Every day at Blacktop, we host classes, or shows, or rehearsals, we do something that relies on working together.  Most of what we do is comprised of improvisational comedy, which is unscripted theater made up on the spot.  The tenets of improv involve support and agreement, with your scene partner or team.   And as a team, class, or our overall community, we practice this emotional, mental, playful support constantly.  Whether it’s a warm-up, an exercise, or a game the key is I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine.   It’s all about teamwork.   Without a partner or a team in improv, the show means nothing, there is no one key player or character in an improv show.   It can’t work unless everyone is on board.

I’ve seen games or shows work out even if everyone wasn’t on the teamwork page, but it took longer than necessary. And good improv (you’ll know it when you see it), happens more often when the players agree (even if it appears their characters are disagreeing).

I’ve been fortunate enough to get in a little teaching, take some amazing workshops, and see some incredible shows.  I still get stage fright. Like, hardcore stage fright.  I still worry if I will be able to contribute and make the right move at the right time.  Sometimes I need to remind myself still, that it isn’t about me, it’s about what we are going to do on stage together.

Lesson Learned Part One: It isn’t about me.

Each year Blacktop Comedy does a fall fundraiser, raising material goods and monetary donations to a local charity.   This year as we were planning, the Camp Fire broke out. It’s a staggering tragedy that effects countless lives. It’s a disaster. Every time you turn on the news, or read an article you’re struck by the mounting losses. I’m also struck by the sense of community, and peoples willingness to come together, and help one another.

Leason Learned Part Two: It’s about us.

We want to help. And, what we do is make people laugh. We’re taking that skill, and turning it into a fundraiser for the Camp Fire relief efforts.

We at Blacktop will be hosting a fundraiser comedy show on Friday, November 30th at 8pm.  It will be a variety show of stand-up, sketch, and improv comedy.  We’ll have stand-up comedy by Kelley Nicole, Cristian Amaral, and Syndey Roll.  The sketch writing and talents of Jay Miller and Kevin Scott Brown. Featuring performances by Jordan Mata and Austin Jansma.  Improv performances by Blacktop’s incredible house team of Paul Burke, improv veterans Dustin Seidler and Troy Wallis, as well as Shoana Hunt and myself (Ciara Cumiskey).  I am immensely thankful to all the comics, volunteers, and Blacktop Comedy donating their time and efforts.

Proceeds from the show will benefit the North Valley Community Foundation Camp Fire Relief Fund.  The NVCF is based in Chico and distributes grants to multiple causes affected by the fire ranging from churches, to veterans, to animals, and shelters in the area.

We are not collecting material donations at this event, as most organizations are requesting monetary donations first.  If you would like to donate directly to the NVCF for a tax-deductible donation you can donate here:

If you’re interested in volunteering you can work with Caring Choices:

They will be needing volunteers in the coming weeks and months to facilitate recovery.

We thank you in advance for support of your and our community.  We look forward to seeing you at the show, around town, and just living life.  

Thank you for being part of community and helping out those in need! We all have the opportunity to help.