April 2018 - Make 'Em Laugh: Rumble Productions
You may have heard some recent rumblings about a theatrical group in Albuquerque called Rumble Productions. Some say it’s like “Saturday Night Live” meets “Pitch Perfect”. What exactly is Rumble Productions? Rumble Productions is the brainchild of local singer and actress Jessica Wachs. Wachs is a UNM graduate who studied communication and music. The unique thing about Rumble is that it started as an offshoot of the UNM a cappella choir. Wachs started the UNM a cappella choir group which is now called “Something Major.” The a cappella choir group made musical discoveries and created new improv styles and pieces of a cappella music. They wanted to take all of that to the stage.” Over time, we mixed it with sketch comedy and decreased the improv making it what Rumble is today…original a cappella sketch comedy with deeper and sometimes dark, humored twists” said Wachs.
Wachs believed this was something new that no one was performing. She should know. Wachs went to Second City in Hollywood and researched if groups were combining improv with a cappella singing….the answer was no…no theatrical group had thought to marry the two arts until now… “While musical improv exists at places such as UCB and second city, Rumble was the only group that did improv with an a cappella twist. Wachs visited other groups and realized her group was doing something innovative.
Now, we are the only group that does a cappella sketch comedy,” said Wachs. Rumble is now working on an original sketch comedy show that will be performed at the Sheraton Uptown on April 27 and 28th . The show is an original work called “Don’t Pretend You’re Normal” and features tributes to local celebrities like Holly Holms. There will also be an opening act that features local comedians.
Longtime comedians like Scotty Goff and Mary Byrd are just a few of the talented “rumblers” in the group. Jessica’s vision was to have a group of artists that can get paid to perform and hone their craft. “Rumble is giving the talent on our Roster opportunities for paid gigs around the state, giving our writers a place for their work to be featured and giving the film community more unique content to breathe life into.”
Wach’s vision is to “maintain a safe, yet daring environment where our actors and singers” can perform their craft without having to worry about judgement. The group has a variety of bookable talent available for parties, shows and even singing telegrams or “rumble grams” as they like to call them. You could call on Wachs or her crew for a wedding proposal to sing a romantic tune or two. Rumble grams can also be used to surprise someone on their birthday or anniversary.
Another unique offering from the group is corporate workshops taught by Rumble cast members. The idea is to get people to speak their truth at work. “The workshops we put on have been extremely beneficial to companies we worked with. Not only did we provide a fun, safe and self-reflective environment to get people out of their comfort zones, but we put their current skills to the test while opening doors for them to improve in other areas. Our workshops are different because we merge the fun, excitement and freedom of improv with emotional intelligence, accountability and comfort zone pushing content,” said Wachs. The group can personalize workshops to fit the needs of not only the company, but each individual within it. It’s not just improv” it’s breaking through what holds you back on a personal level, through the art of improv.”
The response to corporate workshops has been favorable so far. One attendee said” It went absolutely beyond my expectations and gave everyone the growing experience we were hoping for and more.”
Another described it saying, “I’ve been through 10 years of workshops and the military and I’ve never been held so accountable nor pushed so daringly as I was In Rumble’s workshop. It was awesome!” Rumble Productions also hires writers to work on original music and scripts. The next script is a family musical about a jackrabbit named Pedro. Terri Klein is writing the show and says” It’s full of local flavor, fast-paced comedy, catchy tunes and lots of audience participation.” The one hour family musical stars Pedro and his friends including a roadrunner, a quail and even a javelina. ” It’s a fun and memorable tale for children and adults alike,” said Klein. The show is twist on the classic tale of Peter Rabbit.