In the middle of a set recently, I looked around at all my male teammates and realized that I’d played ALL of their girlfriends or wives at some point in the past 30 minutes or so. We’d been on first dates, vacationed unhappily, dealt with rambunctious children, awkwardly broke up. Aw, crap. I fell into the girl trap.
Too often, the only female improviser onstage is immediately cast into a romantic relationship with her male scene partner. And I’ll admit that sometimes I’m super lazy and cast myself in those roles because that is the first thing that comes to mind when I see a man and woman onstage together. Boy and girl? They must be in a relationship!
And I’m ashamed that I do that because there are SO many other relationships that men and women have. Coworkers, adversaries in a science fair, spies, zoologists studying pandas, the list is endless. It is literally endless. In fact, the romantic relationship is the only finite one. Seriously, girls, how many men do you know in your life? A ton, right? And how many of them are you in a romantic relationship with? Unless you are in some crazy, polygamous religious sect, the answer is probably ONE. But you still interact with the other ones.
So that is my challenge to myself and you: get out of the girlfriend trap. Stop being a foil for the male character play against. Be something else besides just “the girl.”