The Innocent Yes-Anders
my favorite things: improv and South Africa. I lived in Cape Town for several years and always felt sad after I returned home that I never did anything to help out the conditions there. And then one day I took a yoga class at Golden Bridge Yoga here in LA and a woman named Maggie Wheeler who runs the Golden Bridge Choir mentioned a film called Angels in the Dust. It's about a couple in South Africa who sold all their belongings to open a massive orphanage that houses, clothes, feeds, and educates a very large number of orphans--many of whom are young parents with babies and many living with AIDS. The kids in this film absolutely warmed my heart. They were so content with the simple things in life and so grateful for every little thing. And then one day it dawned on me how amazing it would be to introduce an improv education program into this orphanage. That way these kids could have absolutely free entertainment anytime and the opportunity to engage in the most fun form of play and imagination I've ever experienced. And also, why not make a documentary about it? A group of teachers from the Groundlings improv school would spend a week or two with the kids at the orphanage in South Africa teaching them improv, and then bring them back to the US to put on a show with all proceeds and ticket sales from the show going to benefit the orphanage. I think the experience for all involved would be absolutely magical. There is a documentary called Mad Hot Ballroom about a ballroom education program that was introduced into inner city schools in New York City that is in a similar vein. It is most definitely a story of transformation. I am very excited to tell this story and bring this project into fruition. Already, I have several Groundlings teachers on board and Maggie Wheeler has kindly forwarded my idea onto the director of Angels in the Dust who says she will be in touch with me when she returns home from shooting in South Africa in November sometime. So this is all very exciting. Definitely a project of LOVE.