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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Tuesday (10/9/12) 3:30am - ... wherein Peter posts a Hawaii FAQ.

I just got back from a trip to Hawaii -- figured I'd answer some of the questions people might have about the trip.

Wait, why were you in Hawaii?

This was for "Improvaganza", Hawaii's annual improv festival.  I was there to perform with The Professor: Improv Inspired by Doctor Who.  It turned out I also got to guest with Confidence Men (AKA "Improvised Mamet") while I was there.  So I did four shows total.

How long were you there?

I was in Hawaii for ten days -- so, a few days before the festival, then the festival itself, then a week or so after the festival.

Did you have fun?

I had a nice time.  Hawaii is as idyllic and beautiful as everybody says it is, and it was a great change of pace/scenery/culture from Austin.  That said, I'm not generally that outdoorsy; I can't swim; I don't like seafood -- so a lot of Hawaii was sort of wasted on me.  But the people were great, the environment was strange and new, and I got to do my second out-of-Austin improv festival.

How was the improv festival?

I suppose this is bragging, but I was in so many shows that I honestly didn't get to *see* much of the festival.  But I saw some good shows, the best of them being On the Spot's spectacular "Hush", which is improv in the style of old silent movies.  They did really clear, simple work[1], and it used the audience and the set in surprising, wonderful ways.  The mainland really loses out, what with On the Spot being secluded on the islands.

Of the shows I did, the best was by far the second Confidence Men show, where we got a great suggestion ("Sesame Street"), I had a much better feel for how the show should work, and we got to include special guest star Joe Bill (as Big Bird).  We also had a pretty good Professor show set in Roman times.  Mike videoed all of the Professor and Confidence Men shows, so they should be online before too long.

(Also, they built a TARDIS for the Professor.  How cool is that?)

Did you meet lots of people?

Nah.  The locals were all very friendly and welcoming, but I barely talked to anybody I didn't know.  Everyone knows I'm not that outgoing under the best circumstances, and I was pretty much always tired in O'ahu.

Did you eat anything cool?

I'm not generally gung-ho about food (and not into seafood -- see above), so I'm not really the person to ask about that.  But the best meals I had were by far the ones I had at the farmer's markets on Oahu.  Among other things, I ate pineapple bread pudding (must! learn! recipe!) and a number of OnoPops (of which the best was by far their Dark Chocolate Chinese Five Spice).

What was your favorite part of the trip?

My favorite part was just hanging out in Kauai.  In Honolulu, I stayed in Waikiki, which was probably the most amped-up, crowded, resort-skyscraper-filled, Vegas-esque part of the city.  (They have a Hard Rock Cafe.)  Kauai was the opposite of that, with sleepy little towns perched between the jungle and the sea -- much more my style.  That said, I didn't really dig doing any *particular* tourist stop there -- I mostly liked just sitting on the beach and watching the ocean.

(A close second: getting knocked down by north-shore waves with Local Genius Society.) 

Will you go back to Hawaii someday?

I might.  If I'm rolling in money by this time next year (and I'm in a troupe that can get in), then I'll try and make it back to Improvaganza.  It will also help if I'm doing regular consulting work and can work remotely.  But if I'm hurting for funds, travel will be the first thing on the chopping block.

Did you take any photos?

Yup -- here are the facebook albums (which link to the respective flickr albums):

* 2012-09-25 - Arrival in Oahu
* 2012-09-27 - Hiking at Diamond Head
* 2012-09-27 - The In Our Prime Mansion
* 2012-09-27 - The Hilo Show
* 2012-09-27 - Super Mega Art Show
* 2012-09-27 - Confidence Men
* 2012-09-29 - Rainbow @ Condo
* 2012-09-29 - The Professor
* 2012-09-29 - Where No Man Has Gone Before
* 2012-09-30 - The North Shore
* 2012-09-30 - Joe & Patti
* 2012-09-30 - Group Jam #1
* 2012-09-30 - Group Jam #2
* 2012-09-30 - Group Jam #3
* 2012-09-30 - Group Jam #6
* 2012-10-01 - Arrival in Kauai
* 2012-10-02 - Waimea Canyon
* 2012-10-03 - Cliffs Outside the Resort
* 2012-10-04 - Kalalau Path
* 2012-10-05 - Limahuli Garden

[1] From me, "simple" is one of the highest compliments I can give to an improv show.  It's so insanely hard to be simple in improv; months go by where I never see a single scene I could describe that way.

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