Comedy Improv classes are a strange thing. On the one hand it is a total blast. After a strenuous day in the office, and a crazy evening getting dinner on the table it’s both surreal and wonderful to spend the night pretending to be part of a machine that speaks Russian hip-hop (for example). On the other hand it is also rigorous. There are lots of rules to keep in mind. For example, in improv you should never asks questions. Asking questions slows down the energy of a scene. You should also always say YES or to be more exact “Yes…. And”. It’s the most famous rule; whatever someone says, you say yes to and then offer up your own suggestion. Did someone just suggest you are Charlie Chaplin reincarnated as a frog? Then get down on the floor, start hopping and maybe decide that you are also currently living in space. I mean, why not? It’s comedy improv. Anything is possible. The world is your oyster. It’s freeing and also terrifying.
There have been days that I’ve struggled a lot during the classes. The overachiever perfectionist in me wants desperately to be A+ good at comedy improv, immediately of course. I wish to be the GATE student of comedy improv. Unsurprisingly, I am not. The best way to get good at comedy improv is to totally commit and go for it. FAIL BIG they tell me! Its another rule and one that I have trouble achieving. I fail a lot, but small style. Failing big is hilarious. Failing small is embarrassing for everybody involved. During comedy improv classes I try to get it through my thick skull “You are supposed to fail. They TOLD you to fail.” I think this has been the best lesson of all, that failing and taking risks is imperative to success, both on and off stage. I’m learning it slowly, one scene at a time.