Improve Improv: Good and Bad

January 16, 2011

Looking to improve your improv? Hopefully, if you’re an improvisor the answer is “yes.”

Most improvisors go through ebbs and flows of improv awesomeness. What helps me go through these almost biorhythmic phases? Coaching.

This may not be an easy option for everyone, but in Chicago there are plenty of “green” (as in “new” not “eco-friendly”), independent groups. And every group can use a coach.

Now, for the good and bad.

The good thing about coaching is you get an opportunity to see mistakes, weak moves, lack of commitment, whatever…as it happens. You also get the opportunity to solve those problems as they occur. Having that outside eye is what the team needs, but it also increases your awareness as an improvisor.

The bad thing is almost the same as the good. With that awareness comes, well, awareness…while you’re improvising. I find myself needing to shut off “coach-mode” during shows I’m performing in. BUT, shutting off coach-mode is a lot easier than getting out of a rut.

So, if you get the opportunity to coach, take it. Even if it is just a one time thing.