The Case of the Hollywood Improv
Client: Hollywood Improv
Creating the Perfect Stage: Dax Jordan's role as the Lead Stage Manager at the Hollywood Improv involves the intricate task of crafting a seamless environment for the world's best comics to entertain the world's most discriminating audiences. The stakes are high because any distractions for the audience or comics can disrupt the delicate balance required to create the tension that is eventually released through laughter. For renowned comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Dave Chappelle, a seamless performance environment is not just a preference; it's an absolute necessity.
Empowering World-Class Comics: The primary objective is to create an environment where world-class comics can feel empowered to deliver their best performances without technical hindrances. Comedy legends rely on the Hollywood Improv to provide a dependable, high-quality experience for both the audience and the performers.
The Challenge: Early on in Dax's time at the Hollywood Improv in 2016, a significant challenge presented itself. Legendary social satirist Dick Gregory, an elderly gentleman, was booked for a two-night performance. He chose to sit in a chair to perform, holding the microphone at a considerable distance from his mouth. This unique setup made it impossible to turn up the sound enough to hear him without generating disruptive feedback. The first night was, unfortunately, not a success.
Informed Problem-Solving: On the second night, Dax and his team took swift and effective action. They prepared both an earset microphone and a lapel microphone to back up the wired microphone. In addition, they adjusted Dick Gregory's position on the stage, placing him a bit farther back to avoid a direct line of sight to the speaker system, as well as pre-equalizing the microphone's input to minimize feedback prone frequencies unique to the room.
Triumph and Farewell: The results were remarkable. The second night's performance was a total success. Notably, it turned out to be one of Dick Gregory's last shows ever performed before his passing in 2017. Dax Jordan's quick thinking and commitment to providing a dependable stage environment ensured that this comedy legend's final performances were memorable and successful.
This case study is a testament to Dax Jordan's dependability and dedication to the craft of comedy, as well as the Hollywood Improv's commitment to providing an impeccable platform for both emerging and legendary comedians.