Thursday, August 20, 2009

Improv Aint Easy Folks!!!!

Wow, recently watched an improv troupe perform, and it was painful. Whats worse was this was the night I decided to sit in the front row. I usually am placed in the middle rows or even towards the back. I couldnt hide in the darkness. Although I wished a hole in the earth would have swallowed me up.
Here's the thing. Kudos for people being brave enough to take the stage and open their mouths to speak. But-that's not really good improv is it? Are you born funny, or can you learn to be funny? I dont know for sure, but it seems as though a lot of people who werent born funny OR learned to be funny-have decided to try improv.
I have always maintained that jokes, or being funny should not be your priority as an improvisational actor. But for heavens sake-its got to be somewhere on your skill list!
Humor and jokes should NOT take precidence over the integrity of the scene. But, audiences come to watch improv to laugh. Hence, you must know how to create humor through character, dialogue, physicality, and situation. Just being able to open your mouth and speak is not a marker of success in improv.
I think what happens is the BEST improvisors make it look easy. That is a testiment of their skill and artistry. However, dont be is NOT easy.
I just recently had a conversation with someone who had just taken TWO hours of basic improv instruction, and immediately wanted to join the main stage company and perform with them.
People...loved ones....dont rush things. Take your time, learn your craft, and people will let you know when you are ready. They will be seeking you out. They will be asking you to perform with them and join their group. Keep at it. Learn through trial and error. Take classes. Study. And when it is time to hit the main stage-go for it!

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