improvnonsense: I get in trouble for saying that because I deliberately say it in a jerk manner. KNOW EVERYTHING. When someone says “I didn’t know the movie my partner was mentioning” I’ll sometimes say “Well, you don’t HAVE to know it but it would be easier if you knew it.” And then people are like “Why do I have to like Star Wars?” And I say “Who said anything about Star Wars?” “All these...
Improv Coaching Etiquette
khealywu: I’ve been thinking about making one of these for awhile. This first section is how I think indie teams and practice groups should interact with their coach. 24 hour notice for making any changes / cancellations. If you’re cancelling day of, you and your team owe your coach their standard fee. 2 hour minimum for 3+ people. I’ve done too many 1 hour coaching sessions lately, and I’m...
UPDATED: Improv Reading List
Hey it’s that time again. It’s been 5 months since the last update to the Improv Reading List. For my new followers: the improv reading list is the greatest hits version of this blog and improv nerdery on the internet. I do my best to catalog all of my favorite things I read there. But it’s getting pretty long, so if you check out the main page, you’ll see two new...
Shitty Jobs 5/13/2013
I love this. Last night Charlie Sanders took the suggestion. Someone meekly calls out “Heather Ledger,” and a brief moment passes before someone else YELLS out “Zebra.” Big laugh from the audience. Charlie says, “Okay, we’ll take both suggestions at the volume they were said, so you’ll get a lot of Zebra and a little bit of Heath Ledger.” So the...
Ian Roberts? Matt Walsh? Episodes on Demand!?!?
improvobsession: Yup, that’s right. I’ve got episodes from those two available right now. But, there’s a catch. I know, I hate me too. It’s a review’s drive. Go to the iTunes store go rate and review the show. Don’t give it one star because you hate to do this. I wont count it if you do. Write a review, and we’re one step closer to those episodes. Once I get 100 reviews, Ian Robert’s episode...
What makes Good Meta Improv?
I’ve talked about how improv is inherently meta before, and all that means is that improv is, by nature, presentational, like Stand Up or late night shows, as opposed to self-contained and separated by a 4th wall like a play or sketch. People can obviously do stuff that’s very real and grounded or simply doesn’t break the 4th wall. However, my small point was that the very fact...
SAG Foundation: Improv & Sketch Comedy: Part One -... →
Miles Stroth (The Family, Heather & Miles), Johnny Meeks (Sentimental Lady), and others are giving talk at the SAG Foundation later today at 7PM PST. You can watch it stream live at the above link, or you can see the video on YouTube after it airs. (I’ll update with the link after)
I like playing fast. All my favorite teams play fast. I appreciate slow play, but I don’t seek it out. It’s not to my taste. I’m okay with that. Miles Stroth told me something very important, when it comes to speed: “Speed comes later.”[[MORE]] You may learn more. You may do more shows. You may read some life-altering blog on improv. And you grow your...
iamachilles: I You We React Repeat funny thing Chill:
david drinks too much: A TOUGH LOVE GUIDE TO... →
catbathchad: Let me start off by saying that I’m strictly a student of improv. There are LA indie promoters who are at the instructor level and run great shows like Crashbar, Room 101, TNT and Shapeshift Improv. Many of them are available for (and really good at) coaching and can help make you better… I love this and agree.
Ah shit! I just saw the LA Indie Improv festival post their flyer on their facebook page, so I guess that’s coming up soon. This was an awesome event last year. Be sure to LIKE their Facebook page for updates: http://www.facebook.com/TheLaIndieImprovFestival
You Will Never Figure This Out
improvnonsense: I mean this as a consolation: you will never completely figure out improv. Not forever, anyhow. It moves, somehow. You have a grasp on it for a few weeks, maybe even a few months, and then it’s gone. You stumble on a new exercise or a new mantra and can do no wrong. Decisive moves. Certain viewpoints. Audiences liking you right away. But then it just fades and you are lost again,...
Matt Besser was on Improv Nerd and it's pretty... →
Listen to Besser talk with Improv Nerd’s Jimmy Carrane about “cliques” and paying performers and how to take and give intitiations and dating Amy Pohler. Great interview.
Let's All Go To Camp
improvobsession: Camp is a new show at the Clubhouse that you may not know about. I’ll say it, I think Camp is the best new show in town, and you should check it out. I first went to Camp when my team Styx Martin got booked. They sent us an e-mail saying, we’d love it if you dressed up in costumes of some sort, sort of like a camp talent show. We obliged and dressed up as cowboys. And had fun...
improvisorsimprovisor: Killer Whales have no concept of “no.” At least, of course, as far as we know. So it’s hard for a trainer at Sea World to get them to do the things that they want. A trainer can’t say “no” when a killer whale does something wrong… wrong is a concept that doesn’t even exist only in the whale’s mind. A good trainer instead focuses on and enhances the behaviors that are...
a thing i like about improv
halphillips: I like that it’s ephemeral. I like that once a show is over, it’s completely lost and you move on to the next one. I like that it doesn’t stick around and will never be seen again, and that even the greatest improv shows of all time are reduced to nothing but memories. I often get the impression that people don’t like that. Everybody seems to want to create something that will...
