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.
I made Del my guru, my father, my higher power. I swore that his way was the only way, and I became judgmental of other people’s brand of improv. I would jealously put down people who got hired by Second City for the touring company because they where not trained “the right way” like myself – and by doing that, I limited by learning and my opportunities.