Improv is a sport — you are challenged mentally (and sometimes physically) to perform on your feet for an audience that wants to be entertained. These demands would scare most people off the stage, but for Alex Greenland, they do just the opposite.
"It's exciting to know that every night, even when you're performing with the same group of people, you can find yourself in very different places, and discovering new things, even about yourself," said Greenland, a performer with Baltimore Improv Group.
The Charles Village resident only got into improv in 2009 during his senior year in college. However, when he moved back to the Baltimore area, he continued the craft and eventually joined BIG. Greenland, 24, has been with BIG since February 2011 and is a member of the board of directors. Alex talks with b about the thrills of improv, cartoons for adults and his dad's awesome crab cakes.
What's on your iPod? I know it's cliche to say "everything," but it's true. Probably what's most unique are some mash-up remixes I made in high school.
What song are you hating/loving right now? I love music where the people playing have real emotion. Hating: Dance-remixes of breakup songs from Adele and Gotye.
Last concert/gig you went to? Baltimore Rock Opera Society's "Valhella." Those guys kick ass.
Favorite thing improv? I really love the mindset of improv, that nothing is ever really "wrong" and that everyone is supporting each other together in co-creation. That's a really powerful concept that can really bring people together. I also love that you're figuring out what's happening onstage at the same time as the audience.
TV shows you can't get enough of? "Breaking Bad." I'm glad it's back. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have great chemistry (get it?). I also like "cartoon for adults" shows like"Archer," "The Venture Brothers," "Home Movies" and "Clone High."
Last great meal you had? Crab cakes my dad made for the 4th of July.
Food you hate? Low-sodium V8.
Favorite moment in a past improv performance? I always love it when something happens in a scene that I'm not expecting, and that goes faster than I can think. I find that some of the most interesting improv scenes are about finding the truth in anything, even if at first it seems like complete nonsense.
Favorite quote/saying? "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill
Favorite thing about Baltimore? The people are really great, especially the arts community in Baltimore. It's very easy to be excited about all the things happening.
AS TOLD TO JACLYN PEISER