THE SECRET OF IMPROVISATION
When students walk into my class late I always pretend I’m in mid sentence and say “and THAT is the secret of Improvisation, I will never repeat it again”, everyone has a hearty laugh and we all move on.
Every now and then that late student will come to me after class and ask if they missed something, what was the secret? I tell them it was a joke, and hard work and practice is really the secret. I then see their shoulders slump and get sad. It would of been so much simpler if it was a one sentence secret that made them better.
I think to myself “Not only are you late to class, but you are lazy as well.” Congratulations! You have discovered how to be bad at this.
The secret of improvisation is everything, you have to do everything.
Show up on time for class and practice
See UCB shows
See Indy shows
Practice doing horrible bits with your friends
Practice having good conversations
Listen to everything
If you don’t like a TV show or a genre of music, watch/listen to it twice and figure out why
Have opinions, but be willing to see the other side
Curb your judgment
Aggressively people watch
Go on trips, journeys, and adventures
Learn one new thing every day
If you do all the work, you may not be good at Improvisation, but you will be a better person.
— BILLY MERRITT (aka my improv teacher)