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What is a Spicy Clamato?

By: Liara Aber

Two years ago, Zubin Havwala joined the improv group, Spicy Clamato, to try something new. He says before he joined, he had, “only ever seen improv shows, but never actually done anything.”

Spicy Clamato does short form improvisational comedy with scenes lasting about 2-5 minutes each. They use suggestions from the audience to make sure the scenes aren’t scripted.

The group performs Fridays at the Illini Union at either 7pm or 8pm. Savannah Clark says when they get the 7 o’clock show, they get a mixed bag of audience members including unexpected Starbucks customers and students studying. Clark thinks this can be nerve wracking. She says, “I used to psych myself out.”

Nadine Trapp says she doesn’t mind the brutal crowds. It takes the pressure off of performing for her. When there’s a tough crow, Trapp says, “you kind give up a little bit and say okay I’m just on stage with my friends.”

For Trapp, performing is scary. She says gets in her head. Trapp says when she performs, “I think about everything I said for like the next two weeks.” But Clark says at the end of the day they’re just trying to have fun, “cause if you make a silly choice the audience is probably gonna have a good time too.”

And the group makes a lot of silly choices. Trapp says they used to use mild humor, but now, “I get up there and deranged things in front of my parents who come to the show.”

Performing is only a small portion of the experience. Trapp says at they do improv about 20% of the time at practice. She says, “the rest of the time we’re just being insane which is what I like about it. Its a place where I can be insane and no one’s judging because they’re all being insane as well.”

Clark and Havwala agree. It’s the people who make the group what it is. Clark says she met her best friends through the RSO. Havwala says “I like hanging out with my friends.”

“I love those guys,” says Trapp.

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