by Bebe Tabickman
“Expedition 12! You made it! My name is Dottie and I will be your Expedition Leader!”
This is the first thing I say to our audience the moment they step off of the elevator, and then our adventure begins.
When I first got involved with Pip’s Island I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My friend told me about the open call and said it was a new interactive children’s show and since I have a huge background performing theater for young audiences and working with children, I thought: why not? Little did I know that this project would change my life for the better, as it combines two of my favorite things: children and improv.
I play Dottie the Expedition Leader, which is the character that is with the audience from the very beginning of the show until the very end. I serve as the “tour guide” to help lead the audience through the adventure and serve as a constant point of reference. I get to meet every Explorer (what we call every child in our audience), and I get to know every Assistant (what we call the grown ups) before we start our journey. Then we adventure through ten different rooms and complete a different task in each one as we travel to Pip’s Island, collect our five sparks, and save the day!
What makes this show so exciting and so fresh is that it’s a completely different show every time. Because of the nature of our show being interactive, every thing that one of the Explorers or Assistants say gets used in our show. If an Explorer introduces themselves as Spider-Man, then you better believe we’re going to get their help to shoot spider webs later in the show. If we’re trying to find the Park Ranger and an Explorer says, “he’s hiding in the ceiling,” then you know that I’m climbing on logs to search for him above our heads. And if we’re trying to bring Pip back to life and an Explorer says the only way to bring him back is sushi, then we are for sure having a sushi dinner party to bring him back.
Pip’s Island is such a unique and exciting playground for any actor. It’s a huge lesson in how to listen and take in everything around you to apply it to the script. Another exciting element about our show is that because we do one-to-three shows an hour we have a giant company of actors. It may sound cheesy but we have all become such a beautiful family. I feel so safe and loved by my company on and off stage.
I’m so thankful for this job and I recommend everyone should come see the show. Even if you don’t have a child to bring, you can come and unleash your own inner child!. And if you have a child to bring then you will have a magical time watching your little one gain the confidence to transform into a hero.