Improv in PebbleCreek
Improv; what is it? The dictionary tells us it means to compose or perform or deliver without preparation; to extemporize. We just call it fun!
Last year a few of us discussed that it might be fun to learn how to perform Improv comedy. So a group, supported by PebbleCreek Players, was formed and met every other week to learn improvisation fundamentals, exercises and rules. We practiced warms-ups, skits, scenes, how to improve our “flash” and timing. Then, as last summer ended, we put the club on hold to start it up again in the spring.
This May we came together again and extended an invitation to all PebbleCreek Players and Showtime members to join us in this summer activity. As a means to improving our skills, we invited Todd Porter to lead us through an Improv workshop. We met Todd last year when he joined the cast of Noises Off and learned that he has performed in Improv groups for several years. The workshop was held on June 1 and was a success! We will continue to meet, practice and improve our Improv. Not only is it fun to be spontaneous, it is an excellent way to improve one’s acting skills.
We are still a work in progress, but we hope that one day we will be able to invite all of you to an Improv performance.
Musician of the Month: Bill Throssell
Bill Throssell was born in Seattle, Washington. He started playing the trumpet in fourth grade and continued through high school in El Cerrito, California and college.
Bill is a graduate of Washington State University and has a BS in Physical Education with a minor in Mathematics. He continued his education at Pacific Lutheran University receiving a MA in Secondary Classroom Teaching.
In his first year of teaching at Tacoma School District, Bill met his lovely wife Helen. They worked at the same school and began their romance on a picket line during a strike at the school. They have been married for 37 years.
During his 30-year teaching career, Bill taught Physical Education and Mathematics and was executive vice president of the Tacoma Education Association. In addition, he was active in his community serving as president of two HOAs and was pool manager at Lincoln High School and South End Pools in Tacoma. He was a certified personal trainer, water exercise instructor and a swim team coach for 25 years. Bill also played several seasons with the Tacoma Concert Band and sat in at jazz sessions at a local piano bar.
When Bill and Helen were invited to accompany some colleagues on a 1986 holiday golf excursion to the Wigwam Resort they had their first glimpse of the West Valley. As retirement approached, he and his wife learned about Sun Lakes (another Robson community) and almost purchased a place there before seeing the signs for PebbleCreek on the way back to the airport. At that time, PebbleCreek Parkway was a two lane road and there was very little development in the area. When they first purchased at PebbleCreek in 2005, they saw great potential in the community. They split their time between PebbleCreek and Tacoma.
After seeing an advertisement on PebbleCreek TV, as well as a sign-up sheet across the way from Eagle’s Nest Pro Shop, Bill decided to explore the PebbleCreek Musicians and band. He first attended a rehearsal in the fall of 2007 after retiring earlier in the year and has been in the PebbleCreek Band ever since.
Bill and Helen enjoy the many amenities at PebbleCreek, the friendly people, the proximity to Phoenix metropolitan area and Luke Air Force Base. Bill enjoys playing in the PebbleCreek Big Band, which has opened up many other opportunities for him to pursue his music, especially with jazz combos (SILK) and other big bands. Bill shared that although he is not a professionally trained musician, it is through these experiences that he has continued his learning curve of how to be a better jazz player. He also enjoys golf, exercise and aquatics.
His favorite genre of music is jazz because it’s the ultimate in musical expression through the lens of a truly American art form. If you have been fortunate enough to see Bill play, it is evident that he has a great passion for playing the trumpet.