Best Impro is in Workshops
The best impro I see is consistently in workshops. It’s hilarious, touching, unexpected and captivating.
Not sure why that is, what happens when people get on stage in front of an audience? Why does something go?
Or is it just the way shows are put together and introduced to the audience. Perhaps we should start shows how we start workshops, and have permission to get into it gradually. But then again if I got and watch a show that does that I feel short-changed and let down.
One thing I’ve notice from almost all the impro groups I’ve seen is that once people start doing shows they stop doing the basics so much, they stop practicing blocking and accepting, what happens next etc.
Eventually this means that impro groups rehearsing together can concentrate on all the wrong things and completely forget what they learnt in workshops. They end up focussing on structure out of fear of unknown, desperately trying to control and manage stepping onto the stage, whereas stepping on stage with nothing was the thrill that initially got them interested it and the thing that impro has over everything else.
If you are doing lots of impro workshops and want to perform
Great idea, do it, the sooner the better.
Don’t wait for me or anyone else to tell you what to do and when to do it, just do it. Nobody is going to give you permission, so best to just give it to yourself.
We don’t have performance training courses and don’t put on stuff from our workshops. So come to workshops if they’re fun, or you learn something. If you want to perform then just do it.
You can try writing to various groups to see if they have gaps, they might do but this is tricky. You can also look out on Casting Call Pro and Crunchy Frog Collective for auditions.
Best of all though is putting together a group and putting together a show based on –
- who do you really like working with?
- what do you really like doing?
- what do you think the audience would really enjoy seeing you do?
You’re very welcome to get in touch with me on email (firstname.lastname@example.org) about advice on this if you want. There are some great places around London to put on a first show. I might even be able to have it on at The Miller too if you fancy it.
What I’m looking for at The Miller
In the rawest form I’m looking for:
- Groups that are so amazing they help keep a long term audience, regardless of whether they bring in people on that actual night.
- Groups that bring their own short term audience with them, without putting off the long term audience.
If you’re not in either category then most venues will have trouble knowing what to do with you. Gosh that sounds harsh. I’ve now managed to turn impro into a series of 1s and 0s.