They… Just… Said…

When we attended the Big Stinking Improv Fest, our first show was at Ester’s Pool, a very cool space on 6th street in downtown Austin, Texas. It’s coolness not withstanding, they didn’t have a backstage at the time, this may have changed since.

So we were warming up in the alley behind the theater. It was a warm April evening, and since we couldn’t hear what was going on in the theater, it was relaxing, perfect to prepare both physically and mentally.

The back door opened and our musical director, Noel Katz emerged and spoke.

In the interest of setting the scene, you need to know that Noel has a very measured way of speaking. Sometimes, it feels as though he pauses. After. Each. Word.

So, back to the story. Noel has entered and said something to us, with no discernible urgency. We all stop and ask him to repeat himself. This is what he said.

“They. Just. Said. All. The. Way. From. New. York. City. The. Chainsaw. Boys.”

It took us a beat to understand that our show was starting and we had just been introduced. We then ran pell-mell to the stage and began our show.

Now most people would’ve just said, “We’re on!” Or “The show’s about to start!” But not Noel. There is no real explanation as to why he took his sweet time. This was just his way.

This is not a criticism of him, Noel was and still is an excellent accompanist. He followed us effortlessly on stage, and always made us sound our best.

Perhaps because he did. Everything. In. The. Right. Measure.

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