One of the perks of this job is the opportunity I have to promote anyone I deem worthy of interest… with the sincere hope, of course, that there will be other people out there who agree with my choices. A few years ago, my best friend forwarded me a youtube clip (back in youtube’s very earliest days) of 200 or so people standing perfectly still in the wide cavern of New York City’s Grand Central Station. They weren’t just standing there, either, they were actually frozen in action, as if Dr. Freeze had by-passed Gotham City and headed straight to Grand Central. But for whatever reason, it was the sight of the confused on-lookers that thrilled me even more than the frozen ones; they were so totally befuddled by all of these people frozen in mid-action… as well they should have been! I soon learned that the people who put on this spectacle was a group called Improv Everywhere, and I immediately signed up to receive their emails and learn about their missions. That was about 3 years ago, and although I haven’t been involved in one of their missions (I will one of these days!), it hasn’t stopped me from watching every new video they post.
The mission of Improv Everywhere is to “create chaos and joy,” and, as founder Charlie Todd put it, to give people a story to tell and something to smile about. I have to warn you, though, that once you start watching past missions on their website, make sure you have plenty of time… they may not create chaos in the re-watching, but the joy in these missions is hard to resist, even over the web.
Go here to watch Rob get lost, as the good people of Yankee Stadium’s upper balcony try in vein help him find his seat.
Here’s Charlie Todd’s favorite mission, Look Up More!
Their new book is called: Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere, by Charlie Todd and Alex Scordelis