I’m gonna try to post a list of things I learn every week at my Improv 201 class at UCB. Why? Well, I want to remember the important/unique things I gather each week and secondly, it might be interesting/funny to other people.
1. Someone once told me that their 401 teacher told them this: “The students who do really well are the ones that see a shitload of shows.” I’ve made it a point to be that guy who sees a shitload of shows. It’s become a running joke in the class when our teacher asks who saw shows in the past week. Someone always says, “I bet Kyle saw like 5.” And yeah, usually that’s about right. But I can tell that it makes a difference. The people who see alot of shows always recognize what’s making scenes work; I wanna be one of those people.
2. I’m starting to find this “fallback character” that I do alot because I’m confident in it. It’s this awkward, trying-to-impress-a-pretty-girl guy. It always gets alot of laughs, but doing the same thing over and over isn’t creative. Some of the girls in the class are even starting to kinda set it up for me when we start a scene. I don’t wanna be known for playing that same character all the time. I need to be bolder and switch it up.
3. There are no nerds in this class and it really bums me out. Like, my 101 class was 99% nerds (and I mean that as a compliment of the highest order). This class thinks Batman backpacks are lame. And referencing comic book characters (even popular ones)? Yeah, that doesn’t fly with this crew. Sadness Everdeen.
4. NEVER JUST WALK OFF THE STAGE WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG. Yes, this actually happened today. A girl got kinda tongue-tied and then literally just goes, “Well, bye,” and walked off the stage, leaving her partner stranded. Sure, it’s just a class but that’s not a habit you wanna develop.
5. Don’t make references if you know your partner won’t get them. And don’t assume a reference is common knowledge. Not everyone is into the things you’re into.
6. Setting your partner up to be funny is just as good as being the funny character yourself. If your scene is funny, it doesn’t matter who’s saying the punchlines.
7. This class was rough. Alot of people have never heard the concept of “finding game” and it’s tough to grasp immediately. Be patient and helpful. And funny.