Lights, Camera… Improv!

Several blogs ago I wrote about our wonderful and lovely community.  Well, now you can see a bit of it in action.  KLRU with Director Mario Troncoso attempts to delve into our world with an episode of Arts in Context entitled Out of Your Head.  Out illustrious leader Shana Merlin begins the video with a peek into her classroom.  We learn “Connect outside yourself to get out of your head.”  Good advice.  The beauty of improv is it’s both internal and external.  Internal because you have to find your way of doing improv.  And external because attention must be made to your partner(s). If it’s all internal then it’s not interesting and it leaves your partner to fend for themselves.  The best improv has each working toward a common goal of making the other look good.

Watch Out Of Your Head on PBS. See more from KLRU.

“There’s no room for judgement.  You don’t have time,” says Kareen Badr. Judgement is the death of good improv. It goes back to being willing to fail.  If you’re judging yourself on stage you’re not letting that failure in and thus will most likely fail.  However, if you’re willing to let it all play out in a way that you weren’t expecting, i.e. not judging, you’re going to have a much better time than if you tried to control it all.  As Roy Janik explained, “While you’re performing you’re not planning on what your gonna do next and your not dwelling too much in the past.  You’re completely present and connected.”

But what’s different about or community versus other’s?  Shannon McCormick said it best, “We’re a very collaborative community.  That’s exciting to me about Austin as compared to the improv I see coming out of other places.” We have many festivals in our lovely , performer community which inevitably brings in outside improvisers.  I’ve never met one that didn’t immediately want to move here after playing and staying here.  Two of our friends from across the pond, Heather Urquhart and Jules Munns of The Maydays in London, were our recent additions to the cult of Austin Improv. They constantly spoke of wanting to move her. That both the improv and the people were amazing. Alas, they had to go back to that drab city called London. But we will meet again soon.

Over all the video only shows a glimpse of this community I call home but perhaps it’ll interest you to come and join us. But don’t be alarmed if people want to hug you. It’s just what we do.

See the video below.


About Chelley Pyatt

Chelley has been doing improv since November of 2008. She has learned a lot and is planning to learn a lot more. Chelley is a current Merlin Works Improv Singing 301 student and blogger

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