Sometimes, I see house teams do shows in which they technically get everything right: clear premises, getting on the same page, careful listening, speaking truthfully and logical heightening.
But the show was boring.
What is needed is: swagger. A posture of confidence. Without that, a house team looks like a bunch of students.
Through timing and cadence, they ask the audience if what they were doing was funny. But that’s not how it works. Teams SHOW the audience what’s funny, they don’t ask. The first time you hit the game, you’re not asking —- you’re teaching the audience what the joke is. When you hit it a second time, you’re confirming for their sake what the joke is that you already like. If they don’t laugh, it’s not that you did it wrong but that they missed it.
This isn’t condescending, it’s what it means to be deserving of being on stage. You play like you’re right. When the show starts, you are in charge.
Improv is—you go against everything you do in real life. You have to listen to people. You have to accept their ideas and build on it, so that really is the most difficult thing. It sounds simple to just listen on stage but really that is the beginning of good improv. All you really have are the people you’re working with and you know they can say something as a throwaway line, but it could all of a sudden take the scene in a whole new direction and make it comedy gold. So it’s just getting to — that place where you’re really comfortable on stage and you trust the people that you’re with. That’s all it is, making sure you have a group of people you trust.
Two people…staring at each other and wondering who’s going to make the first move. Two people being nice to each other and allowing the other to start doing something. In that short amount of time, two humans have created themselves as powerless…Who has time? The audience is waiting. They don’t care about your support. They care about what you do. What you do now.
Maxing out Your Triangle
I find that most people take on new jobs, projects and hobbies for three reasons:
- To learn something new
- To pay the bills
- Because they love doing it
If you have a terrible job, come up with new ways to learn something out of it. If you have a hobby you’re super-excited about, try to turn it into a business. If you’re just starting a new gig, instill it with something you’re passionate about.
Pick your victims! by Johan Urban Bergquist