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The student news site of Smoky Hill High School

Smoky Now

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Smoky Improv

The inside look of Smoky Hill’s Improv troupe
Photo via @smoky_spoco on Instagram

Smoky has various differing clubs and activities offered to the students. For decades, the school has had a small group of aspiring Improv actors performing comedic acts and shows for an audience throughout the school year.

“Improv is all about taking a suggestion from the audience and building a character on the spot, we’re not planning, just completely acting.” Senior Sam Holguin said, Co-President of Smoky SpoCo and Double Varsity Member, “It’s like pretending but in front of an audience, and how well you can create a character.”

About once a month, the troupe holds their comedic performance for an audience and charges $15 at the door.

“During the shows, a lot of the time we’ll have the roster of who’s gonna be performing what, and then we get suggestions from the audience where we perform our scene or the game that we played in rehearsal based on that thing,” Holguin said.

Despite just performing at their shows, they have continuous rehearsals to improve their skills for their performances.

“In rehearsals, a lot of the time we do just games to improve our reaction time and the way we listen and interact with people in our groups so that we can make a cohesive scene where no one is taking control over it,” Junior Varsity Member Jay Squires (10) said.

The history of Improv at Smoky goes back years. However, the most known story of the famous SNL actor, Bowen Yang, plays a significant part in SpoCo’s history. SpoCo sponsor and Math teacher, Adrian Holguin, taught the now-famous SNL actor and played a part in his upbringing in Improv. 

“[Yang] was really good, brilliant and he was talented,” Mr. Holguin said.

Holguin showed a post that Bowen Yang tagged Holguin in on Instagram (above) and captioned it, “I love [this] man, he’s the reason I do any comedy.”

Holguin agrees that he has helped Yang along his journey, and expresses his pride.

“It’s really fun to watch his growth and how much farther he went. It’s kinda like when a coach has an athlete go to the major leagues it’s kind of like that,” Holguin said.

Holguin also has a long history with Improv, beginning before he became a teacher.

“I have been Improving since 1990,” Holguin said. He then became Assistant Director of Impulse Theater and then went on to sponsor and coach the Smoky Hill Improv troupe.

Sam Holguin, Mr. Holguin’s son, has also had experience with Improv before coming to Smoky.

“I’ve been doing Improv for as long as I can remember. I used to do Improv classes for a few years when I was younger when I was ten,” Sam Holguin said.

The actors have positive views about the club and community.

“I love SpoCo, it builds a community in the club and around the people. Also, it’s just fun to make believe and then make characters that come from nothing but inspiration in you and grow over the scene, and a mistake turns into an attribute, I just love Improv,” Holguin said.

SpoCo members look forward to each meeting.

“When I get to go to rehearsal it’s the highlight of my day,” Squires said.

The club’s close community will continue to do their shows until the end of the year. Upcoming auditions will be in March and more information will be posted soon on the SpoCo Instagram page or drama website on how to get in for the 2024-2025 school year.

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