Tuesday, February 10, 2015

... And We're Back!

Whoa, are you reading this? Good. After a long break of not using our blog, we are back to update you on all things DeBono! First things first, we need to plug our social media cocktail in the most organic way we can... by directing you straight to it:

INSTAGRAM: @debono_improv

Follow them all! Don't worry, we'll wait. Here's a picture what happens when you Google "idle cat":

THANKS! Now that we have that out of the way, we can talk about who is actually on the team! 

Our current President, Ethan Robish, is a senior who is super smart and nerdy - I think this picture shows that perfectly.

It's pretty unfair to write an amazing biography about myself, so why not exploit it! 
I, Terrance Rogers, am the MOST AMAZING member of the team! EXTREMELY talented, DEVILISHLY handsome and APPROPRIATELY modest are just a few of the everyday descriptions I get!  

Next, is our resident Ginger and the jolliest of us all, Addison Boyd. Ladies, this man is aspires to be a doctor. Feeling a little ill? I be you are!

No improv team is complete without the star singer and performer. James Koh, unfortunately, is the closet thing to that description we've got. Currently starring in our school's production of Avenue Q, James is an awesome team player and great singer! 

Singers are important on musical team, but as past DePresidents have said, "we are an improv team first"! Blake Quinlan brings groundedness (not a word, #yolo) and strong relationships to every scene he is in. Although he may not be the strongest singer, he definitely knows his improv basics.

We can't do musical improv without the music, and we definitely have a powerhouse player on the guitar. Lily Katz, Sophomore, has only been on the team for two semesters but can hold her own as the DeBono "Jukebox" pumping out toe tapping hit after hit!

Every year, we add new victims... I mean... cast members to our team to keep the shows fresh, engaging and fun; but, mostly because people on the team have graduated. Anywho, we have FOUR new additions this year that have grown more than we could have ever expected and are crazy hilarious! The best part? They are all Freshmen! (Or, Fresh-people; We are progressive!)

Welcome Erin Blaber

Michelina Boehmer

Jonathan Randich 

and Sophie Rodgers

Thanks for taking the time to get to know the faces of DeBono! What's next? COME OUT TO A SHOW! We have bi-weekly shows at the Illini Union's Courtyard Cafe at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! We perform with our sister team Spicy Clamato at 7PM for FREE! Keep a -- patient eye on this blog for more in depth updates about the team! 

We are super excited for this semester, and cannot wait to see you at our next show! 

Livin' on a Prayer,

-Terrance Rogers    

Monday, May 6, 2013


Hey everyone,

My name is Jordan Lange and this was my last year on DeBono Improv troupe. I just wanted to share a couple of private thoughts/goodbyes on a public blog, because that just makes sense. Grab a tissue and settle in.

I joined DeBono my sophomore year, since I was so set on getting into an acapella group my freshman year, I had never really considered it an option. But after a year of watching hilarious Monday night improv and a suggestion from Jaime, I decided to try out. I was thrilled to find I'd made both DeBono and Spicy Clamato, a prestigious short-form group on campus. I remember meeting Amy Leahy in Spicy auditions and having her be my guide through my beginning weeks of DeBono. That first year I learned SO MUCH from the elder members, including Jill, Simeon, Amy, Michael and Robby. I thank you all so much for teaching me the ways of DeBono improv.

Improv quickly became my passion, love, and main activity on campus. Something about the art of improvised comedy is pure, raw, and unaltered, and that's what makes it so much fun. Pulling old characters out and brushing off the dust and just having fun. Coming up with quick one-line puns. Flopping around on the floor in the name of physical comedy. Even best of all, bringing up a call-back or concluding two story lines nicely together. For those of you still in DeBono: savor every day you have left at the University of Illinois. As people before me have said, and I'll reiterate: the experience you have in DeBono is rare. Improvising in a group of friends for 4 years really allows you to get to know your team. Not to mention the environment of group learning and fun. Improv after college is not always like that. 

