But that’s always the biggest thing: finding a fair way to do it, because it’s such a hurtful thing not to be on a team. Everybody’s feelings get hurt if you don’t make it, but then again not everybody’s ready for it. And there are some who you don’t know. You put them on a team and you might have your doubts about them, then all of the sudden they get a chance to play on a team for a while, they gel and all of the sudden they’re awesome. And who are you to say you know best. And there are some people who you give them a chance and they never grow anymore. Then you have to deal with the hurtful process of what should I do? Should I take them off? Now that I put them on? It’s kind of like ‘here’s you baby. Oh wait a second. It’s not your baby anymore. We’re giving it to someone else.’ That’s still the biggest nut to crack.
Well, we’re getting to put people on teams in a class setting, so you really get a chance to see them under fire, and really know how they’re doing before you make that decision. Because I think there’s such a gap between, someone’s in a class, you toss them on a team, then you don’t get to watch them very much. Then you come back a few months later and get to watch their group, and you’re like ‘oh my God. These guys are terrible.’
Hopefully, by the time they’ve done so many shows, you’ve had the chance to work with them and give them notes and things like that, when you put them on a team you’re going to feel confident that you’ve taught them the things that they should know, and that they can perform them at a reasonable level.
And the people that you don’t put on teams, hopefully the opposite. You know that you have given them a chance and they understand that they know that they’re there to learn, and you’ve given them feedback. It’s not an arbitrary decision. So hopefully that’s something they can accept easier than it just being like ‘alright, let’s have an audition I’ll see you for three minutes and hope that was a representative sample of what they can do.’ So the hope is by doing the team performance workshop at least everyone knows exactly what you’re supposed to be doing on stage, so it isn’t like ‘oh they haven’t taught it.’
Most of the time, we need to get out of our own way to start creating things we really want to make. It’s never a matter of banishing the fears and doubts we have, because those never go away. It’s more a matter of moving forward in spite of them.
It’s easy for any improviser to forget, after all the hours logged in classes and on stages in front of audiences, that they once started out as sweaty-palmed students. Whether you’re brand new to improv or you’ve been performing for years, I want to remind you all of the Squirrel in the Garage: the thing that will awaken you to your imaginative side, or the reason you started improv in the first place.