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!!
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.
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!
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!!! ;)
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
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. 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)
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!
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.
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!