**I've taken three stabs at writing this blog post. And, each time my mind focuses on something completely different. It's like a mashup of three thoughts. I've been trying to tease them a part, and maybe develop them individually, but then realized they all kind of need each other to work as one post. So, I'm leaving them together. This blog post is a big stew of thoughts, and I hope it helps you in some way. If you like the announcement of Teen Slasher, our Fall comedy, great! If you connect with my thoughts on format versus team, fantastic! If you like my ideas on team bonding, huzzah!**

This week was a big deal. We kicked off the 4th season of Teen Slasher with our first rehearsal. The team got to meet each other, review the new ideas for the show, and suggest changes.

The team is the most important thing. A format is fun, but a committed team that loves each other is paramount. I think a show is as good as unity of the team. The improv format, harold, narrative, short form, is icing on the comedy cupcake. None of it works though, if everyone doesn't have each others back.

I'm holding my breath at the first rehearsal. I'm always nervous. We cast the show, but will it work? Will this configuartion of players work?

Of course, I don't know why I worry. The teams are always brilliant, the players talented, and the vibe is one word: "family." This years cast is Betsaida Lebron, Cristian Amaral, Jordan Mata, Ben Woehler, Chris Kimbrough, and Aeriel. I (Paul Burke) am directing. Everyone was giddy, and excited to launch Teen Slasher. We used the first rehearsal to sit in the writers room, and talk. Just talk. I think it's one of the most important rehearsals any improv team can have. Share ideas, hopes, and directions for the show. Get on the same page. That's important. Make sure everyone buys into the vision on the first night of rehearsal.

Like I mentioned, this is the 4th year of Teen Slasher, and like all sequels, we want to avoid feeling stale. Hell, look at Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace. The fourth film in the Star Wars franchise wasn't..... um..... well received.

Teen Slasher is one of our favorite shows, and we want it to feel fresh and new. Thankfully, the Placer and Sacramento audiences love the live show too. It's the perfect comedy how Halloween, because it's a ridiculous send up of Horror films, complete with buckets of blood. We're adding some surprises to this years Teen Slasher. It'll be even more audience interactive. We can do more with sound and lights then ever before. Will it be an improvised musical? No, but music will play a big part.

It's the perfect comedy, and we have one of our best casts yet. The cast is everything. When players love each other, they'll take huge risks onstage, because they know they have support. It's a safe space.

Sometimes I wish we we always had an audience. There are so many brilliant moments at rehearsals, I'm frequently thinking, I wish I was recording that!

This week was like that.