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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Subway Stories #4: Laura Lee Gulledge


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via The Daily Cross Hatch by bheater on 7/15/09

lauraleesubwaysmallImagine soldiering through a frigid snowstorm to get to your subway stop on a January afternoon. You struggle to feel your nose and your toes as you lumber down the subway station stairs. That's when you first notice that something unusual is going on. On the subway platform, you are surrounded by dozens of people, and none of them are wearing pants. This pantsless pack just stand in their underwear, patiently the arrival of the next train. Once it finally pulls into the station, you notice that it too is filled with pantsless passengers. The outlandish prank is so funny and bizarre that, for a moment there, you almost forget that it's 26-degrees outside.

If you've ever experienced a scene like this one, then you've encountered Improv Everywhere's annual No Pants! Subway Ride. The pantsless odyssey through the NYC subway system was a prank initiated back in 2002 by Charlie Todd, IE's founder, and six of his friends. Since that maiden voyage, No Pants! Day has snowballed in size. In 2009, approximately 1,200 IE pantsless agents braved a snowstorm to participate.

One of those agents was Agent Laura Lee Gulledge.  On days when she's not riding the subway sans pants, Gullegde is a talented artist who contributed the most recent installation in the Subway Stories series, "Crazy Kids These Days," chronicling her experience on this year's ride.

One of the keys to a successful No Pants! ride is to stay committed and not break character. Commitment to character also provides some of the funniest moments. Gulledge captures this aspect of the ride to a tee–that some people just don't get it.

If you'd like to learn more about the No Pants! Subway Ride, pick up a copy of Causing a Scene, the new Improv Everywhere book. Also check out Laura Lee Gulledge's art here. And if you'd like to participate in the No Pants! Subway Ride, visit ImprovEverywhere.com and sign up for the mailing list.

–Alexander Scordelis

[Alex Scordelis and Charlie Todd are co-authors of Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere, out now from Harper-Collins.]



[Subway Stories #1: Raina Telgemeier]

[Subway Stories #2: John Leavitt]

[Subway Stories #3: Thomas Baehr]

Those artists interested in submitting a strip to the Subway Stories series, please drop us a line at dailycrosshatch@gmail.com.


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