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    Posted August 18, 2014 by
    RobertaGuise
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    In Memoriam


    An improv moment with Robin Williams

     
    I had been in the U.S. two months when I met Robin Williams in August of 1974. Having lived in Israel for many years and not knowing much about American comedy, I didn’t realize this off-the-wall funny man and performing genius was a celebrity.

    I was an amateur improv performer, and had recently joined the Wing improvisation workshop that met in San Francisco’s North Beach.

    A fellow performer tipped me off about Robin’s star status. Robin would drop in unannounced, get up on the stage and start performing. His persona was so huge, we’d all fall back a few steps to let him fill the space.

    We watched in awe as he improvised Shakespearean style while rapid-fire talking about doing the laundry, or whatever was on his mind.

    Without warning (that’s the nature of improv), he turned to the players and acted directly and intimately with each of us, a living magnet who drew us into his moment.

    Afterwards, Robin joined us for the short walk to Café Italia, a place where clutches of Italian men sat chatting in Italian and nursing cigars. We drank nightcaps and played foosball.

    Ever the gracious celebrity, Robin made sure he played a set with each of us. His brilliant comic mind never stopped as he turned the rods to flick the ball, his mouth a steady stream of mind-bending humor as he riffed on the café patrons and smell of day-old coffee beans mixed in with heavy cigar smoke.

    The world has lost a performing legend.

    Robin Williams Comedy Improv Holy City Zoo

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