I have a few things to say to all the members of DeBono this year. You all have been amazing and helpful to me in your own ways. I've learned things about you all and about myself. Thank you all so much!!

Jaime Lemens
You've been in DeBono almost as long as I have and I've seen you grow immensely as an improviser. Your characters are always energetic and full of life, giving an immediate spark to any scene you're in. You are by far the bravest and boldest improviser I know, always ready to step out and edit when needed. That is a crucial aspect to have as an improviser! Any improv troupe would be lucky to have you up in Chicago.

Brendan Sweeney
Oh Sweeney, where do I even start? You have the funniest sense of humor of anyone on campus. The way that you bring current events and ideas into improv really makes it easy for the audience to relate. Also, your third-scene ability is impassable. You say some of the best random shit sometimes, I could never come up with. Improvising with you is always a treat because I never know where the scene will end up, but I know it will end up being hilarious! *slap* OOOOHHH!

Nick Dietrich
I have no worries about DeBono next year because I know that they are in good hands. You are a rock solid scene partner who is extremely supportive and incredibly creative. Your rhyming in songs is the best of anyone on the troupe and your antagonists are still some of the best to date. I've loved watching you grow as an improviser, and your knowledge more than surpasses mine at this point. Rule DeBono harshly and with an IRON FIST!!! ;)

Julie Brady
My God. I knew from last year that we were getting an incredible accompanist, but I had no idea HOW incredible. Your guitar and improv music skills have been sharpened to a lethal face-melting point over these past years. Keep up the amazing work and think more about throwing yourself into scenes and musicals. Because your skill doesn't end at guitar, your improv is stunning as well. You are an irreplaceable asset to DeBono! Keep rocking :D

Clare Cutler
Sadly, you were not here for my last semester in DeBono, which I'm still trying to forgive you for. You are going to be VERY important in DeBono next year. Even last semester, I saw you stepping out more, creating so many good ideas and blooming as a leader in the group. Continue that trend, please. You have the funniest responses in scenes and always know how to support someone without question. I cannot wait to see what you can do next year because I know it'll be great!

Kimi Arquines
Kimi. If you ever come back from Disney World (you'd better), DeBono will benefit greatly. You are such a musical genius and AMAZING singer. You've got so much lyrical sense, its nuts and you know how to blow peoples' minds with it. I've seen you improve in improv immensely, and you are so freaking funny. I missed you a lot this semester and will make sure to come back and visit next year. I know I will be blown away! (p.s. Let's watch some Simpsons)

Jessica Shyrock
My dear Jessica, I was elated to be on DeBono with you. You took such a quick knack to improvising, and SINGING improv as well. You have an incredible piece sense, knowing where the piece should go and how to get there, which is an immense ability. Being in scenes with you is a delight. I always love seeing you come up with funny ideas that make me say "why didn't I think of that?". DeBono will benefit greatly next year with you on it, I don't have a worry in the world. Keep learning and teaching!

Terrance Rogers
I had an excellent feeling when we took you on DeBono this year. I was proved right. You are such a smart and talented improviser that I've enjoyed watching and improv-ing with! Your scene partner skills are unmatched, as you always support your partner to the fullest. You've helped bring DeBono to a whole new level this year. In the upcoming years, absorb as much as you can and teach others. You will be a fantastic leader, I know it. Keep DeBono close to your heart.

David Naber
I know an acting man when I see one, and you, my good sir, are an acting man. I am always blown away by your characters and your accents. Your physicality and energy on stage always make me laugh. I've seen you go from newbie to taking charge of an entire musical, which is AWESOME!! Keep expanding your character set and sharing your knowledge with others. Enjoy being on stage because that is where you thrive. DeBono needs you, and I'm glad you are going to be around for awhile :)

I'm just a dude, but that's what I think about you guys and your improv. You're all freakin awesome. TOO AWESOME!!! DeBono will live and rock on next year without a hitch. You've got this locked down! Thank you for everything you do. Improv has been my life on this campus, and you guys made it all worth living.

