Since Friday evening, Denver and the surrounding areas have been slammed with snow, borderline blizzard conditions. The Denver metro area received anywhere from twelve to thirty-one inches of snow so far, with the foothills getting the brunt of the snowstorm.
Improv is like a spring snowstorm. This blog is dedicated to the second spring snowstorm in Colorado and three examples of how it is like improvisational comedy.
We are all in it together.
This may be the only thing that gets every Denver citizen through the storms; knowing we are all in this together. Same goes with improvisation. Like improv, when everyone works for the common goal, the group is successful. Even with inches falling by the minute, people still have to get around. The snowstorm doesn’t clean itself up. Some people remain home, some people drive on the roads, some shovel the streets and some plow the highways. By encouraging every person to do their part, the snow storm becomes a beautiful mess everyone lives with. In improv comedy, everyone also plays a role. Some are the drivers or the scene, some are support and some stand on the backline. We’re all in this together.Changing your plans.
Everyone woke up with plans and they quickly changed. If you were planning on sipping mimosas on a patio, that may have changed to you shoveling your drive-way. Use that exact same analogy when talking about improv- you may have entered the scene holding a mimosa, but your scene partner is shoveling snow. Bam! That champagne flute can be justified as anything, maybe a tiny shovel. The thing with improv and a blizzard is that we do not control it and easily get plans changed.
See the beauty in it. Say yes!
Sure, the spring snowstorm destroyed blooming tulips, snapped trees in half and mounted cars with inches of snow. Same thing can happen in an improv scene, the conditions seem deplorable. At a glance, all of this makes for horrendous conditions- in improv and in a storm. Using the improv philosophy ‘everything is a gift,’ enable yourself to see the beauty of the gift. The snow is beautiful white blanket to remind everyone how wonderful spring is. Enjoy it and say yes!
Jon Jon Lannen is a writer, performer and instructor at the Voodoo Comedy. He loves improv a whole lot. More on him here.