Who Needs Improv Anyway?

So I am teaching this class right now (Thank You PHIT, enough about that). I have several students who are taking the class for various reasons, not the least of which is the guy who needs something other than the bank-job in his life in order to keep up the work-life balance. It struck me after the class that improv might actually be serious business. It is obviously important enough for people to perform it, take classes about it, teach it, and otherwise make careers out of it.  It was the perfect storm of these thoughts, my apparent insomnia and Matt’s gentle prodding me to post more that caused me to write this now.

Let’s see, how shall I go about this?  There are a few people who have access to post on this blog, many more who read it and post on other improv related sites. I want us to start talking about why improv is soo important. I don’t want you to think about posting or commenting back. I really want you to actually write about it.

Why you? Because if you are reading this it is probably because improv is of some interest to you.  Also, I don’t have all the answers. Surprise, surprise.

Anywho, to recap: Is improv important because rubber-silly putty pants emu? That is to say because it creates a holo-deck type space where anything is possible and we are, in a sense, free from the sort accountability that plagues us in our every day lives. Or perhaps, the saying that laughter is the best medicine isn’t so cliche after all.  I heard someone say that every wolf pack not only has an alpha male but a pack clown as a sort of scapegoat/guardian of the pack morale. So are we functioning on an animalistic level?

Basically, why improv? Why is it so important?

I know I perform improv because I love attention and praise and feeling like a rockstar. However, this is less improtant or releavant than how I feel as an audience member. When I watch improv I love to see a range of slightly-off but oddly truthful characters doing wild things that you would never get away with in real life. I also like watching people play.

I guess we all love to laugh. but there are many ways to get people to laugh. I submit to you tickleing, for example. This leads me back to why improv?

To be clear, I want people to start posting, talking, and commenting about the socially redeeming value of improv comedy. Does improv hold the meaning of life? I am not so sure, but what if all this time it has, and we have just been playing games.


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