GUEST BLOG: I Am Iron Man, And So Can You: Or How I Learned to Give Up Sleep and Watch Improv for 24 Hours Straight

By Michael Krefting


Greetings, Gentle Reader.  The leaves are starting to turn and the maple syrup will soon be flowing. You may have gotten yourself to the apple orchard, and the pumpkin flavor is in for the season. All things fall are here and they all lead to one day.

Give-To-The-Max Day.

It changes from year to year, typically the Thursday in the second week of November.  This year, it’s November 14th. For the past 2 years, HUGE Theater runs an Improvathon to support itself and the improv community on that date.  Each year, anyone can sign up to be an Iron Audience Member. It means that, from 12-midnight Thursday Morning until 12-midnight Friday Morning, you will see so much improv, that you won’t know what to do with yourself afterwards.

Sure, there’s some swag, and there’s the bragging rights (It’s the only time “Oh, You’re THAT guy” is acceptable, i.e., pointing to my name on the wall at HUGE). But the coolest thing is seeing so many groups perform so many different styles and seeing how diverse of a community we truly have. That in mind, I have put my name in for a three-peat this year for Iron Audience Member and here’s what I’ve learned (so you don’t have to):

  • Sleep.  Sleep beforehand (if you can) and know that your body will thank you if you take the Friday off and rest up. You will get delirious.

  • Don’t Drink Alcohol (or at least too much). After 18 hours straight, no sleep, you already have the equivalency of an .08 Blood-Alcohol Level. Alcohol can also make you sleepy, not exactly what you need at hour 17 of a 24 stay-up fest.

  • Be comfortable. Don’t wear clothing that you wouldn’t like to be for 24 hours straight. If you’re also performing, you may consider bring a change of clothing.

  • Don’t sit for too long. At some point, if you’ve been sitting too long, your body will start to atrophy a little (maybe atrophy isn’t the right word, whatever). Get up and stretch a little.  They have the 7th inning stretch for a reason. Just don’t sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” if a show is currently in progress.

  • Drink water. After a good couple hours of raucous laughter, your mouth may start to dry. Drinking water not only hydrates you, and allows you to laugh more, it also can wake you up.

  • Don’t “hold it”. If you gotta go, go. There’s so much improv happening that you will miss something regardless of when you go.

  • Have fun.


Michael Krefting is a member of Last Action Movie and a two time, back-to-back, Iron Audience Member.