“When I was in high school I was a really huge ‘SNL’ fan. I remember the cast around the time I started watching it - Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, Cheri O'Teri, Tracy Morgan. I did research to find out how people got on the show. Their bios always said they came from an improv team, so I started taking classes.” - Aubrey Plaza
She is Amy fuckin Poehler. She was half of the Weekend Update team with Tina Fey and later Seth Meyers on SNL. She was also one of the founders of UCB. (the Upright Citizens Brigade) She has a show called Parks and Recreation on NBC that’s amazing and criminally underrated. She gets nominated for an Emmy for Best Comedy Actress EVERY SINGLE YEAR, but STILL HASN’T WON ONE YET. Its downright unamerican.
She’s also from Boston and played the mother from Mean Girls.
“Hoes before bros. Ovaries before brovaries. Uteruses before duderuses.”- Leslie Knope
Amy Poehler is fucking awesome.
Tina Fey’s super simple chart on “how to improvise” is a positive twist on the decidedly negative “Rules of Improv” we’re taught in 101 and 201.
It’s from her book Bossypants, which I still haven’t read, so forgive my ignorance of the entire context, but it makes some effective points on how to turn those nagging rules into positive “to-dos” instead of negative “don’t-dos.”
Here’s a compartmentalization that accomplishes the same thing as “don’t ask questions, don’t argue, etc.” in a more collaborative, positive way.
Trust your scene partner and add to her idea
View everything as an opportunity
A variation of subverting the “rules of improv” into a positive structure comes from Mick Napier’s book Improvise: Scene From The Inside Out, and I’ve found this remarkably invaluable myself. Paraphrasing:
Look at what you’ve done and heighten it
See the world through that lens
These are variations on the same guidelines. It all comes down to respecting what’s being built, and add to it through the prism of your character, and your character is built on what you’ve already said.
Basically, all schools give similar advice: Accept, Build Positively and Base Your Buildings On What’s Already Built.
Just graduated from UCB 101 – The’ people in my class were amazing & supportive - what a gas!! If anyone’s thinking about taking Improv classes I HIGHLY recommend Up Right Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood