– You have one minute to introduce yourself. The other person doesn’t care where you work, what schools you’ve graduated, but what kind of a person are you, and what you can offer him. / marketing conference
Improv is usually outiside of the comfort zone. Not only you’re in a spotlight, in front of people, who judge you. Even harder is that they don’t judge Julia Capuletti, Snow White or Marilyn Monroe. You cannot hide behind any story, any director, any script. It’s just you. And the audience reads you. It can be scary.
Ok, but you’re doing it. You’re improvising. You’ve come a long way with your inner critic, through all the bad jokes, weird looks of your family, bacause instead of doing someting serious, you’re fooling around.
You become more open, you get the punchlines. You are funny, you can talk to anyone. At the parties you are in the center of attention. Oral exams are easy, even when you don’t know much. You can make it. When you go with the flow, everything is easy, even the mean lady at the post office cannot do you any harm, when you release the tension with a nice joke. You like yourself. You tell people, that you do improv, comedy. They nod their heads saying “That explains it all.”
Well, it doesn’t.
Improv doesn’t define, who you are.
Who you are, defines improv, that you do.
Of course, skills are important on stage. All of them. As an audience, you can appreciate good scene, connection, emotions, fun. But what makes them fall in love with the improviser is his personality.
You think, you’re cool, because you’re improvising?
Well, no, you’re improvising well, because you’re cool.
Improv doesn’t build you, it opens you. I think that young improvisers don’t appreciate what they have inside, and they try to make a fit to the standards. It takes a long time for them to realise, that being yourself doesn’t mean “shining” and being a star with the group background. Best teams are formed not with clones, but personalities, who together are unbeatable. And who you are makes your princess, a turtle, or a doctor different than those played by other improvisers.
You’re not perfect? Great. You don’t know much about the world? Cool, make it your thing. Audience appreciate being really good, buy loves the honesty and being yourself. While watching the movie, they don’t feel the perfect character, they feel the sloppy one, who has to fight the world to get what he wants. Well made films get Oscars, but the unique become cult, even without any rewards.
As a graduate of three artistic schools, I can asure you – they don’t take those who “can draw”, but those, who have something to say, even if they don’t know yet how to express it.
You’re a bit crazy, if you went into improv. Now show your unique crazyness in your improv.
And you know what? Sometimes it happens, that you suck in what you do. And it doesn’t mean that YOU suck. I had to finish my film directing studies to realise, how much I was suffering in every exam, when they were smashing my films. But, really, when someone is criticising your work, he’s criticising… your work. Nothing else. Not you. Who you is above it. Seperate what you do, from who you are, and you will dare to conqare the world.