage life and my onstage life have collided like the Higgs Boson. Here’s how:

Damn! I’m Not Perfect?

As much as I want to be perfect, I know that this is unattainable. Such is improv. You can get great at it but you’ll never be perfect. Otherwise, why would you keep doing it? Wouldn’t it get boring? If we say we are perfect, then we have nothing to reach for anymore and we could end up becoming stale and actually worse. I’ve seen people become content with their improv, hell sometimes I find myself doing it, but when that happens I force myself to change and find a new challenge. I guess when I’m 104 and on my deathbed I could lie there and say, ”I did it, I’m perfect.” It won’t be right, but I still might say it anyway. I will also probably not know where the hell I am, what I’m doing or who I am at that point. Strive for greatness, but don’t worry about being perfect.

I’m Human I Make Mistakes:

Sometimes I make big ones, sometimes ones I regret. But just like in improv a mistake can turn into a golden opportunity. I’ve found that the mistakes I’ve made have turned into opportunities for me to learn and become a better person. So I say bring on the mistakes! They can only make you stronger.

Support:

The world does revolve, but not around you. Yeah sorry everyone. I’ve always lived by the motto “Give back more then you get” Okay, so I ripped this off from my time as a Boy Scout. But I live by it. In improv it’s never about you, it’s always about connecting and supporting the group and achieving that group mind. I believe this is a great attribute to take with you offstage, whether it’s at your work, helping someone across the street or supporting a cause, you will find that support only makes the world a better place and makes you a better human being.

So, be an improvisor offstage too! Don’t stop being one once you step off that stage. Be one everyday, every hour and every minute. Commit to life just like you commit onstage, you’ll find when you don’t commit life and improv are much harder. If you do, I can guarantee you that the reward will be amazing.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if Improvisors ran it?

Nick Armstrong

Nick is an Actor, Improvisor and Writer living in Los Angeles, CA. On TV Nick is currently on AMC’s Story Notes and has been on the Emmy-Award winning shows The Office and Grey’s Anatomy. He has also made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Parks and Recreation. Recently, Nick received a development deal for a TV Show he created for A&E. 

Onstage Nick has trained at The Groundlings and iO West. You can catch him performing regularly at the world-famous iO West in Hollywood, CA on the famed genre-based group Kind Strangers and LA’s Longest and Critically Acclaimed Harold Team King Ten. Nick is also the Camp Director and Founder of Improv Utopia. And if that wasn’t enough, he is also one of the founding members of the National Improv Network.

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