Greg Tavares and Lee Lewis make up Moral Fixation, a comedy duo that’s been going strong for 11 years now. Needless to say spending that much time together has taught the guys the ins and outs of performing side by side. Tavares jumps right into describing their improv style: “We explore a narrative. In the first scene we define what the core thing is that needs to be dealt with.”
Tavares and Lewis could be a sniping husband and wife, or two housemates trying to figure out how to pay their electric bill. Tavares says that when the guys build a scene, they build a damn scene. If they’re in a bar? Well, Tavares says he can picture the jukebox and the French language coasters on the tables. Those little details inform the types of characters the guys will play.
The audience can’t see the jukebox, of course, but they don’t need to. “We don’t explain any of it,” says Tavares of the set up for Moral Fixation’s performances. But the audience quickly catches on, and watching that spark in their eyes is half the fun.
While audience suggestions are the immediate inspirations for a scene, Tavares says that the guys inevitably bring their own special brand of, well, thinking, into the mix. After all, Lewis is a psychiatrist (yep, he’s funny, smart, and can diagnose you), which we can only imagine helps him figure out the minds of the characters he’s portraying.
At the end of the day, Tavares, who is one of Theatre 99’s founders and a big part of the Charleston Comedy Festival, just likes that he gets to do what he loves. As he says, “I’m happy and lucky enough to create shows.”