The Improv Life: Everything’s Changed, Nothing’s Changed
We used to do shows in Downtown Santa Ana when I first started.
Those shows were special to me because performing in my home town was validation that I was on the right path.
I would ask my work if I could get off early in order to make it on time.
I’d then go to Starbucks, get some coffee, and get in the zone.
Nothing else mattered. My entire week was building up to this moment. We’d then do the show, win, lose, or draw, and then it was over. But I just wanted to be back on stage. The cycle would start over as I waited to be booked.
There would be jams, practices, dinners, whatevs. We did improv wherever they would have us. LA was close, but the cultural distance made it seem a galaxy away.
We were hunter gatherers learning how to kill our food in the parking lots, cafe patios, and random community college spaces of Orange County.
We were our own teachers because that’s just how it was. An exciting time, a time of growth and exploration, a time that would impact us forever.
But doing a show, man. That’s what it’s about. And that’s still what’s it about. Doing a show is the end-all and be-all of this art form for many of us. I know that’s a controversial statement for some, but there’s a different feeling to doing improv in a living room with your team as compared to doing a live show with your friends in front of a packed theater.
The audience, man, we need them. The energy they give us affects how we perform, and this exchange of energy is what makes performing live one of the best experiences on Earth – you’ll get the highest high performing at your peak in front of an engaged audience hanging on to everything you do.
All these years, so much has changed, but the core things remain the same, and that’s why I stay in this amazing game.
#improv #performer #show #theater #dtsa #validation #artist