Monday, April 14, 2008

Improv people are weird. But cool.

When I started the Voyage of Self Discovery last week, I fully assumed my stats would take a beating. (Yes. I check statistics for this blog. I didn't think I cared, but—as I believe we've seen—I lie to me. Often.)

Here's what's hilarious: My numbers actually went up from previous weeks. It's relative, of course—my daily readership barely earns the "s" at the end of "dozens." I'm assuming it's because people have a great deal of time to waste at work and the knowledge there would be daily updates helped a few people avoid thinking about their jobs for another four minutes and seven seconds. 

So you...Inexplicably and Perhaps Morbidly Curious One. Thank you. 

But an even bigger thanks goes to the kind people who wrote, in comments and privately, out of empathy and concern for my mental well-being. It does mean a lot to me, and I appreciate your nice thoughts and ideas. 

Stuff like that is a big driver of the sometimes-unhealthy obsession. Improv people are some of the nicest folks I know. I learned that in my earliest days at then-ComedySportz—to paraphrase Del, the way we do the work on stage does back up into the way we treat each other off stage.

A lot of my favorite improvisers, it seems, share the same qualities:
  • They have enough ego to believe they should be on stage (and to survive when things go horribly wrong), but not so much they think they're better than everyone else up there. 
  • They believe in their ideas enough to throw them out there, but not so much they're unwilling to follow someone else in the next moment. 
  • They know they're good enough to charge admission, but they're self-aware enough to understand they can always learn more and get better.
  • They want new improvisers to be successful. Yes, you have to earn their respect—but they almost always start from a place of openness and optimism.
  • They're generous with their knowledge—they know that the more you give away, the more you get back. 
Why would you not want to hang with these people?


  1. FYI, I rarely show up in your stats, as I subscribe via RSS.

  2. I have a serious background in theater, like, three plays/musicals a year since I was four. Improv people are soooooo much more supportive of one another. It's night and day. Also, we dress cooler.

  3. I would not want to hang with these people. Every single one of them begs for approval.

    Whoever you are, you need to chill out.

  4. Trish, the above rule (actually above and to the right once this posts) says you're not approving anonymous comments. Does that not count if it's pot-stirring, jerkpody one?

    And thank God he would not want to hang out with "these people."


New rule: I'm not approving anonymous comments. If you want to sit at the grownup table, you have to sign your name.

Now c'mon. Pick a fight.