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Sep
10th
Wed
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9:05am - Comments (View)



Sep
4th
Thu
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Ask us anything!

The improv company I'm in has a team of 7-8 who are responsible for festival shows and a big monthly show at one of my city's biggest theatres. Half of them are selfish, ungenerous performers but are consistently given stage time because they're the senior members. It's really demoralizing as a newer performer (5 years) to see terrible, under-rehearsed work rewarded, especially when attendance at our shows has flagged over the last few years, but how do you tell the house team that they suck?

improvnonsense:

You don’t. Worry about your own work and move on when there’s a chance. It’s not your show, so don’t try to direct it from your head. 

Do the people on the team share your opinion? Probably not, so don’t worry about them. Does the audience like the shows? If not, the show won’t survive. But if the audience does — which I suspect they do — then try and figure out what the show is doing right.

You sound like people who complain that SNL is a bad show. It’s easy to find people who wonder out loud “How can that show be rewarded with its long term success when it (pick one: focuses so much on dumb pop culture, caters to a young audience, runs popular characters into the ground with little variation)?” Rather than figuring out why it is that SNL is the most successful sketch show in American (world?) history (ah, it focuses on the pop culture everyone is talking about, it’s one of the few shows with talent catering to a young audience, it repeats its popular characters).

What I’m saying: You’re being too harsh. The judge who lives in your brain is being given too much power. It will turn on you in times of low confidence and you won’t be able to recover and you’ll quit. Practice compassion and empathy. This paragraph is perhaps too new agey to be accepted at face value, but I suggest you take this advice if you want to be happy doing creative things.

POST SCRIPT (added a few hours after posting): Ugh, I jumped on this in too hostile a manner, which is hypocritical. Though I mean what I say above I want to add that I am sympathetic with the frustration this person expresses. It is frustrating to see people take for granted a good show or a good time slot, etc. I do understand that. But the “judge” thing I speak of —- I know this from experience. If you indulge the part of your brain that is scanning someone else’s show and demanding that it be improved or fixed and wanting to punish those who fall short — that part of your brain will get stronger and turn on you in ways you do not realize. This is the same point but I wanted to add that I also have the feelings you express but I’ve learned they are a red flag to be dealt with in my head for my own sake!

I really, really want to hang out and maybe have a beer with Will Hines.

- vinny

10:33am - Comments (View)



Sep
3rd
Wed
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Can I have a location that fits on this stage?
- vinny

Can I have a location that fits on this stage?
- vinny

9:34am - Comments (View)



Aug
28th
Thu
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4:47pm - Comments (View)



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ucbcomedy:

Words of wisdom from Amy Poehler

A daily dose of Poehler wisdom coming atchya!

(Source: lyceck, via speakeasyimprovnyc)

2:44pm - Comments (View)



Aug
25th
Mon
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splitsider:

"For almost all if not all of us who worked on that show, that is truly the ultimate representation of what it feels like to feel part of a community where everybody just showed up and laughed at everybody else and thought everybody else was brilliant. There’s no competition there’s no weird feelings, there’s no sense of threat. We were doing it because we wanted to. All the pickups were all after the fact. We got on television without ever knowing we would be on television because we were doing it because it was so freaking fun."
- Janet Varney on Burning Love

Big, big fan of Burning Love. One of the best web series’ out there (mostly due to the UNBELIEVABLE cast).
- vinny

splitsider:

"For almost all if not all of us who worked on that show, that is truly the ultimate representation of what it feels like to feel part of a community where everybody just showed up and laughed at everybody else and thought everybody else was brilliant. There’s no competition there’s no weird feelings, there’s no sense of threat. We were doing it because we wanted to. All the pickups were all after the fact. We got on television without ever knowing we would be on television because we were doing it because it was so freaking fun."

- Janet Varney on Burning Love

Big, big fan of Burning Love. One of the best web series’ out there (mostly due to the UNBELIEVABLE cast).

- vinny

7:00pm - Comments (View)



Aug
21st
Thu
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What’s new at Montreal Improv?

Hi Everyone,

There’s a lot of preparation happening for the fall season at Montreal Improv because it’s going to be packed!!  I’m very excited for everything on the horizon and I hope you are too. Below is a brief outline of some of the things you really gotta know about.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at contact@montrealimprov.com.

-MR

Read More

12:12pm - Comments (View)



Aug
6th
Wed
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khealywu:

mikeluciano:

This is almost surreal to watch… Lorne Michaels & the original cast of SNL on Tom Snyder in 1975 a couple of weeks before the show debuted.

Uuuuutterly bizarre.

12:27pm - Comments (View)



Jul
28th
Mon
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The muscles that we use when we are in love with someone are the same muscles that we use when we improvise. What they say to you matters, what they don’t say to you matters. When they touch you it matters, when they don’t touch you it matters. When they touch someone else it matters, when they don’t touch someone else it matters. When they say your name it matters, when they don’t say your name it matters. The muscles that we use in love are the same muscles we use in improvisation, because everything fucking matters.

Dave Razowsky. Taken from a list of memorable quotes from Improvention 2014. 

Sometimes words hit you like a truck. 

(via letstalkimprov)

(via ludusludius)

10:45am - Comments (View)



Jul
19th
Sat
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Learning by Doing

image

Do you let yourself make mistakes?

This morning I took out a sketchpad and some felt tip markers. I didn’t have a clear idea of what I want to create yet, but I touched the tip to the paper nonetheless. As I was drawing, a slip of my hand threw off my design and I was forced to re-adapt. As I worked around the “error”, I was transported back to a time in fourth grade…

The assignment was simple. Everyone was given a blank cardboard umbrella and was told to paint it with a design of their creation. At the end of class, I handed in a bright red umbrella with big black polka dots. 

"Lovely," Mrs. Boone said. "Were you inspired by ladybugs?"

I explained to her that actually, I had a different idea, but as I was painting a big black blob of paint fell on my umbrella and I was forced to change my pattern.

"I like it," she said. "You used a mistake instead of letting it ruin your project."

The moment has stuck with me forever because of the impact her words had on me. The thing is, I never thought of the big black blob as a “mistake” until she said it was. To me, it was simply a thing that had happened, and I adapted accordingly.

Thinking back on the moment this morning, I realized that this is the essence of improv. You simply start something and keep moving in whatever direction it takes you. There are no “mistakes” unless we call them that way. 

-Tasha

12:17pm - Comments (View)