It's not about being funnny

It’s Not About Being Funny If improv is not about being funny, then what is it? You’ve heard it a million times: Improv is not about being funny. But what does that mean? If it’s not supposed to be funny, what’s it supposed to be? I have students pull me aside all the time after […]

My wife thinks I'm not a good actor

10/19/12: My Wife ThinkS I’m NOT A Good Actor I recently had an audition for NBC’s “Chicago Fire.” A security guard, a couple of lines. Pretty easy… or so I thought. But, whenever I have an audition, I put so much pressure on myself that it’s no longer about getting the job, it’s about my self-worth. […]

Keep saying Yes, And

KEEP SAYING YES, AND… When I started taking improv classes in Chicago in the late ’80s and early ’90s the goal was simple: study with Del Close at the Improv Olympic, get hired by Second City and then get on Saturday Night Live. The path was narrow. Anyone who even thought about teaching, directing or […]

Stop Trying to Be Liked

I got into improv for the wrong reason: to be liked. I was looking for everyone to validate me, especially the audience. “Oh, what a noble thing I am doing,” I thought, “making people laugh.” I was lying to myself. I desperately needed their love, and I would bend and twist myself into any shape they […]

Getting back the joy

Recently, a student in one of my Art of Slow Comedy improv classes admitted she had all these judgments about what you should and shouldn’t do in improv and was trying so hard not to make a mistake that she wasn’t having any fun. The sad thing was, she hadn’t even been doing improv very […]

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Don't be afraid of anger

Anger is one of the most intimate emotions and the one many improvisers are most terrified to play on stage. Instead of thinking of anger as a gift to their partner, they think they are doing something wrong. And when even a hint of it starts to bubble up in scene, they stop it immediately, backing away […]

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