And a short note to everybody NOT in DeBono reading this: Thank you! If you ever came to a show, watched a practice, saw a video, liked our page, followed our Twitter, or read a blog: THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I do improv because it makes me happy, but making you guys laugh sure makes it a hell of a lot better.

I suppose I don't have much else to say before I am a DeBoner Emeritus except one cheesy thing: Say "yes, and" to life. Accept what life gives you and then put in more effort to make it better. Then do a sweet ass duet with life, because Julie has been playing for about a minute. 

Farewell, and keep livin' on a prayer.

From my left to yours, I've been Jordan! Goodnight!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Second Place at CIT

Hey there everyone! Jordan here talking about the weekend DeBono just had in Indianapolis. As some of you may know (and as some of you are about to find out) DeBono travelled to the College Improv Tournament Lower Midwest Regionals this past Saturday (Feb 16th) to compete in a nation-wide improv competition. I'll give you the skinny on our weekend.

We left at about 5 pm on Friday and drove to our hotel. The trip was fun, we had a mix of songs that everyone got to contribute, too. Actually, hearing those songs really made me realize what musical diversity we have in our group. It can only be a good thing :) After checking in, we met up with our sister, Spicy Clamato, to grab some late dinner at Steak and Shake in what should have been an hour-long affair. I won't get into it, but finding/being turned away from/finding another S&S was a maddening experience.

MOVING PAST THAT, we played a staple group game that night called "Things" where one person names a category like "What's the first thing you would do as president" and then everyone answers on a piece of paper, and the category-guy has to guess whose answer was whose (also could be played as a drinking game!). After that we were tired and slept (mostly) the rest of the night away.

The NEXT day, Saturday, was the big day. Arrived at noon for an all-teams meeting about the day's format. DeBono was in the first round of 4 at 1 pm. We did REALLY well with the suggestion of "Ketchup", and using a new opening we developed, we created a wonderful story about a food critic and a newlywed couple. Our performance was good enough to advance us to the finals round at 10 pm! SO PUMPED!!

We spent the rest of the day resting, watching all the other rounds of improv and eating dinner. To be brutally honest... it was hard to watch so much improv. To quote Liam from Spicy Clamato "I'm watching this improv, and I know its funny... but I'm just not laughing. I feel like a dick". Yes Liam. Pretty much.

10 pm rolls around and after a light meal of chicken and waffles, we headed back to Comedysportz for the final round! Everyone did great, although I think everyone's afternoon set was better (a long day of improv and energy can really take it out of you). Our second suggestion was "Ice cream scoop" and we rocked a tasty jam about an Ice cream shop in the desert. Fantastic job. Everyone else gave great sets! And we ended up getting second place! SO PROUD!

So on to some shoutouts: Thanks so much to the members of DeBono! You guys rocked the house! Spicy Clamato, we had a great set, and I had so much fun doing improv with you fupas! Shoutout to Improv Mafia on winning the regional, you truly are amazing improvers :) And finally, a big thank you to CIT Producers Keith and Ricky, along with the rest of the team, and Comedysportz theater for being such great hosts!

That's all for now! Make sure to keep/start coming to our shows... I hear rumors of some crazy stuff coming up in the near future... ;)

MUCH LOVE! - Jordan

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Beat Box

If you have been to a DeBono Show any time in the last two years, you have probably seen something we like to call the beat box. It's a really catchy little game we like to play to get the audience warmed up. Some days, It may be my favorite part of the show. When the team is really listening to each other, there are some really hilarious moments, as well as moments that actually sound musically interesting.

For most of the Beat Boxes past, Jaime has been the conductor. Occasionally someone else like Nick will give it a shot, but mostly Jaime is the one who makes the calls. Though, she always looks like she has so much fun that I wanted to give it a try. Last Show was my first time conducting a beat box live and I'd like to share my insights with you... will you let me? Really? Awesome!

What does It take to conduct a beat box?

