Why Improv is Like a Nightmare You Can’t Wake Up From
Every single actor since Thespis, himself, has let the stress of rehearsals enter their subconscious, manifesting in nightmares that we are all too happy to wake up from. From not knowing your lines, to a director declaring they’re opening the show right now, to the whole cast suddenly deciding we’re doing an entirely different play, these very real fears are somewhat quelled when our eyes pop open and we realize it was all just a dream.
Improv comedy combines the most panic-inducing moments of “theater nightmares” intentionally, which is why it is both exhilarating and downright terrifying all at the same time. There is no script, so there are no lines. There is no real rehearsal, so you’re always going to be opening a brand new show. The cast around you can throw out a line that changes the story in an instant. You are on stage, in front of strangers, and you can’t wake up. Just writing about this is giving me anxiety. But, all of these heart-fluttering things are why improv is so much fun to see. It’s never the same show twice, and watching actors think on the fly to try to keep the story going is like a dramatic version of invisible badminton; partners relying on, and trusting in, each other.
It’s also some of the most fun I’ve ever had on stage.
So… are you game?
Kalamazoo’s own improv comedy group, Crawlspace Eviction is starting Level 1 improv classes May 1st. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand (and whole body) at improv, the beginner’s class is where to begin. May the comedic force be with you.
Bonus Video: A Brief History of Improv Comedy
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