Modern comedians can learn a great deal from studying the careers of Rick Moranis and others who crossed from sketch comedy shows into feature films and situation comedies. They must ask themselves whether they want to commit to a basic comedic persona in project after project, even if it means being typecast.
This article isn’t super improv-related, but I like the idea of the above a lot. In the last couple of years performing, I’ve worked out those comic personas that I like to bring, and that others like to see me perform (lot of love for angry, flustered Mike). The ongoing joy of improvisation for me is being able to subvert those expectations – which in turn is a great excuse to expand your own range. In short: keep trying new stuff!
When you’re performing, you know, it’s about you. You have to be kind of in touch with how you’re doing and how you’re responding and relating to the audiences and to your band members. But when you’re writing, it’s not about you. Even if the speaker of the poem or the speaker of the rhyme is ‘I,’ it’s not necessarily you — you need to take yourself away from it so your characters can speak, so the words can speak. So those two things, the performer and the writer, they don’t sit very comfortably in the same space.
Been listening to a lot of Kate Tempest lately. From an improv pov this is something I’ve been working a lot of lately – separating Michael from the person in the scene. It’s hard! You are training yourself not to get distracted by yourself while in the act of a show. But at the same time you can’t entirely put that away, you need to be in tune with what you’re doing and what you’re teammates are doing and how the audience is reacting to it. I’ll keep y’all updated with how I deal with this.