By Michael Nurmi Jr.
The road to self improv-ment leads to Percival Auditorium on Tuesdays at 5 p.m., when Fitchburg State’s short-form comedy troupe Improvatron holds its practices. Improvatron is a short-form comedy troupe that helps teach students on campus how to do improv.
Their fearless leader, Tim Murphy, has recently taken over as president for the nine-year-old troupe. “It’s great knowing I’m the president of a group, but I can’t get cocky about it because saying I’m the president of an improv group sounds really stupid compared to any other group,” Murphy said. Murphy went on to tell the story about how he joined improv.
“When I was a sophomore I was really depressed; other than going to class I wouldn’t get out of bed for anything until my roommate, ex-president of improv Dave Woodward, told me to come with him to an improv meeting,” Murphy said. “When I got there and practiced with the troupe I felt awesome; it was like an escape from the darkness and sadness I felt. I fell in love with improv and that winter I was chosen for the audition show. I then became vice president the following year and now I’m a president of the entire club.”
As president, Murphy wants to do many things for the group but he said, “My biggest goal for the group is to get the most improved club award, which signifies how far your club has come along and it helps your club gain respect within other groups on campus. This is how most popular groups have gotten where they are right now.”
Even though Murphy is president, he still plays games. Murphy comments on his own performance, “I think I’m miserable and horrible on stage but I love being on stage; the feeling makes me so happy but it’s an oxymoron-type passion, where I feel like I’m terrible but I’m reminded that I am good by the audience.”
The improv group has grown a lot from the beginning of the semester, Murphy said. “I think that I have a lot of talented improvers this year with the new batch of improvers that I have gotten; I have my doubts and fears but I’m a very critical person when it comes to the group,” Murphy said. “I’ll leave rehearsals mindful, thinking of what I can do or change to help better the group. Since being on the E-board, I take it more seriously where I can’t crack a joke or be wacky how I used to be because without me the group would fall apart. Murphy also said, “My main plan for the group is to build it up to where when I leave, the group will be sustainable and thrive throughout the years. So I don’t have to worry about the group falling apart the very instant I leave when I graduate.”
The last question Murphy answered was, “Who is your favorite improver?” Murphy said, “Michael Smith, also known as Zero, is the one improver that can always make me laugh and put a smile on my face every practice. He just recently joined the troupe last semester because I kept annoying him to join and I’m so happy that he did.”
Finally Murphy said, “If you want to join the improv club just come to one of our practices that are held in Percival Hall on Tuesdays at 5 p.m.”