It’s hard to believe I am mere weeks away from being a rising senior at Conn. After a few more papers and classes, I will be entering my last year at this place I have called home for three years. One of the bittersweet parts of my transition from junior to senior is less about me and more about the people I spend my time with. I’m in a short-form improv group on campus called N20. We meet three times a week to practice our performances. Two members of the group are seniors and this month they will perform their last show at Conn. I will miss their energy and presence but am excited for them too.
I joined N20 my sophomore year, when then-junior Max and Alison were studying in Paris and Cape Town, respectively. When they came back in the spring, it was a tough transition for me because I was not familiar with their quick wit and was somewhat intimidated by impressive improvisation techniques. After our first show, I felt as though I would never be up to par with them. That quickly changed once I got to know Max and Alison outside of rehearsal. I have found that the best improv arises from good rapport between members. We started having “family” gatherings in Harris, homework sessions in the library and I made an extra effort to get closer with the two of them.
Now, Max and Alison are two of my closest friends and to see them off will undoubtedly be difficult but at the same time it feels right. Now that Alison and Max are moving on to bigger and better things, it is up to me, my friend and fellow Experience blogger Dani and Samuel (the rising seniors of N20) to take the reins. We have to make this transition of leadership in such a way that will both improve upon and honor Max and Alison’s legacy. It’s weird, getting older. But it’s also exciting because of the opportunities for growth and evolution. I think my friends and I will honor Max and Alison the best way we know how: making people laugh as often as we can with as much gusto as we can muster.
To make this goodbye even more difficult, my fellow troupe members and I have decided to get Max and Alison senior gifts to show our appreciation. The two seniors have consistently held this group together, stuck to a consistent rehearsal schedule and encouraged confidence in each member–especially me. Every semester in N20 is a unique learning experience providing members the chance to build new skills and rekindle old ones. Max and Alison have inspired me to leap at each game in rehearsal rather than wait for other troupe members to fill the quota. They showed me the importance of letting a scene breathe, listening to other actors and running with even the most mundane-sounding suggestions. I hope I am able to bestow the wisdom they have shared with me onto the new members we recruit in the fall.
Performing with Max and Alison one last time, in Olin Science Building as per tradition, is something I am equally excited and sad about. But I know that no matter what, we will make them laugh. And that’s what matters.