Commitment in Improv
sabrinalondon: What would happen if you committed really hard? But not just hard. Really, really hard. So much so that you believed the words you’re saying, and the things you’re doing. You’re no longer an improviser trying to dream up the smartest move in a scene. You’re a character existing in this reality, and it’s actually happening to you. What if you committed even harder than that? ...
Indie Improv Shows in Los Angeles →
zvirby: ryanjameshitchcock: Revised and updated, this thing is much less of an eyesore now. Look how many shows there are, Jesus. It’s a good time to be improvising in Los Angeles. So many improv shows!!!
UCB LA instructors perform the Harold →
I always wanted a show like this: UCB teachers performing the Harold. They push the Harold so hard at UCB, but the people who teach you to do it don’t do it anymore. And I don’t know about you, but I always like it when I can see the person instructing me do the thing they’re teaching. So this is good. There’s one show in March, with no mention of who’s in it yet,...
Why I love improv (pt. 1 of many):
margoretandimprov: it’s the only art form that recognizes that every single moment of our lives will never happen again, and celebrates it.
Heat & weight of an #improv scene: TJ Jagodowski →
nicclee: heatherconnelly: “It’s very difficult to improvise when you put all your weight on your words. Your words would have to be brilliant to get an audience response. None of us is that smart. TJ advocates moving the weight from the words to the emotions. Doing so makes your words less important. And if the words are less important, it frees up an enormous part of your brain – the...
Soulmates is coming to iO West
Hey! I finally have my own show to promote! Soulmates & Scary.Killer.Nice will be performing at the iO West mainstage, Monday 2/25 at 8PM. It’s $5 in advance, or 2-for-1 at the door if you show them this Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/466758320052814/ It’s going to be a fantastic hour of improv. Hope to see you there.
Groundlings and (but not vs.) UCB
timstaffordtimstafford: I get a lot of questions about the two schools that I study at, and so I thought I would write about them as a reference point for any and all asking. After all, we as actors have very little money to spend, so why not be a bit informed before spending it. I think I am in an interesting place to be writing this piece, considering I have not finished either school, but am...
MAKING A COMMITMENT TO YOUR IMPROV GROUP by Jimmy...
improvobsession: Long-form improvisation has been booming in the last ten years, but for some reason, there still only seem to be a handful of improv groups that are truly great. We all know them. We all inspire to be like them. Then why aren’t there more? The answer is simple. It’s the thing that is hardest to do in life, and even harder to do in a group, and that’s called commitment. I’ve...
Improvised Shakespeare Company is coming to LA!!! →
improv4thought: Get on this people. I used to go see them every week because they’re so damn good.
Geniuses, poets, and artists
I’ve always loved the Del Close quote, “If we treat each other as if we are geniuses, poets and artists, we have a better chance of becoming that on stage.” In her recent interview on Pam Victor’s “Geeking Out With…”, Charna Halpern, when asked about her interpretation of Del’s quote, said this: CHARNA: It’s about treating each other’s ideas as...
How do I know if I had a good show?
I remember I oftentimes used to come off the stage anxious or worried. Basically, I wanted to kill and if I didn’t, I’d feel shitty about it. Now, of course, this was problematic, because you can’t kill every show. And I’m not even talking about being bad per se, I just mean sometimes a show is “merely” good. And I would beat myself up anyway. It’s so...
The Legacy of Heather and Miles
sabrinalondon: Tonight marked the end of Heather and Miles astonishing 49 week run at UCB Cagematch. By their record setting conclusion, Heather and Miles had battled against nearly every UCB performer, including both former academic directors of the school. It was the free-styling indie darling Murdercliff, who took down H&M in a packed-to-the-gills theater. It was an emotional moment....
The Great Wall is torn down!
ucbcagematch: Its an end of an era at Cagematch, in an amazing match Heather & Miles (49-1) lose to the winner of the LA Indie Improv Fest, Murdercliff! Heather & Miles, had the longest run in UCB LA Cagematch history, defeating some amazing challengers along the way. Thanks for the memories, the photos and videos will live on the internet!
I’m trying to get a sense of things outside of LA and NY… can anyone point me to blogs, videos, podcasts, etc from Austin or Chicago improv?
To Justify, or Not to Justify
jennysaint: This is a tricky one. It seems like the formula for when to justify is equal parts instinct and…well, gut intuition. Justification, for those of you who might not be familiar (Hi Aunt Becky!), is taught as a way to ground scenes that have the potential to leave the audience going “Why are they doing this?”. There are moments on stage when players are running around doing funny...
Maude, Harold, Beta, House, Mainstage, Etc.
heatherannecampbell: To those of you out there who are caught up in the drama of auditioning for UCB teams in Los Angeles, my piece of advice is: There is more than one theater in Los Angeles. Nobody is going to punish you for working in multiple communities because it’s all one big community. Your success in this industry will not come from the stage you perform on. It will come from your...
Patrick Stewart joins Improvised Shakespeare...
steveheisler: Last night’s Improvised Shakespeare Company show in New York had a special guest: Patrick Stewart. He’d never improvised with the group before—wherein a handful of guys creates a spontaneous play in the style of William Shakespeare—and I have a feeling he had absolutely no idea what he was getting into, nor did he really mind. He threw himself into the beautiful experiment with...