Congratulations! You just finished an improv series at a local theatre, completed a weekly workshop that kept you driving out of town, or just made it onto your first team! No matter what phase of your improv career you are in, you may find yourself wondering, “Why keep learning?” What can it really do for my game if I’m already getting laughs?”
When you take an improv class or workshop you are investing in yourself…. One of my favorite questions I received as a level 1 teacher was “who’s voice do you hear in your head when you are about to step on that stage?” I had never heard it put so perfectly. A mixture of “golden nuggets” that I had learned from my various improv teachers was always playing in my head, depending on what was happening on that stage. Learning how to still stay in the moment and recount the amazing wisdom that was imparted previously became vital to make those hints become habit and to grow as a performer.
….and the future of improv. You know that guy that teaches the drop in once a month at your local theatre? How about that totally creative chick in your level 3 class? Are they going to be the next stars on your favorite TV show? Perhaps. Can they be improv allies for the rest of your life? Absolutely! By taking classes, bringing energy as a student, and creating a network of improv friends, you are ensuring that this art form can thrive. The more you practice, the better your shows are, the more fun you will have on stage and you will ensure that the product you are delivering keeps the people coming back for more. Improv is an art that is always evolving an you are creating its future.
You never know when your next breakthrough will be. In our classrooms, there is constant talk of why scenes or choices players made feel successful. Success is usually defined as what makes the audience laugh, but many times these conversations will lead to so much more! If you are on a team performing, someone may tell you you had a great show, but maybe not much else. In a classroom, you get to pick apart every single juicy bit of a scene and see how truly successful you are and why! There are successes in many scenes that you have the freedom to find and celebrate in a classroom that you just may not get to on stage. Sometimes your next big breakthrough is awaiting in an environment where you get to rekindle your passion with others that are doing the same.
See you in the classroom!
Director of Community Engagement, Level 1 and musical improv teacher, and lifetime learner.
Kat is a University of California, Santa Cruz graduate. She completed her BA and graduate studies with a focus on theater and education. Working with Monarch Elementary school, she was a classroom aide for 3rd-5th graders. She started her comedy training playing with the all female sketch comedy team, SheBam. She was the top female stand up comedienne in 2012 for the West Coast in the NCCC. Kat can be seen playing with Swim Team and Killer Giraffe.