“Why Improv?” Or my favorite question of any talkback after a performance “so, which part was improvised and which part was scripted .” (answer: ALL of it was improvised…)
But to the point; why improv? I will refer to the title. Why not Improv?
When I began this journey 28 years ago – playing improv games for theater classes and then working as a character in Atlantic City Casinos (yeah, I was a clown, wanna make something of it?) – i realized I liked jumping off cliffs. Even as I worked professionally after college and moved to Seattle in 1989, I still found myself trying and doing the thing that was a challenge.
And this is unusual since I am typically a person that tries to do the least amount possible to have a the desired effect. Really. My main motion is to a point of stasis.
But one thing about Improv that always excited me was the chance to make something not just from my brain, but from a shared experience. Shared with the audiences suggestions the other actors offers and motions and my additions to the action. Form that crazy stew of personal interactions came this wonderfully joyous and beautiful output. That is what drew me in at first.
But then the question becomes; what keeps you? Why is it STILL Improv? (again… Why not Improv?) What keeps me is the continued lesson of Improv; What it is like to accept and add to offers daily – The fun of watching character interaction in everyday life – the narrative unfolding as you get older. It all feels connected to me. The journey being a shared experience, with suggestions and offers from others and my additions to the action. To me, there is not a question of ‘why Improv?’ Since I think it is everywhere. We can’t plan our lives, but we can prepare and be ready for what comes.
Plus – I love to make people laugh. Joy. It’s a good thing.