The Audience Improviser

by Jan Lefrancois-Gijzen

No performance can ever be replicated. Filmed performances usually don’t translate that well. For example, here are some scenes that were great that turn out to be a little less great when YouTubed:

Improv is best live. I don’t even mean live streaming over the internet, or live on TV. I mean live and in person.

Why?

I believe it’s because you, the audience member, share in creating an improv scene with me, the performer. You and I… feed on each other – in a very not-hot, non-True Blood-y way.

Hot Vampires

Most of our scenes aren’t this hot. Most…

Here are some tips on how to be even more awesome performers/audience members that have helped me:

  • Sit as close as possible to the stage: Contrary to popular belief, we very rarely pick people from the front row. The effect of sitting up front is like being in the first car of a roller coaster, except this roller coaster makes you laugh until you throw up.
  • Laugh: Laugh with your friends. Laugh with the person behind you. Laugh alone. If you think it’s funny… if you think it’s moderately funny… if you think it’s weird… laugh. After the first laugh, the rest of the laughs will come easier. And you will decrease your chances of having a heart attack.
  • Be bold: When we ask for suggestions from you, we genuinely want to be surprised. What’s something that you’ve never seen, done or experienced? Your inner most dreams and desires? Those are perfect.
  • Be bold doesn’t mean be a jerk: Don’t be the person who thinks farts, dildos and gonorrhea  are the best subjects of comedy, because you will inevitably be the only person who thinks farts, dildos and gonorrhea are the best subjects of comedy. That being said, we could probably do that scene and it would be a lot funnier than you thought you were being when you said it.
  • Prepare for something completely different: Sometimes, an improv scene isn’t laugh-a-minute but instead builds tension from different emotional avenues. A scene might warm your heart, make you nostalgic or even illicit a tear or two.
  • Forgive us: We make mistakes. We do bad scenes. We take a little too long to set up a game. We get it – you’re paying to see the show. Just… give us another chance. Please.

Those are just SOME tips on how you can help make our show even more awesome. If you have any of your own, please share them in our comments!

See you Friday!

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