Appreciate nerves, Don’t Resent Them

My father said to appreciate nerves, not resent them. He said my ambition would propel the business forward but my nerves would keep things in check.
Rachel Taylor, the co-editor of Another World magazine on the best business advice she’s ever received.

Justin D. Torres on What New Teams Need

The teams that I’m on with Goats and Heartbeat are so ridiculously positive and crazy and fun that, it’s an odd sense of coming off stage and cheering for yourself and being your own fan, which is something I don’t see very much in other teams, coming off stage and being like ‘we did a good job’. I think that’s imperative to have a good team, it’s that you have to love yourselves even if, especially a new team you have to know that you’ll almost be invincible for a little bit, to feel like you can do anything and then you have to kinda have to, pull ’em back afterwards because the one thing that gets into a new team’s mind is just.. doubt. I think doubt creeps in. If it’s too early it will kill a team. Justin D. Torres on the latest Magnet Theater Podcast.

Relax. Don’t expect immediate results, and don’t get frustrated by it. So many people rush their improv experience, and try to get to it as quick as they can. Some people get it quicker than others. It took me a while to get game compared to other people. Once I got it, I couldn’t get rid of it.

I see a lot of people get on teams or whatever, and think ‘well, that’s it. I’ve got to get to this level. Now I’ve got to start telling these kind of jokes.’ Patience is key. Number one patience. Number two like I said about reading and ingesting as much information as you can, study all improv. Study with all teachers. Study as much as you can, so you can develop your own idea about what improv should be. Because until you’re comfortable with what you think improv is, you can’t do what you think other people is.
Billy Merritt on his advice for new improvisers. More in a great interview here.

Chris Gethard on Waiting in Lines

The other side of the coin that I’d say to all the students, is, no need to wait in line! No need to wait in line. If one thing ain’t happening for you, there’s other things out there, and there’s all over this city. There all over this city. And you can meet the people here who are going to be your tribe for life! If you get those people, then you got it. If you’re biding your time and waiting at UCB, that’s great. If you want to put in the time to get on the stage, get on Harold Night, whatever it is, great, do it. But don’t be idle. And don’t feel like that’s the only line you can wait in.
Chris Gethard talks about waiting in lines on the latest UCB Long-Form Conversations podcast.

From a practical point of view, you’re much more likely to get funny from real than you are real from funny. You know? If you’re aiming for funny, it’s very hard to turn that back into real. But if you’re aiming for real, there’s usually something funny in there somewhere.
John Ratliff on Got Your Back E28.

You start with scenes, but once a few scenes have happened, a show is being created. And you start opening your awareness–I’m not only aware of the scenes I’m in, but how they connect to one another and what pattern they’re creating. You start thinking, ‘How can I best fill in the rest of this show?’ You start playing the piece.
Dan Bakkedahl on Miles Stroth’s show philosophy. More here.

“Just have fun”

That’s my least favourite improv note, “just have fun”. You know what’s fun to me? Scenes that make sense and are funny and where people are listening! Just have fun, that doesn’t mean anything!
Karin Louise Hammerberg on UCB Long-Form Conversations

I think the stupidest thing you can do is feel like there is status about improv. It’s like made up, it’s all made up!
Karin Louise Hammerberg on UCB Long-Form Conversations

A lot of people take a single note, and say this is the solution and it’s not. [..] Because I spent a year getting that [particular note] hammered into my brain, it’s now just muscle memory. But it takes so long to get that muscle memory to work!
Dru Johnston on the latest UCB Long-Form Conversations podcast talking about actioning notes.