What started out as a meandering group of Theatre 99 improv grads has since wittled down to a core group of six silly members. “We’re very lucky we enjoy each other’s company,” says Craig Trow of Organized Chaos. “It’s slowly gotten harder as time has gone on.” With families and new babies in tow, plus day jobs — math teachers, web designers, and hair stylists are part of the mix — it isn’t always easy to set up some practice time.
And practice time, even for those who play funnies off the cuff, is still crucial. “I think people think that improvisation is you don’t have to work. But of course that’s not true,” says Trow. With a background in acting (Trow trained as an actor at The Old Vic Theatre School and has performed all over the UK in a variety of different plays) Trow is no stranger to character building and scene setting. “I used to think it was two different hats,” says Trow of improv and acting. “I don’t know if I believe that any more. The best improv done on stage is when the audience believes you are who you are. If you commit to what you’re portraying, the idea that you have, the scene that you want to show, the audience gets behind you. That is what acting is.”
Whether they’re setting up a scene in a coffee shop or park or hospital, Organized Chaos commits. And they have each other’s backs. When asked if ever there was a time when a scene was going way downhill and another ensemble member saved the day, Trow laughs, “so many times!” “You won’t think the scene is going well and someone will walk on stage and then a twist of fate, a twist of inspiration hits and you are so thankful because you had no idea what was happening in the scene and they give you this gift to play with.” In a world that feels so fraught with self absorbed individuals, Trow relishes this moment. “It’s not like they even want it for themselves … they’re doing it to help your scene. It’s beautiful, a selfless gift, and then they just walk away.”