Longterm goals as an improviser?

Discussion of the art and craft of improvisation. All skills-levels welcome.

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Postby Spots » December 31st, 2012, 5:25 pm

jrec747 wrote: My longterm goal as an improviser is to be on a team that does a show so well, that it inspires someone in the audience to pursue improv for the rest of their life, just like I did.




This is a big big big one. Absolutely love it.
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Postby booksherpa » January 1st, 2013, 3:13 pm

- Take a class beyond 101
- Learn and play some long form
- Form a practice group
- See some improv in NYC
- Stop fearing gibberish
- Be as confident being me in everyday life as I am when I'm being imaginary people in improv. Embrace every day with the same sense of enthusiasm and adventure that I embrace improv with.

Oh, wait, those are short term....

- Be on an amazing team with great chemistry that performs regularly
- Have improv be part of my every day life
- Perform in a Harold
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Postby Spots » January 1st, 2013, 4:56 pm

booksherpa wrote:- Stop fearing gibberish



You should make a post about this! What does it mean?
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Postby Spots » January 1st, 2013, 6:55 pm

valetoile wrote:-write more sketch, and debut my new sketch duo (with Amy Gentry) next week at No Shame. Watch out world, here comes Rutger Hauer. That is our name.



This is the first time seeing this! Val, how is Rutger Hauer coming along?
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Postby nadine » January 1st, 2013, 9:16 pm

Find a husband.

... Done!
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Postby scott.hearne » January 2nd, 2013, 12:10 am

scott.hearne wrote:My improv performance goals:

1. Love --- Always, always, always support my stage and scene partners.

2. Have fun!

3. Work hard on becoming a better improviser. Take workshops and classes from the best teachers.

4. Become a better listener and accept all offers. This does not always mean saying "Yes, and". Sometimes, saying "No, because..." is consistent with your character and is in fact accepting an offer and is a "Yes". In my humble opinion, this is an essential part of creating believable and relatable characters.

5. Allow events and words on stage to profoundly affect my performance. When things matter to my character, everything is better.

6. Establish meaningful relationships in every scene.

7. Get in the habit of mentally asking this question before I enter a scene: "Do I want to enter or is this an appropriate time to edit?"

8. Work on mirroring the energy of my stage partner and bring a different character with the same energy.

9. Play improv festivals.

10. Elevate The Seven Eight Sevens to the next level.


I've done my best to achieve the above goals. Some of my goals have changed and my opinion has shifted. To be continued...

I will write a new goals list for 2013!
"Great improvisers never look worried onstage. It's not that they became great and stopped worrying, they stopped worrying and then became great." - Miles Stroth
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Postby valetoile » January 2nd, 2013, 1:14 am

Spots wrote:
valetoile wrote:-write more sketch, and debut my new sketch duo (with Amy Gentry) next week at No Shame. Watch out world, here comes Rutger Hauer. That is our name.



This is the first time seeing this! Val, how is Rutger Hauer coming along?


Oh yay! Rutger Hauer has combined with Confirmed Bachelors to produce Every Girl's Annual! Which is me, Lydia Nelson, and Amy Gentry. We had our first performance as part of This American Live at the Institution a few weeks ago, and we're performing at Cheer Up Charlie's for the Winter Release party for Vagina: The Zine on January 12 at 9:00 pm. We've got tons of material written and even more ideas, and we're super excited to put it up on stage!

Thanks for asking, Jesse.

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Re: Longterm goals as an improviser?

Postby MrAndrewJ » February 18th, 2013, 8:40 pm

It's been about a year since my first free workshop. Even these short term goals have long-term reasons behind them.

I want to branch out past the Institution (although it will always be where my heart calls home) and learn improv from different angles. I love playing slow and people react very well when I play slowly. Exploring might help me find the "thing" that connects me with a faster style of play. I would also like to meet more of you face to face, with more frequency. Everyone I've met this year has been really great.

On that note, I really want to risk either Maestro or Fancypants, or both. Short term is obviously playing in one of those shows. Long term is "growing up" and learning to play on unfamiliar stages.

I want to become part of a troupe with a real show, with fliers and a website and real rehearsals that demand my real time.

And, I want to consciously ask myself constantly, "how can I make the other players look better?" instead of only feeling it when the road feels bumpy.
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Re: Longterm goals as an improviser?

Postby PyroDan » February 18th, 2013, 9:54 pm

This topic has been on my mind for the past couple weeks.

