What’s the drill – April 1: Why Improvisation is no laughing matter

Warning warning, no pranks here. April Fools Day may call for laughs and gags, but it’s often a surprise for people to hear that laughs are not the focus of Improvisation classes.

Many people shy away from taking an Improv class because they don’t think they are funny enough. They fear an Improv stage is only for those who have jokes coming out of their ears.

Not so, I tell them. Why? First, as Improvisers our number one goal on stage is to support our partner.

We must accept and build (“yes, and”) whatever they say or do. Sure, laughs are often the result, but if we are busy thinking of the next “funny” thing or joke to say, or what will get the biggest laugh, we as improvisers are often not listening and therefore not supporting our fellow players.

We acquire tools in our toolbox that allow us to embrace the unknown, build an ensemble, and construct a narrative.

Start with the basic tools, and the laughs do come. Focus only on the laughs, and you’ll never build anything solid.

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