Today I had my very first improv comedy performance. Now I’ve attended many improv shows in my day for my brother and also professional shows, and I’ve been in many plays, musicals, concerts and other performances as well. But this was a whole new ballgame for me because the only thing I had to work with was a format for the show: 1 monologue, three scenes based on the monologue, repeat that 3 more times. All of this starts with a one-word suggestion from the audience, and we had to let it inspire true stories from our lives to serve as the monologues.
I think I learned a lot with improv even though I only just finished a
Level 1 class. I feel like since everything just comes from my own brain and
nothing is scripted beforehand, I have to just let my brain fly and roll with
my thoughts as they come. Because of this, everything becomes far more based on
my own life than I was expecting before I started this venture.
There’s a concept in improv called “A-to-C” thinking. When you’re given a suggestion, that is “A”. “B” is the first thing that A makes you think of off the top of your head, and “C” would be something that “B” makes you think of. Then, you do a scene about whatever “C” is, even if to other people it doesn’t seem to make sense how you got there. For example, given the suggestion “Turkey”, I might think about the Turkey legs that they sell at Disney World, which could lead to me talking about my first time on an upside-down roller coaster at Disney World. To anyone who’s not familiar with Disney World, going from “Turkey” to “upside-down rollercoaster” may seem like a bizarre jump, but to me it makes perfect sense. I love this concept because I feel like a lot of times in real life I go “A-to-C” really quickly and then other people get very confused by my non sequitur. So I like that improv is made for that and it’s actually encouraged.
Something I realized was that my whole life is basically improv comedy— I spend all day trying to be clever and funny and make people laugh (and subsequently make them like me), and so I’m always at least a little bit “on” in that regard. Ultimately, I am happy that my improv journey has only just begun, and I look forward to using my real-world skills to make strides in the future.
Thanks for reading!