“When you listen generously to people, they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the first time.” This statement is so true in the art of improvisation, as explored by the talented cast and insightful audience input, presented by Marvel Advertising, Inc. in Tell Me My Secrets, now in its run at The Actor’s Workout Studio in NoHo. The art of improv depends on the essentials of listening, timing, and thinking on one’s feet. The four cast members (on the night I attended) were Jeremy Hanes; Direk Cartwright; Amanda Miller; and Allie Smith. Each one of these talented actors took a new spin on their craft, as they wove imaginative stories about love and intimacy, and all its potential “red flags,” such as the three A’s: Abuse, Adultery, and Addiction.
States director Peggy O’Neal, “I am inspired by how varied the performances of Secrets are each night, shifting as the audience and rotating cast changes.” As each show is presented with a new set of themes, stories, and most of all, secrets … no show is ever the same, promising a fresh, innovative collaboration each performance. O’Neal presented the ground rules to the audience at the start of the show: “Anything goes … nothing’s too personal. The audience comes up with the secrets — the darker, the better!” Drawing upon themes and scenarios, suggested and discussed interactively by the audience (at my show, it featured the themes of drug dependency, music industry, infidelity, and pregnancy), each cast member, drew upon their vast experience and training in long form dramatic improvisation, as was evident by unscripted, witty repartee and energetic physicality. The show, like the institution of marriage and commitment itself, by all involved, was truly “no piece of cake,” but rather an intense labor of love.
Tell Me My Secrets runs through Aug. 19 on Fridays at 8 p.m. and 10:30 at p.m.; Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 3 p.m.
The Actor’s Workout Studio is located at 4735 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. For tickets and more information, call (818) 506-3903, or visit www.actorsworkout.com or www.brownpapertickets.com. For more info on the full cast visit facebook.com/tellmemysecrets.