The Improv Life: Making Up Your Own Rules

Big Selfie at the Improv Collective on Friday, 09/23/16, a really good show. 

Big Selfie’s Big Five For Big Fun

I’m Head Over Heels right now for my Armando group, Big Selfie. Based out of Orange County, we tell stories, we do scenes based off those stories, and we have fun. That’s our mission statement. However, the more we play together, the more we discover our team values and goals. Here they are: 

1. Do Good Work—do work that you’re not ashamed of, work that you’re proud to tell others about, and are excited to do. Good work means looking forward to the process and not obsessing over the result; if you focus on the process, the result will take care of itself. 

2. Agree to Everything—when building a shared universe, every choice is true, valid, and a new thing to build on. It forces you to drop your idea and develop a universe with the information that you have. It’s a weird type of deep listening and Yes Anding. 

3. Embrace every gift—treat every gift as a precious and unique thing that is yours to interpret and play with. A gift is just that—something that I give to you to play with in your own unique and individual way. Always give a gift and always appreciate a gift by Yes Anding the Hell out of it. 

4. Have fun—this is all make-believe play time with very low stakes. A bad scene? You’ll always have another opportunity! A good scene? Awesome, let’s do it again! 

Basically, having fun means not taking the work so seriously that you get in your head and stop deriving pleasure from the process. 

If we don’t derive pleasure from the process—the scenes, games, stories, characters, and relationships we create on stage—then what’s the point? If it’s not fun, it gets harder and harder to show up and do. 

Always have fun. 

5. Have more fun—want to know the secret to great improv? Fun. Fun is key to being open to your partner (listening), building on what’s been established (agreement), and being vulnerable enough to be affected and affect others (connection). 

These rules work for Big Selfie; they may not work for you. At the very least, I hope this inspires you to think about what kind of improv you want to do and how you can bring about it on the world. 

Some team pics.

Love you, Big Selfie.

#improv #ocimprov #bigselfie


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