Tag Archives: improv

Ambition vs. learning


David Foster Wallace on Ambition (animated interview from PBS Digital Studios)

There are lots of things that interest me about doing improv, but one of the top is that there’s no time when you’re performing improv that you can perfect anything. The scene you are making exists, and then it’s gone — it exists perhaps vaguely in your memory, and maybe a bit more clearly in the memory of the audience, but there’s nothing else to show it ever even happened. And what this means is that you can’t worry about polishing or revising or rethinking. Whatever you were able to do was as good as it could be. Continue reading Ambition vs. learning

If I had a tale that I could tell you, I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile

Last Saturday night, I sang the opening lines of John Denver’s 1974 hit “Sunshine on My Shoulders” to an imaginary patch of petunias. I sang it solo and a capella, in front of a packed audience.

I am not a great singer, but it was a great moment. It was the end of a scene I was improvising with my buddy Chelsea for ourĀ Improv Level 1 Class Show. I needed to sing something, and that was the first song that came to mind. I think is was kind of the perfect song for the moment.

If you are sad you missed last Saturday’s show, do not despair. I’ll be performing again this Thursday, along with several of the quick-witted and fun people from my class plus a few more experienced improv-ers. And it’s not just a regular improv performance: It’s a competition, a battle for the hearts and minds (and votes) of the audience. It is THE CAGE MATCH. Continue reading If I had a tale that I could tell you, I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile