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 that it’s made up on the spot creates a meta-y self awareness in the audience, so much so that when a scene is good, we very very rarely say, “Wow, that character was so interesting.” Instead we say, “Wow, that performer is so great!”
Unfortunately, that’s very academic and not very practical, in terms of how you handle yourself onstage. So let’s talk about it a little more.