It’s not a mistake on an improv stage as long as you recognize what happened and in some way react to it, right? Your pure reaction to someone walking through an improv table that you just took a minute to set up, is justification enough that they walk through the table. You don’t need to call somebody out and say “You just walked through my table!” You know that’s going to alienate them and alienate the audience likely, and then you’re going to spend the rest of the scene trying to dig yourself out of that callout. As opposed to just go over, pick up the table, set it up again, patiently, diligently, and then when somebody else walks over, don’t even mention a word, just go pick it up again and do the same thing. That’s going to create laughter from the audience because you’re respecting the environment and showing that there are no mistakes. That wasn’t a mistake they walked through the table, that’s a gift that’s an opportunity.
Bill Kullhan on accepting mistakes from Improv Nerd E225.
I’m going to say this a lot when I see you do this, [..] I don’t want to see ShrugProv. Shrugging means you don’t care. When I decided to eliminate shrugging from my improv, I became so much more committed and engaged.
Colleen Doyle on commitment and lazy performance.
When you’re happy and comfortable with yourself and not so worried about trying to be a tough guy, you’ll make the most out of anything and make it work.
William Regal on what makes a wrestler successful (or an actor for that matter)
People often do improv trying to be funny and I say listen, funny comes from surprise and I think the best funny comes from when you surprise yourself. And to have those ideas that you’ve never thought you would ever say or anything like that suddenly come out, I think that’s when the true voice happens and then when we all get to laugh together in that moment including the person who just said that, blurted that, made that choice whatever it is.
Asaf Rosen on finding the true voice on Improv Nerd E172.
As he emphasized recently to one of the classes he now teaches at iO, the audience goes away after a performance but your fellow players remain, and “those are the eyes you have to make sure you can stare into at the end of the evening.”
TJ Jagodowski on the importance of teamwork.
I feel like the reason people get in their head is that people are looking for the proper thing as opposed to being in the thing.Heather Anne Campbell on the latest Pack Improv Podcast.
He’s referring to the scene in series 4, episode 5 in which, on a stag weekend on a canal boat, Jez accidentally kills the dog of a woman, Aurora, he’s trying to seduce. After several misadventures, the two men burn the dead dog, but later with the cooked canine in a plastic bag, Jez finds himself on Aurora’s boat. She asks him what’s in the bag and he replies turkey. To prove it, he starts eating a scorched dog’s leg.
“Exactly,” says Webb. “Always entirely logical. If they started with ‘Let’s have an episode where Jeremy eats a dead dog’ that would be ridiculous. The Fonz has jumped the shark. But every little step is driven by their characters and is perfectly logical. And that’s how you get there.”
Robert Webb of Peep Show fame talking about finding the logic in crazytown.
Players and coaches fixate on inspiration and idea generation. The openings job is not to generate ideas; that is the players job. But players feel that if the opening doesn’t silver platter them with an idea then it was broken. Sorry players, a “poor” opening means you’ll have to lift a finger. The openings job is to be the best monologue, scene paint, organic mirror dance or source scene it can be. Coach them and play them to be solid on their own merits. Don’t burden them with some external, heavy and intangible goal as inspiring people to create art. When you do, you will find that they do inspire.
Bill Arnett talking organic openings and being inspired over at Reddit.
[..]The show itself, it’s an exercise in seeing what happens when you really only go from moment to moment to moment with no plans, no bits, and really just behave this way. [..] Like an actual human being, which is like the easiest way to get a show to a sustainable way, like put real people in it. Real people tend to live for a while, you know what I mean? They do things that they live by, and make choices that their accountable for, and that kind of stuff and so, if it was just going to be us and the show would be about an hour then, let’s make these people as actual as we can, and they’ll do things that people actually would do. Because no-one’s coming, we’re not getting edited, so we gotta live in these people for a while. It’s going to be easier if we make them real.
T.J. Jagodowski talking about realistic improv as the goal in a TJ & Dave show. Expect more quotes on here from a really interesting ep of Improv Nerd.