From the founders of Four Day Weekend, the improve-style comedy troupe based in the southwest, comes a new project: “Happy Accidents,” an autobiographical account of how using the principles of improvisation can lead to success in career and life. The book is expected to arrive in spring 2016.
Four Day Weekend was launched in 1997 by David Wilk with about $700. Initially, the group was booked for a six-week stint at a local theater in Fort Worth, Texas, going on after the main show. After a critic wrote a glowing review, Four Day Weekend suddenly caught on, and began selling out the small venue.
Seventeen years later, the group has its own 200-seat theater, is approaching the 5,000-performance mark and has seen unbelievable growth and success.
Wilk describes the group’s move into the meetings and conference market as a natural progression; what began as after-dinner gigs now accounts for almost 70 percent of their revenue.
“We would go on stage after some guy from accounting had killed the energy in the room by reading an endless list of names and figures,” Wilk says. “It would be hard work to save the show.”
When clients asked if they would host these events, to keep the energy high all evening long, Four Day Weekend eagerly said yes and gained a reputation as “the guys that save awards banquets.”
“We wouldn’t be where we are today if we had said no,” Wilks says.
The program can be turnkey or customized, including specialized keynote speeches that inject humor into a company’s messaging, while still staying in touch with its agenda and goals.
The concept of never answering a question with “no” is important in improv because it keeps the conversion from coming to a dead end. The philosophy can also inspire business growth, forcing companies to overcome hurdles and take on new challenges.
In “Happy Accidents,” readers will learn how the tenets of improvisation apply to the workplace through relevant stories and examples, and also how these principles can lead to their success.