It takes energy. If you are boring then the people you are conducting are going to be bored and look away from you. Though the team should have their eyes glued to the conductor at all times, sometimes they slip. When that happens it makes it really hard to silently signal what they are supposed to do. 

It also takes patience. The most frustrating part of the beat box is waiting for everyone to find a part and build in. We have between seven and nine people usually in our beat boxes and that means it takes seven to nine cycles through the little sound bite to make sure everyone is participating. I also almost always speed up the group the moment everyone is in.

It takes a good ear. Bringing people into the beat box can be difficult if you can't keep rhythm with your body. The group takes the tempo off of not only the most percussive voice, but most importantly the conductor. You have to be able to speed up and slow down your body without getting off beat. This is incredibly important because if one of the voices fails, then you are still the rock of rhythm. 

Finally, it takes a little bit of malicious intent. What's the fun of having all of the power if you aren't going to abuse it at all? I mean come on. If you had to power to make people yell, whisper, sing really high and really low, wouldn't you want to use it? Variety is the spice of the beat box and nothing is more fun that watching a team mate push their voice to the edge in the name of comedy. 

So now that I've given you a little taste of what goes on in my head while I'm conducting, you should watch some of our awesome beat boxes from this semester! (You can also check out our freeze games and full musicals on our youtube channel).

Suggestion: Jumbalaya 

(only a 4 person beatbox!) Suggestion: Twinkie

Suggestion: Caramel

Also, If you think it's weird that we've done food suggestions most times... we think so to. You guys are in charge of whatever we do! Remember you can say anything you want. So come to next show with some CRAZY ideas and see if we can handle them. I bet you'll be surprised!

Remember we perform EVERY monday for FREE at 8:00 in the Illini Union. Bring your friends!


Monday, January 28, 2013

WOAH! It's been a while since there's been a post, but don't you worry because DeBono has still been hard at work. Not only have we been preparing for our weekly monday night shows (Free in the Union at 8:00) but, we have been preparing for our big competition!

The Collegate Improv Tournament is right around the corner and DeBono has some changes planned. We will be performing on February 16th in INDIANAPOLIS! If you feel like making the drive, feel free to come out and support us as well as all of the other teams. Last year we made it to the finals, but we didn't make it to nationals. This year, we are back with a mission. That mission is to put on the best Improv Musical to date!

But, if you don't believe how much we've been working, check out some of our videos. Ever since we got a camera, we've been so excited to play around with it. Check out one of our Monday Shows!

Final Show of 2012:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Team!

Hello EVERYONE! DeBono is back and better than ever! We are pleased to present the team for the 2012-2013 school year. We have two great new members: David Naber and Terrance Rogers. If you want to get to know these two studs in person, then make sure to check out the show OCTOBER 24TH!! This will be the first show where the new guys are performing.

As a reminder, DeBono performs every Monday night at 8 o'clock in the Illini Union's Courtyard Cafe. Tell your friends! Tell your mom! Tell the squirrel you just passed on the quad!

So, without further ado... We present DeBono!

Jordan Lange-
Jordan Lange is an old coot and wishes to be left alone. His hobbies include improv, night terrors, and cloud-yelling. He wants to be a doctor when he gets out of college, but the stress might kill him first. Secret super power: Carrying immense amounts of groceries at once. Kooky fact: He once lifted an entire school bus full of children above his head for 4.5 seconds (the strength of a mother is unfathomable). It is his last year here on DeBono so stop by Murphy's and buy him a drink.

Jaime Lemens-

Jaime Lemens is a pre-med senior studying molecular and cellular biology with a music minor. She has been on DeBono since the spring of 2011. She is a proud owner of two, adorable pet rats named Heidi and Pepper. Her go-to food is pizza (topped with sausage, onion, green pepper, and spinach!), but she also loves fine dining and breathing. Jaime enjoys improv, autumn, singing, rain storms, the color green, the book "Life of Pi", and virtually everything having to do with football (GO PACK!). Her most recent obsession aside from her rats has been the T.V. series Doctor Who. 

