I remember when I did my level two improv at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and, just before the end of the course, a fellow student said to me, “Lloydie, I like you on stage but I thought you were better at the start of the course than you are now”. They were right and they were wrong.
The were right, because I wasn’t doing such great scenes. This was because I had learnt a lot of new stuff and I was “in my own head” trying to figure out how to integrate it all.
The were wrong because I WAS better… I just wasn’t exhibiting all the changes I’d made at that stage. I was in the middle of a process. I’m further on with that process now and I’m much better at spotting “the unique, funny thing” within a scene. It’s a skill that a lot of us in MissImp are developing and it’s slowly coming together.
Lucas Hazlett, who was on that level 2 improv class with me in July, posted this quote to his Facebook the other day, and it seemed to make sense to me when applied to improv, so I thought I’d share it.
“Basketball is an intricate, high-speed game filled with split-second, spontaneous decisions…possible only when everyone first engages in hours of highly repetitive and structured practice–perfecting their shooting, dribbling, and passing and running plays over and over again–and agrees to play a carefully defined role on the court…spontaneity isn’t random.” Malcolm Gladwell, from the book “Blink”.