Chicago should be proud of Aidy, and so should Phoenix. Tommy Cannon and I were fortunate enough to work with her during her time performing with All Rights Reserved in the VIAD Center in downtown Phoenix. It was an exciting time to work with performers so hungry to perform improv at the top of their game. I remember that despite some pressure from the producers of the troupe to create a more sensible show (meaning, easy jokes and clichés), the troupe was eager to push hard to invest in their characters and emotions. If you don’t think teenagers have emotions to get in touch with – you’ve got another think coming. I was excited to see artists pushing themselves artistically instead of playing for ego or jokes. (As a compromise, we allowed the advertising for the shows to be done in Comic Sans.)
I clearly remember their first Harold. The suggestion was toothpaste. Aidy and her partner played children arguing in the bathroom. Their second beat took them to her wedding day in which her brother respected the gravity of the day, but still let his sibling rivalry guide him to poking a bit of fun at his sister. The third beat took them to old age, hiding each others dentures. They were constantly bickering, but the wonderful thing that went without saying is that they still were together decades later. It wasn’t three scenes literally about toothpaste, it was a relationship. It was a good Harold. I still remember that the third beat was fine, but seemed to lack closure so the ensemble created a strange dance they performed onstage together, an odd third group game. Afterwards they sheepishly asked “if that was OK.” I was thrilled that the group would trust their instincts to break the form so early.