Brendan Sweeney-

Brendan "B-Sweets" Sweeney is Debono's most senior member. This is his fourth year on Debono. He serves as minister of hand-hitting. Brendan enjoys performing one-man improv and stand-up in addition to performing with his team-mates on Debono. He is pre-law, majoring in psychology and minoring in philosophy. Brendan hopes to keep a place for performing comedy in his life after he graduates. He is a strong admirer of shamrock shakes, scallops, and tiramisu. His three favorite animals are: 1.) Bear, 2.) Moose, 3.) Lynx in that order.

Clare Cutler-
Clare cutler has been on debono for 3 years and its like she won't even shut up about it. She is a junior studying urban and regional planning while minoring in landscape studies. 
With these degrees Clare aims to get closer to her
 plan of creating wilderness like "jungle cities" where she can employ her finely honed survival skills and reign over the meek. Clare is the only member of debono to be implicated in both the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and the Roswell incident of 1947. Clare's singular flaw is that she sometimes drools in her sleep, but she's working on it.

Nicholas Dietrich-

Nicholas Dietrich is a 24,000 year old etherial being composed of pure positive energy. His invisible guiding hand has shaped the course of human development over several millennia by means of subtle suggestion and seemingly insignificant interventions. Though his wisdom transcends the need for language in its entirety, he speaks primarily in atonal song and slant rhymes. This is his third year as a member of DeBono Improv.

Julie Brady-
Even though the existence of Julie Brady is doubted by those who claim to be backed by "hard facts" and science," eyewitness accounts seem to indicate that there is, in fact, such a person, and that she has much less body hair than Bigfoot. Although the veracity of these claims is dubious, those who profess knowledge of the subject assert that she knows more about baseball than them, has an unhealthy love for horror stories, and wants to major in Cats. She allegedly plays guitar for DeBono, in addition to being a third-year member of Potted Meat Sketch Comedy and the Titanic Players team PK BARNJAM. 

Kimberly Arquines-
Kimberly Arquines, a.k.a. Kimi, a.k.a. Who are you and what are you doing in my house?, is a hot mess and too turnt up. Her favorite word is "ratchet" and if you don't know what that means then something is clearly wrong with you. On a typical day you'll find her at the piano playing and singing Disney songs to her husband, Zachary Levi. Also, she is severely directionally challenged and thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was in France. This is her second year in DeBono and second year doing improv, ever.

Jessica Shryock-
This little lady is a second year member of DeBono, as well as its advertising and optimism officer. She is also a member of the Titanic Player's second year team: On a Stick!  Once on a bus ride, she was called "delightful" by the driver, and she clings to the description. In her free time, she makes money by writing trashy, smutty articles about cheating celebrities and doing crazy nail art. When life ever gets her down, she simply reminds herself that she gets to take Tinkerbell vitamins in the morning and it is all better. 

David Naber-
David Naber is a mere freshman this year, majoring in Computer Science, but is rather uncertain of what he REALLY wants to do with the rest of his life. He hopes this will rub fof soon. He is also a member of the newest Titanic Player's incubator team as well as Engineers Without Borders. He is also an avid fan of theatre, and whenever possible, auditions for shows. David also enjoys a good book, song, movie, or video game. And popcorn. God forbid, if you ever give David a batch of good popcorn, you may very well find yourself a new best friend. 

Terrance Rogers-
Terrance Rogers, the only African American member of DeBono, is simply AWESOME! Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Terrance's love for improv was born out of boredom. After having absolutely no life in high school, he finally decided to join an after school matters improv group and has loved it ever since. Currently a freshman at the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Terrance has no idea what he wants to study. However, being a honorary member of Gryffindor (pottermore certified), being the poster child of "The Hunger Pains: the story of urban struggle", and being an expert on everything Disney, Terrance is AWESOME!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Season, New Opportunities

Hey there, comedy lovers!

