Some maths

“Your show = performers + audience + space.” — Will Luera, 21st January 2017, Amsterdam (NL)

The impact of the performers on the show is pretty obvious. The team with which you’re playing is also important on your input to the show. If you’re really there to support your partners, then you play very differently depending on who you’re sharing the stage with.

Then, we all have felt the difference between playing for ten people or a hundred or perhaps even a thousand. But there’s also the difference between playing for children, in front of people with different native tongues, specialised audiences at companies, etc…

Finally, in improv, the so-called fourth wall stands behind the audience, not between the audience and the stage. Use the space in which you are performing to the fullest, let it shape your show.

Obviously, playing in a bar will result in a different show from performing in a grand theatre. Yet, wherever we are, we should always check out the performance space before the show and during the show not be afraid to push the boundaries of what we call the stage.

"Your show = performers + audience + space" -- Will Luera, 21st January 2017, Amsterdam (NL) Click To Tweet

Good improviser

“If you have even only one good improviser on stage, nobody on that stage is a bad improviser.” — Antonio Vulpio, 6th July 2015, Milan (IT)

This is a very bold statement to make, I love it. It tells us that the strength of an improviser lies in making your partner look good, in (over)acceptance.

It reminds me of shows where improvisers create scenes or even longer stories with random audience members on stage. If they do it well, the untrained improviser will still look very good.

Powerful wisdom, this one.

Audience investment

“We have a huge advantage over scripted theatre, because everything we do happens for the first time, for them, with their suggestions. Our audiences are much more invested in our work.” — Dan O’Connor, 5th July 2015, Milan (IT)

It’s not often that we think that improvisers have an advantage over actors in a scripted work. What we do tends to be seen as much more dangerous.

It is therefore very soothing to think about this advantage that we do have. We are getting more credit from our audiences!