5B Performer Spotlight: Timmy Carroll

5btimmy-carrollGet to know iO Chicago graduating student, Timmy Carroll!
Hometown: Chicago. The South Side, to be precise. For some reason us South-siders always feel obligated to specify that.
What brought you to iO: I remember being absolutely blown away the first time I saw a show at iO when I was in high school. The “call-backs” (a long-form technique) seemed like magic tricks to me. I remember the host that night closing the show by telling us that iO is a school and I could learn to do what I just saw onstage. For some reason hearing that turned my stomach to knots. It seemed immediately clear that this was not optional. This was something I wanted to be a part of. So, I immediately went home, waited 11 years…went to college, moved abroad, came back and signed up for my first improv class.
What did you think of your first 5B show: I really enjoyed it. We were up first at 7pm, so we all knew we had to come in with great energy and set the tone for the night. 10 of us all non-verbally agreed to just go out there and have as much fun as we possibly could for 25 minutes. We almost immediately broke from our form, and were damn happy to do it! What better time for things to not go as planned than when you’re improvising!
How do you calm your nerves before going on stage: I like to give the people I’m playing with a hug. Seriously, try it sometime. Give everyone a hug and mean it! It reminds us that we all like each other, we trust each other, and we’re rooting for each other. This is theater of the heart.
What do you love most about performing at iO: The energy in the building. It’s amazing. You really feel the presence of a supportive community around you when you’re on stage. There really is never a dull moment here. Oh, and the smell. I haven’t pin pointed what it is yet exactly, but there’s a unique smell to this place that always triggers nostalgia for me.
If there was a song title that could describe your class’s form, what would it be? Confessions Part II by Usher. Our form involves characters giving monologues at a point of vulnerability. Yeah, Usher knows what’s up.
What do you love most about your team: I love these meatballs. As we come trickling into the greenroom around 6:30 each person gets an applause  and enthusiastic high-fives when we enter. We have such an appreciation for one another. We really value what everyone brings to the stage. I know this sounds corny but I really mean it, the hardest part of this whole process is saying goodbye to these goofs at the end of the night. I wish we could all just move into a hippy commune together and sleep in one big pile.

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