Joining us in Bristol for one night only is the amazing North Coast from New York City! With a cast of improv comedy veterans in New York City, North Coast's explosive performances have been packing comedy venues, universities and festivals nationwide since 2009. Ahead of their show at the BIT we chatted to one of the troupe's founders, Douglas Widick, to find out more about the troupe, style & this exciting, dynamic show…
Tell us a bit more about your company, when and how did you form?
North Coast formed in a Musical Improv 101 class at UCB in 2009 when myself (Douglas Widick) and James Robilotta met. He had this idea to create a musical improv team that combined Beatboxing, Rapping and Long-form Improv together, and we've been performing together every since.
So why improvised hip hop?
The short answer is that it's so dang fun. The longer answer is that we're all hip-hop heads who find it very challenging and rewarding to try and rap on our point of view within the scene, dance, and make up choruses together. Coincidentally, I've also made many of my best friends from being on this team as well, so double win!
Improvising rap and rhyming sounds really tricky! Do you have any tips to master it?
You know it! I recommend projecting massive amounts of confidence and trusting that you know hundreds or even thousands of rhymes already from listening to music and poetry your whole life. Now, that process is building that connection between your unconscious mind and your mouth. We'll be hosting a workshop in Bristol too, the day after our show, so be sure to come along if you want to learn more!
You seem to take influence from lots of different artists and art forms, who are your biggest idols & influencers?
Some of my biggest comedy idols in comedy are Amy Poehler, Steve Martin, and Mike Myers. My biggest rap idols are Kendrick Lamar, ODB, and I've been very into the new Travis Scott album. Also, shout out to Broadway and musical theater as a whole which has been a huge influence on me.
And this is your first time in Bristol and at the BIT, what are you looking forward to doing on the night?
Ooh! Well we can't wait to make our Bristol Debut and give a high energy performance for the wonderful people of this town. Off stage, we've heard there is an amazing bridge to check out in Bristol? Also, I hear the Indian food is not to be missed!
Douglas Widick, Co-Founder
North Coast: Improvised Hip Hop is on Friday 26th October, 8pm. Doors and bar open from 7.15pm. Tickets are £8 and can be bought HERE.
Want to learn how to do it yourself?! Then book a spot on the North Coast workshop, Saturday 27th, 2pm, HERE.