Tim Orr is a longtime member of BATS Improv, which performs in “3 For All” at the Zeum Theater on Friday and Saturday alongside fellow improv actors Rafe Chase and Stephen Hearin.
What drew you to improv compared with other forms of stage entertainment? In 1988, I saw an early BATS show. I was already an actor, and I immediately fell in love with the style. It’s not standup comedy. They’re actually doing scenes and stories, and they’re very committed to their characters.
What’s the strangest improv moment you’ve ever had? Once while giving a demonstration to students, we opened the trunk of a car, pointed into the trunk and both said at the same time “Oh, look, it’s a pool table.” It’s not logical, and there was no indication from either of us that we would say that. In 23 years of improvising, it’s the single, weirdest moment.
What is different about the San Francisco improv scene? San Francisco improv scene is responsible for developing a single, narrative style, which has a commitment to character and a story-based narrative, and not to instant humor gratification. It challenges the performer, which keeps it fun.