Improv has become most of my life. First it was fun, and I earned and continued to gain valuable friends that are more like family. Then I was able to get dates from it, and that has been nice. Then it really began to become a cathartic therapy for me, in every aspect. Whether it was playing, rehearsing, learning, teaching, coaching/directing or watching. This last one has done so much for me in some very tough times. Improv has really given me a sense of worth in times that I have been really worthless feeling.

That all being said, other than the always improving myself and my use of the craft, I have identified one goal I need to actualize and it could change a lot of things in my life.

My goal now is to make a sustainable living on being an improvisor. It's a difficult goal, as they don't generally have postings on Monster Jobs, and there are few paths that grant success. My life had been too complicated for me to really chase that goal, however right now, I am on the cusp of going for broke.
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Re: Longterm goals as an improviser?

Postby mpbrockman » February 19th, 2013, 12:30 pm

Honestly, I'm at a bit of a loss on this one. After doing the Rock Opera which had me trying to keep up with what was going on onstage while improvising music with all four limbs working independently (more or less). I'm still trying to figure out what the next challenge should be. I can always continue to refine, but technically I feel like I've hit a wall.

When I first started with GGG I had a conversation with Andrea Young. She was concerned about the rate of burnout among their musicians. I told her I had way too much to learn - but to check back with me in five years. Well, it's been 6 or so years now and while I certainly still have things to learn, I definitely feel a little stagnation setting in. Where to go from here? I haven't found a good answer yet.
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Re: Longterm goals as an improviser?

Postby mpbrockman » February 19th, 2013, 12:51 pm

ADDENDUM: I guess the other thing that has me a little down is that I exchanged some e-mails with Keith Johnstone after his visit here and had a good long talk with Laura Hall about what a musical imp does when he feels like he's beginning to approach this/her personal ceiling and want to push through to the next thing. Neither were very encouraging. Laura in particular said that you just keep schlepping your gear around for a few bucks a night for fun when you feel like it or you just pack it in and move on. I still love the community and want to continue, but unless I've got some real challenge out in front of me it's hard for me to stay motivated sometimes.

Hmmm... I guess I need to get creative and invent something that makes me push myself.
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Re: Longterm goals as an improviser?

Postby happywaffle » February 19th, 2013, 12:57 pm

MrAndrewJ wrote:On that note, I really want to risk either Maestro or Fancypants, or both. Short term is obviously playing in one of those shows. Long term is "growing up" and learning to play on unfamiliar stages.


I love to see a goal like "Play in my first Maestro" in a thread like this. You definitely should though. The risk is low, the reward is high (and no, I'm NOT talking about winning Maestro).

mpbrockman wrote:Honestly, I'm at a bit of a loss on this one. After doing the Rock Opera which had me trying to keep up with what was going on onstage while improvising music with all four limbs working independently (more or less). I'm still trying to figure out what the next challenge should be. I can always continue to refine, but technically I feel like I've hit a wall.


I can empathize; your work in Rock Opera was so awesome that I struggle to imagine you doing anything better.
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Re: Longterm goals as an improviser?

Postby mpbrockman » February 19th, 2013, 2:35 pm

Urgh.. thanks!
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Re: Longterm goals as an improviser?

Postby happywaffle » February 19th, 2013, 4:43 pm

mpbrockman wrote:Urgh.. thanks!


(I can certainly see you doing something EQUALLY cool, mind you…)
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Re: Longterm goals as an improviser?

Postby AllisonAsher » February 25th, 2013, 8:35 pm

1. Become better at this shit.
2. Learn as much as I can so I can incorporate the techniques and skills of improv into my scripted theatre life.
3. Learn as much as I can so I can incorporate the skills of my scripted theatre life into improv.
4. Help other people do the same.
5. Find out more about the people that are incorporating improv into other areas (criminal justice, business) to explore ways to pass the biggies of improv to non-performers and make the world a better place.
6. Raise improv in the eyes of the scripted theatre world training centers as something legitimiate (more than "cute" or the bastard performance stepchild).
7. Develop pedaogical techniques for training improvisers in the "supplemental" skills of scripted theatre training, and in training scripted actors in the skills of improv, and then teach them.
8. Get some research and published papers out there to support the empirical knowledge that we all have of the benefits of improv to performers and non-performers.
9. Have people pay me to do some/all of the above.
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