Students take part in GIPS auditions

Raul Samaniego

Tryouts were held for the Cerritos College Generic Improvisational Peep Show (GIPS) on Friday October 19, 2012 in the backstage area of the Burnight Center Theater.

Over twenty four potential “Improvisers” auditioned for roughly 20 available spots for the touring group.

The emphasis of the thespian associated group as mentioned is improvisational theatre.

Simply put, the art of improvisation is the ability to act and think quickly with little or no direction.

The group has been around for a long time.

Forrest Hartl, Adjunct Professor for GIPS, said, “GIPS is a traveling Improvisation group that has been running about 20 years to local schools.”

The group tours local schools with their first scheduled event slated for next Friday at Downey High School.

“Students (Cerritos) get real world performance experience performing improvisation in front of audiences,” Hartl added.

At will, the participants portrayed scenes found anywhere in today’s American lifestyles.

There were reenactments from a first day in a college dorm to couples changing personas as the requests blurted out from the director’s chair.

As more and more characters emerged, the audience who were made up of fellow hopefuls erupted into laughter throughout the two-hour session.

There were young people just out of high school who had seen the group at their high school who were impressed enough to try out for one of the available slots being offered.

Others heard about the GIPS program from word of mouth.

Malory Padilla, a film major with a minor in Psychology, said, “I heard about the program from former members of GIPS.”

Part of a brother and sister joint effort, sibling Kevin and her were trying out together and both hailed coincidently from next week’s performance site, Downey High School.

Both agreed that improvisation has helped them overcome their shyness around people.

Kevin said, “It helped me as a person. During high school I was really shy and I took an improvisation (Class) and it really helped me talk with people.”

Kevin had high accolades for the theater program at Cerritos College.

“I think the theater program here at (at Cerritos) is actually great,” Kevin said.

More than a few cans of energy drinks or go-go juice were present around the audition chairs.

One of the group’s veteran performers, Blake Alberts, has been a member since 2007.

He had to audition just like all the newcomers.

Alberts, also speaking highly of the program said, “It’s a great opportunity and I have met a lot of fantastic performers and a lot of great friends.”