What is improv?
We begin most of our classes by asking a simple question: “What is improv?” Of course, improv is different things to different people, so we always get wildly different answers. As a theatrical artform, the roots of improvisational acting can be traced all the way back to the Commedia del Arte and their improvised structures. To some, it is therapy. To yet others, it’s party games and punchlines. And, to others, it’s a creative medium very well suited to creating incredible and exciting narratives and drama. Improv is all of these things.
As a director, teacher, and artist, I believe, artistically, that improv at its core is naked abandon and trust. It’s a microcosm of real life. It is real people acting and reacting in the moment. Improv is stimulus and reaction! Improv is cause and effect. There are moments of drama and comedy in everyone’s world and improv showcases those moments for the audience to see.
Improv is life. Life is improv. When the improvisor realizes this and stops worrying about the “rules”, life and improv are beautiful.
Why would you want to do improv?
Let’s face it: seriousness is overrated. It cuts into our enjoyment of
life, the satisfaction we can get out of life and even into our
Improvisation could be the road for you to rekindle your sense of
excitement and mystery, to delve into your toybox of excitement and wonder
and return to your natural playground of mischief and mayhem.
Improv is fun. Improv even has lessons that you can use in real life, like
agreeing and rolling with the punches.
Just a few things you can do with improv:
- Be whimsical and spontaneous without running up a credit card bill
- Get out of a rut
- Practice being fun at parties
- Practice being anything that you want to be
- Express yourself
- Say those things that you aren’t allowed to say anywhere else
- Have a healthy outlet for your road rage
- Get out of your head
- Do something with all the ideas running through your head
- Be up in front of people
- Get in touch with your emotions
- Be a wise-ass and get away with it
- Say goodbye to your shyness
- Say the first thing that comes to your mind
- Fail good-naturedly
- Ignore your fear of looking foolish in front of other people
- Learn to laugh at yourself