Months ago Octavarius was interviewed about how awesome we are by Northwestern journalism major, Tom Meyer. Because of our amazing ability at being interviewed, TOM GOT AN “A”! No big deal. Here is what the college classrooms are reading:
CHICAGO–For members of the Chicago improv group Octavarius, the end of their 14 week run at ComedySportz signalled both the end of the most successful period in Octavarius’ history and a chance to expand their act, they said.
“It’s made a lot more work for us in a good way,” Octavarius performer and administrator Marc Muszynski, 25, of Chicago, said. “Being successful, in our minds, opened up a ton of possibilities and lit a fire behind us [so] we want to keep it going and broaden it.”
The comedy group ended their “Octavarius: So Nefarious” run on Jan. 12, but will continue to appear occasionally at the Northside comedy club ComedySportz over the next few months. The troupe is in negotiations to sign a long-term contract there in June as well, Muszynski and fellow performer Matt Castellvi, 21, said.
The “So Nefarious” run was scheduled to end months ago, but the show’s popularity convinced ComedySportz to add eight more weeks, Castellvi, a resident of Chicago, said.
“After about 3 or 4 weeks of the show we were getting good crowds and [sometimes] even selling out which is tough on a Sunday night,” Castellvi said. “And so we went into negotiations which extended it. We could have continued but… [ComedySportz] already had some group sales made where they rented out the club.”
The group cites publicity that they received from their appearance on WGN Morning News in September as a factor that may have helped the success of the run.
“A lot of people watched it, I kind of underestimated how many,” Castellvi said. “After we [appeared], my phone was lighting up with people saying they saw us on WGN. I still get people contacting me from that.”
Octavarius usually performs shows with varying themes which the group plans to continue with upcoming Valentine’s Day and professional wrestling themes performances after their run ends. These kinds of shows help the group to have fun on stage, which translates into fun for the audience as well, Muszynski said.
“One thing we really learned is that if we’re just having fun that’s cool, but it’s [better] if there’s a way for everyone in the audience to have a good time too,” Muszynski said.
Castellvi said that the performers for Octavarius are all good friends off the stage as well, and that this, in addition to hard work, has helped the group.
This combination of good chemistry and dedication is crucial to any improv group, improv coach and performer Tina Jackson, 25, said.
“With [Octavarius], they’re always having fun with each other, which is great,” Jackson, of Chicago, said. “In Chicago [improv] it’s a lot of perseverance, because it’s not easy…. You have to be in it to win it, and you have to have a really good attitude.”
Now, as the group looks toward the future, fans such as McCormick freshman Matt Evans, 18, hope that Octavarius will be back with another run soon, he said.
“It’s just a lot of fun to go see a group like that,” Evans said. “If they come back [in June] I’ll definitely be one of the first to go see their shows.”
Thanks again, Tom. Especially for making me 4 years younger than Marc. If you graduate, we get credit. That was the deal.