In 2016, I overthought my improv into stagnation. I looked at it from all angles, obsessing over books and articles, TV shows and Youtube sketches. I wanted to win improv. I wanted to be the best improviser ever so I did what I thought would bring me to the top. What followed was a string of incoherent forms, weird edits, and convoluted mash ups of TV shows and pop culture references.
I became frustrated and blamed any bad show on my skills. I dissected and binged on improv, hoping that some reasoning, some ray of enlightenment would hit me in the forehead and show me what I was doing wrong. Yet the more I focused on improv, the more unhappy I was becoming with my performance.
Then somewhere in November, I lost it all. I lost every bit of happiness I had found in improv. It was gone. Every moment on stage made me feel like I should apologize to the audience.
“I’m sorry folks that you had to see that. The rest of the people are great. I’m just…I’m just…I don’t know what I am, but it’s not an improviser.”
I wish I could say that I have found the joy again. Instead I’m sitting in 2017, still feeling nervous.
My plan to rectify this situation is to produce lots of ridiculous, silly projects that make me smile. There will be no focus on making it successful or producing great pieces of art. These projects will be created, because I just wanted to play.
It’s like when you are taking a test and the teacher says to skip over a question and then come back to it later. So I’m skipping this question of how to be a great improviser for now and going on to the next section.
I hope you stick with me as Kairos Improv goes on a bit of a side journey, but if not, no worries, cause this is for me. And probably Kevin, as he is usually the only one who reads my posts. Thanks Kevin!