Things that prevent me from kicking ass at improv

  1. Slow wit. This was something I’d hoped to address through taking an improv class, but you can’t work miracles in eight weeks. Unfortunately, I don’t know if this is something that can develop over time, or if I’m just stuck with a slow brain.
  2. Inexperience. Some things, like gifting information, will become easier as I do them more and more. Neural connections will be established;  synapses will get used to firing in new ways; patterns will be recognized more easily.
  3. Lack of attention. Generally, in life, I tend zone out every 45 seconds or so— laser focus has never really been my thing— and I can’t DO that in improv. EVERYTHING is important.
  4. Staying in the moment. I break character wayyyyy too often.
  5. My “mind’s eye” needs work. My partner is doing object work, what? If I can’t figure out what the hell he’s doing (see “slow wit”), I ignore it. [cue WRONG BUZZER.]
  6. Fear. Stage fright has never been a huge problem for me, and I’m pretty comfortable with public speaking. I know what I got up there to do, and I’m mentally in an okay space. With improv, though… I don’t know what I’m doing up there. I go blank. Deer in the headlights. Even without the pressure of an audience, I avoid initiating because I rarely have ideas. Do I rarely have ideas because I’m uncreative, or because fear (of failure, of looking dumb in front of my classmates, of initiating a scene that can’t go anywhere) is paralyzing me? I hope it’s the latter. Fear seems conquerable. Uncreativity doesn’t.

Reasons I took that first improv class

  1. Be less inhibited.
  2. Learn to think faster, be quick on my feet, be witty.
  3. Learn how to be funny without alcohol. <–getting there!
  4. Hold a conversation, especially one that doesn’t devolve into “oh… that’s nice…!” [awkward silence]
  5. Challenge myself to do something outside my comfort zone.


Not reasons I took an improv class, but useful side benefits I’m finding as I go along:

  1. Resiliency. <– This is huge.
  2. Community.
  3. I’d forgotten how much I love watching improv.