Courtesy of Dallas Comedy House Improvisors T.J. Jagodowski and David Pasquesi
For the last 15 years, T.J. Jagodowski and David Pasquesi of the comedy duo of T.J. & Dave have started their shows with the same, simple method. They walk out on stage, introduce each other and assure the crowd, "Trust us, this is all made up."
Some music plays, the lights come up and the two are either standing or sitting on stage with no script or storyline to protect them from the harsh judgment of an audience. All they have is their wits and each other. They don't even ask someone in the audience for a one-word suggestion, their favorite color or something they would bring with them if they had to spend a year in Antarctica to kick off an idea for a scene. They literally know just as much as the audience does about what will unfold on stage.
Anyone with the balls to stand under a spotlight knows that the silence in those first few moments after the lights go up and the realization that a quiet crowd is waiting for a reason to laugh can be one of the scariest experiences of their existence.
"When those lights first come up and I haven't really thought about it this way, so forgive me if this idea is half baked is there is a little bit of free fall there," Jagodowski says. "It's almost like when someone jumps out of a plane, there's a little bit of free fall and if you start freaking out, you're going to tumble and keep falling the rest of the way but if you trust that improvisation is going to start showing you what's already there, then there's some sense of being taken care enters into there."
The magic of any improv comedy group is watching how they tangle with or toss away those fears about the unknown and let the unfolding events create comedy that can't be written before they walk out on stage or recreated once they leave it. Every show is unique to the room and the moment. It exists in an ether that can't be bottled and inhaled ever again and TJ & Dave perform one of the purest improvised shows an audience can witness. T.J. & Dave will perform two such sold out shows this Friday and Saturday at the Dallas Comedy House as part of the 2015 Dallas Comedy Festival.