I’ve been holding off on answering this one because I have no real experience in this sort of thing. I’ve written sketches but not in many years and not using improv. I’ve read about it and I have a few ideas but I don’t like to write about things without having a little firsthand experience.
That doesn’t usually stop me.
How to create a sketch show? Write a bunch of sketches. Revise them like crazy. Write in pairs. Pass it to someone to edit. Find the best person for each role. Forget who wrote what. Figure out your blocking, props, costumes and transitions between sketches. Vary the pace, energy, themes and kinds of jokes. Perform them in front of people to get real feedback. Re-write like crazy. Rehearse like crazy. Use music wisely.
How do you use improv to do that? Write sketches and improvise new lines. Find new games to play within the scene. Write outlines of sketches. Improvise from the seed of a sketch. Improvise beyond the end of the written sketch. Improvise what happens before the start of the sketch. Re-write. Rehearse. Do an improv show. Note what worked. Write sketches based on that.
How long does it take? Start now. You’ll never feel like it’s done. Never stop writing. Keep a notebook. Everywhere. Keep pen and paper by your bed.
Here’s a podcast where they discuss this very topic:
Finally, keep writing.
If you’re following it on iTunes, then this is old news, but Episode 4 of The Follow-Up is now live.
We raised some cash for Doctors Without Borders, discussed Cap’n Crunch’s real name and generally roused some rabble.
Next month’s episode will be on March 3rd at the same time, same place (Le Cagibi, 9pm). However, there will be a special guest host and crew. Marc and I will be off in Europe (more on that later) so we’ve grabbed Montreal Improv’s own sketch class teacher to host the show: Anders Yates. You may get excited…. NOW!