Hello, Lionel – Spreading some 80’s style love

We can’t claim to have come up with this idea, but we loved it so much we just had to share it. After a quick wrestling match with our favorite word processor, we created our own version of the flier, which you see below.

Lionel Richie says Hello

I showed it around and the reactions were pretty evenly split. If the person didn’t know who Lionel Richie was, this was about the dumbest thing they’ve ever seen. If they knew, they loved it… then got pissed because this damned song was stuck in their head all day.

Lionel Richie @ Starbucks

I found a local malcontent willing to help me distribute them out about our locale. That locale being Tempe, Arizona, if you’re an exacting sort.

We hit up local Cartel Coffee, a signboard, a pay-phone (a very rare thing these days), a some newspaper boxes, and a few other spots that caught our eye. My favorite was getting Lionel up in Starbucks (wider shot to the right).

If you liked this form of silliness, you can download the Lionel Richie flier as a technicolor PDF and spread it around your own hood. If you do, please share links to your pictures!

No Pants AZ 2010 Recap: No Trou For You!

NoPantsAZ - 2010
Image by Art Rodriguez via Flickr

Over 300 people participated in the No Pants 2010 Ride in Phoenix, inciting confusion, shock, and joy in the local community.

On Sunday, January 10, 2010, Phoenix was abuzz with Cardinals Football fever as people gathered at light rail stations at the east and west ends of the light rail line.  The event leaders, identified by the red scarves tied to their bags inconspicuously navigated the nervous crowds, answering questions and reviewing the action plan.

At 2pm, participants began filling the light rail trains.  We had so many participants in the east valley that they had to be divided into two trains.  Even with the group split up across three trains, there was standing room only in the cars.

As the trains began to move, the pants came off.  Non-participants reacted first with looks of confusion, which turned into shock often followed by laughter.  One onlooker was inspired by the newly pantsless people around him that he removed his jeans as well!  At each stop, new people entered the trains and asked us, “Where are your pants?” An older gentleman said he enjoyed the view as he chatted with three cute pantsless women on his way to The Spaghetti Factory.

Each pantsless group poured out of the trains in central Phoenix and walked to the Starbucks at Arizona Center.  As we walked down the street we were greeted by perplexed looks, car honks, and a few people pulling out their cameras to snap a few shots to show the folks back home.

At Starbucks, more people were motivated by our fun and removed their pants. We were there for nearly an hour, talking, laughing, and taking pictures when a security guard approached us and said that we had to put our pants back on.  (Note: the Starbucks was next to Hooters where the waitresses were wearing even less than us!)  Refusing to comply, we left, either heading back from whence we came, or taking our merriment to the after party at Dave’s Electric Brewpub.  Thanks @RailLife for setting it up!

Image by Nick Bastian

As we rode towards the pub, a Metro security guard entered the packed car to check for tickets.  He was greeted by chants of “Pants Off!”  He laughed and said he felt overdressed.

One onlooker turned to Tim, one of our intrepid pantsless leaders, and asked why none of us were wearing pants.  Tim responded, “You know, I hadn’t really noticed.”  The onlooker immediately pointed to two pantsless ladies – one with undies that said, “Prude” and other’s said, “Geek” – and said, “You’re telling me you didn’t notice this?”  Tim could only smile and shrug.

While we were relaxing at the pub, a Tempe Police car pulled up and asked if we were the No Pants group.  The officer said, “That’s awesome.  We had a briefing about you.”  We’re not sure if his pun was intentional, but it was beautiful. We asked the local media to not ruin the fun, but some ignored us and spilled the beans. Others were more circumspect and we ended up with a few good mentions around town.

The No Pants Light Rail Ride was a huge success. Thanks to everyone who joined us, especially the 40 veterans from last year’s ride.  Thanks to nooccar, Nick Bastian, Art Rodriguez, and others we have a lot of great pictures in Flickr. If you add your own please tag them with ‘nopantsaz’ and ‘improvAZ’.  We will add pictures to our Facebook group as we can, and you’re welcome to post yours to the event!  We hope to post the video on YouTube shortly.

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mp3 Experiment was a rocking success!

mp3 Experiment - ImprovAZ - Look Over There
Image by sheiladeeisme via Flickr

Our first mp3 Experiment was a rocking success with at least 100 people showing up to participate!  The starting point was the giant Christmas tree in front of the MadCap theaters on Mill, and everything looked fairly quiet until even just 5 minutes before the start, then suddenly waves of people with headphones on started pouring into the area!  We were worried about people starting at different times, so used big cue cards to get everyone (hopefully) going in synch.

Marching and mayhem

Divided into Red and Blue teams by birthday (though the Blue team was a bit larger), the groups separated and started marching (really, marching) up Mill Ave.  Their first stop was to engage in some imaginary warfare! The Blue team began taunting the Red team across the street, who in turn drew an imaginary bow and arrow and fired at the Blues. Blues fell to the sidewalk in dramatic piles and the Reds celebrated their victory!  Drivers stopped in traffic craned around trying to figure out what was going on, and this is where pedestrians really started to realize something odd was afoot.

We skipped merrily along to the next intersection, where the Red Team circled around like airplanes and the Blue Team spread peace and love. A few pedestrians were hoping anxiously for the light to change to get away from the weirdness.  This was not their lucky day, because when the light changed the teams all crossed and high-fived each other along the way. Some bystanders scurried to get out of the way while others just played along and started high-fiving.

After the high-fives, two covert agents handed out little bottles of bubbles. As the procession continued north bubbles filled the air and patrons inside the stores started peering out. The Blue Team then contended with imaginary ringing cell-phones, and the Red Team turned into tourists with imaginary cameras. A passerby called the Blue Team “A bunch of liars!” for talking into their imaginary phones, while a few people posed and flashed smiles for the Red Team’s photographic attempts.

Confusion, Coffee, and Disco

At the next intersection… What is THAT!?! Both teams pointed over the top of a building, gasping in disbelief at the imaginary thing on the roof!  Several people on all four corners of the intersection craned to see what was going on, especially when “it” apparently leaped across the street to a different building. Whatever “it” was, it got a lot of attention! Here we noticed that we had an entourage – some pedestrians had started following us to see what we would do next.

In front of Starbucks all 100 people lined up to go in… but didn’t order. We nodded to patrons, briefly regarded the menu, decided against ordering anything, and exited out a side door. We began performing YMCA as we continued up Mill, which was a strange sight to everyone outside the prank who couldn’t hear the music. One of the servers inside a restaurant we passed clearly recognized our sweet moves as he started dancing along in his window with a huge grin on his face.

Grand Finale

We then paused in front of an adult store where the men turned their eyes away in disgust while the women peered in the window with enthusiasm.  Everyone fought a round of itchy-butt syndrome as they moved to the finale where everyone was feeling strong now as we did a slo-mo, low-budget reenactment of the victory run from Rocky! It was only then we realized how many people we picked up along the way as the little amphitheater was packed. We had hoped for 40 people to show up, and our final headcount was around 100.

This was by far the most planning we’ve put into an event, and it it was a blast! We learned quite a few things, including whether anyone would even show up!  That answer was a definite Yes!  We also learned how people react to instructions, where we need more (and less) time, and the complications of things like timing streetlights.

Got pictures or video clips? Upload them here or let us know where to find them!

Event pictures on Flickr (tag with mp3az and improvaz).
Event album on Facebook.

Some of the video came out a little jagged, but you can watch the high points in all their crazy glory below:

We will do more of these in the future, so stay tuned to our Facebook page or mailing list for all the latest news!

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