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6 Ways to Be the Most Annoying Person in Your Improv Class

If you’ve been taking improv classes for a while, you know that most improvisers are really warm, nice and funny people. But every once in a while, you get someone in your class you just can’t stand. Trust me, you don’t want to be that person. Luckily, I’ve done a lot of thinking about what makes someone an improv pariah. Here are the top six things that will make you the most annoying person in your improv class:

  1. Don’t Bathe
    If you want to be the one person who no one wants to do a scene with, make sure to ignore your personal hygiene. Nothing will separate you from the rest of your class more than funky body odor. Literally. The class will just sit farther and farther away from you until you are are alone on the other side of the room. And what will really piss your class off besides the smell — and that they can’t get within three feet of you without wanting to throw up — is that they can’t say anything about this to your face.
  2. Talk About Yourself Constantly
    This is definitely a sure-fire way to be among the most annoying people in your improv class. If you want to do it right, before people in your class even say hi to you, go right into what you are up to, and never give them a chance to interrupt. Tell them the about the YouTube video you and your friend, Sean, just made, the movement class you just signed up for, and the non-union industrial audition you have next week. Be self-important and ignore any signs that they are bored or are trying to get out of the conversation, because you don’t care. And make sure to never ask them what they are up to.
  3. Sleep Around
    If you are looking to get a reputation, this is not the kind of reputation you want. And believe me word spreads fast. You want to be known for what you do on stage, not in bed. If you are a guy reading this going “this only applies to woman,” chances are you are already doing it, so cut it out right now.
  4. Show up Drunk or High
    Being labeled dangerous in comedy is usually a good thing, except in this case, where you actually a physical danger to the other people in your improv class. If you are already doing this and you think you are getting away with it, you aren’t. No one wants to do a scene with someone who is too drunk to remember what name you gave their character or too stoned to get a callback reference. Students will secretly talk to the teacher after class and let them know that they smell liquor on your breath.
  1. Name Drop
    You’ve got to love this one for the annoyance factor. Every opportunity you get in class, drop the names of improv teachers or established improvisers you “know,” referring to them by first name so it makes sound like you are “really good friends.” Think you’re impressing everyone? Eh, not so much. By the third week everybody will want to kill you.
  1. Be aloof
    Another great way to alienate yourself from your improv class is to be the person who is too cool to do improv. Roll your eyes during the warm games and mutter “This is stupid” under your breath. That will establish you as a dick. Make it clear you don’t want to be there and that you are obviously above all of this. This will give you classmates plenty to talk about at the bar after class, where they will ask each other the same question: Why is this asshole even taking an improv class?

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3 replies
  1. Jordan Weimer
    Jordan Weimer says:

    My number one least favorite personality is a person that doesn’t understand when they’re being sexist.

    In particular, it’s doing or saying things that make female actors visibly uncomfortable. Generally these dudes — in my experience they have been exclusively male — these dudes are not trying to make people uncomfortable, and they seem merely oblivious to how they’re making people feel. And, it’s hard to give a critique to them about the way they’re acting because it seems really judgmental. As a fellow student, I’m left to just witness it silently wondering what the right thing is to do, hoping that it will just go away.

    Reply
  2. Jeremy Moran
    Jeremy Moran says:

    I agree with all of these except for “sleep around”. Who cares? It doesn’t affect your improv unless you feel weird about having had sex with another improvisor and you’re in a scene together. And even then, you should just let it go and try to be in the scene. It’s not anyone’s business what people do in their private lives. And since it’s mostly people gossiping about what women are doing sexually, that’s coming off as extremely slut-shamey and offensive. I’m a big fan of you, Jimmy Carrane, and your blog and podcast helps me A LOT. But on this point, I could not disagree more.

    Reply

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