If you’re in any way involved in the world of Improvised theatre, you’ll be familiar with this two word phrase. It’s a fundamental principle of improv that answers the question of “how do I get up on stage and make up something interesting happen with my fellow performers?” Basically, when your scene partner says or does anything, you use the idea of “yes, and” by acknowledging whatever they’ve done (the “yes” part), and then adding some fresh input to that idea (the “and” part). For example, if my partner were to say something as casual as “Hey, pass me the canteen” I immediately know, “ok, survival situation”, and I suddenly have the next piece of the story within my reach. Maybe we’re stranded on an island? The Sahara? How about the Jungle? Now I’ve got options, when before I had nothing.
This principle also applies when I’m drawing at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. In caricature, my subject is my scene partner, and although it’s true that while I’m drawing, my subject may remain totally silent (something that would not go over well during a performance), these roles are similar in that they are each bear the responsibility of providing me with the information I need to do my job. While improvising, this may come in the form of a few words at the start of a scene, like “canteen”. While drawing, the person sitting in my chair at the Boardwalk provides me with information by simply having a face (being a human person makes that part really easy). For example, the young lady who wants a cute picture of her and her boyfriend is giving me information from the moment she walks up to the stand. Perhaps I notice her luxurious fluttering eyelashes that look like they were dipped in her mascara bottle that morning. My job then is to respond with “YES, those are your eyelashes. They are indeed quite long and impressive, AND because of that, your eyes look like they’re being swallowed by Venus fly traps.” Being a caricature artist, my job is to create a piece of art that not only looks like her, but make a statement about how she looks. In this case, that statement is “hey, please don’t blink your eyes too rapidly, because the gust of wind you create might propel me into the ocean.” Which is another way of saying “your eyelashes are really long.”
Tip: Don’t tell your guests that their eyes look like they’re being swallowed by Venus fly traps. Just let your marker do the talking.
The point is that for me to merely draw a customer as they are is not enough. That would be a portrait, and my goal is to create something more lively and fun than that. Having this mindset while improvising is the difference between watching two people go a jungle adventure, rather than sitting at a bus stop and chatting about the weather. So just remember that if you happen to catch a glimpse of me drawing someone at the Boardwalk, and find yourself wondering if I’m going to make it look like them, the answer is yes, and a whole lot more.
The talented & charming folks at San Jose ComedySportz. Get your tix here! http://comedysportzsanjose.com
Ok, it is simply impossible not to hum the iconic Willy Wonka song as I write this post. This September the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk won an Amusement Today Golden Ticket for the best Seaside Amusement Park yet again! Whoo hoo! Everyone at the Boardwalk worked really hard all season to clinch this award and I am proud to say that Cali Caricature did our part. This past season we opened our Kid’s Stand, introduced some great additions to our staff and did some pretty major equipment overhauls. For the Golden Ticket event itself one of our super skilled artistes, Kyle Ames, drew guests at the casual soirée the evening before. See photographic record below.
Kyle Ames stirring it up at the Golden Ticket awards.
Happy artist with happy customers!
And I attended the awards ceremony itself where I enjoyed some deeeeelishious food, wine, decor and great company. Of course, as demonstrated by the deftly executed Golden Ticket awards ceremony, we are just one tiny part of the fabulous whole that is the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Not only is the boardwalk a great environmental experience- beautiful beach, blue skies, clean facilities, super fun rides- but it’s also a great place to work. At every turn in my administrative doings I get to work with truly good people. The security peeps keeping us safe, the inexhaustible patience of Guest Services when I’ve lost my sunglasses for the bajillionth time, the fantastic MOT’s keeping us all in the loop on those totally insane summer days and the guys at the Dipper Diner behind that employee sandwich window. Seriously, those guys are the bomb. Do you know how many times I’ve gotten to the sandwich window just as they’re closing for the night and after desperate beggings have been mercifully awarded some delicious popcorn chicken at the discounted rate? Neither do I, it’s been that many times. In my estimation, those guys deserve a Golden Ticket all of their own. So at this point I’d like to give official thanks. Thanks, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, for being such a refreshing place to work. For being flexible and generous and having such fabulous high standards that benefit both your vendors and your guests. You make Santa Cruz great and deserve the Golden Ticket award through and through. And now… Best Seaside Amusement Park 2014!!!
ZombieFest 2013 at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk was pushed into off the hook status by our in-team walking deaders’ unparalleled caricature entertainment. Witness the carnage below:
Get in touch today to have these epic caricature artists entertain your guests at your next event! Weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, we do it all.
firstname.lastname@example.org & (650) 701-DRAW