It's us, DeBono, again, and we're back for another great year at the University of Illinois! It feels good to be back on campus, now that everyone has drinking... er... syllabus week under their belt, it's about time to fall into your semesterly routine!!!! Go to classes on Monday-Fri. But skip that class on Tuesday morning since lectures are online and its always so crowded and smells bad. What? The prof started taking attendance? Well better start going to that.  Don't forget to go to lunch with your best friend from high school on Wednesdays at noon. Only blow him/her off if you have a lunch date with a hottie you met at that bar/party/gas station/Labor Day BBQ. Don't forget to text your friends every Saturday afternoon to know whats going on tonight. On Sunday do HOMEWORK LIKE CRAZY. Damn... back to monday.... oh wait... not damn...


Seriously people, make it a part of your routine. We're not just saying that cause we want to rack up attendance numbers, we want to see you, too! And many of us can speak from personal experience, (me included) even being outside the group and going to these shows is a huge stress reliever. Show your pretty little faces up at 8 PM at the Illini Union Courtyard Cafe for DeBono, or at 7 PM to see Spicy Clamato, too (and you should they're fan-flippin-tastic). Theres no fee, because its absolutely free. Just be at the Courtyard at 7! I even took the trouble to draw you a map:
Know how long that took me? 2 hours. Yeah. But we did it because we care about you guys (and now you owe me 2 hours back in Improv-Audience form) I did that with a trackpad, too. My wrist thanks you.

Oh my, I'm so imbarrased. Even more embarrassed that I started spelling it with an "i" and then just kept going because I dont bullshit. I keep it real. Anyway, I'm embarrassed that I didn't even explain what improv IS! Ok well have you seen those shows like SNL, Whitest Kids U Know,  MAD TV, All That? Yeah we're not like that. We're do those same kind of sketches except if we had no prior preparation or costumes or props, but we're better! Oh, crap... well that didn't make it sound very exciting... let me put it another way.

If you and a group of your friends are at dinner and lets say your funny friend Sid tells a joke. Everyone laughs! Wow that was funny! But Amanda thinks it's so funny that she spurts milk out her nose, and that makes everyone laugh even harder, busting a gut and crying from laughter. Its a good feeling. Now the next day your friend Josh (who wasn't there) asked what you did, and you say "Omg Sid told this joke, and then Amanda shot milk out her nose!" The thought of it makes you laugh, even now. But Josh is not amused.... he doesn't find that too funny. You say" Oh... I guess you had to be there."

Improvisational comedy is the "You had to be there" of the comedy world. Everything else like tv shows, movies, sketches, even comedians have their material written out before they perform, and it usually is quite hilarious! But IMPROV COMEDY thrives on the pure spontaneity and quick-wit of the moment. YOU the audience get to be part of the show! We'll ask you for suggestions and set an entire piece/musical off of that suggestion! No scripts, no blocking, but pure hilarity and entertainment. Trust me, just go to at least one show and you will no regret you did. I'm sure you'll be comin' back for more every week. What's even more... is that DeBono combines all that stuff... and throws it into a big Musical Stew. Like Wicked if they had just met and said... "oh crap.. Um. Oz! A 1-2-3-4...!"

Since this post is getting rather lengthy, I'll get right down to my last point- If you think that improv and musicals and singing are things you may be interested in (or even just interested in 1 of them) please audition for our troupe! NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! We love people trying new things, and its often worked out for the best :) All the info you need is here https://www.facebook.com/events/435067116535271/ but meet east outside Gregory Hall at 7 PM on Wed 9/5/12 (weather permitting) and we'll move inside from there. I'll even draw you another map:
That one? That took 5 hours. Mmhmm. You're welcome.

So hope to see you all at the shows and auditions! It is GOOD to be back, people!

~Jordan of DeBono

TL;DR Free Monday Improv. 8 pm Union. 
Auditions- Wed 9/5/12 7 pm at Greg Hall. 
Improv+Musicals= Genius