Comfort zone

“To be able to leave your comfort zone, you must first find yourself in it.” — Roemer Lievaart, 23rd September 2015,

Improv means embracing fear and failure. However, like Tim Orr also said before, audiences don’t want to see shows in which all actors are uncomfortable all the time, since that makes them feel uncomfortable too.

The idea that Roemer Lievaart defends in his blog post on (in Dutch) is that we prefer to see improvisation actors who are generally in their comfort zone on stage, but dare to take risks.

Moreover, as actors, he argues, don’t we also prefer to play with people we feel comfortable with?

As improvisers, we have to leave our comfort zone — the more the better — but in order to leave it, you must first find yourself in it. It’s like finding a stable platform to jump off of.

On failures and mistakes

“Failures and mistakes are great fun, but they should not be your only option.” — Tim Orr, 18th May 2013, Antwerp (BE)

Improv embraces failure and mistakes like nothing else does. At improv workshops we regularly encourage each other to take risks, enjoy fear and fail good-naturedly.

However, it is very important that you commit and try hard in order to reach an honest failure. Even more so, succeeding should be within the range of possibilities.

So, aim high and far, but don’t set ridiculous goals either. Nobody enjoys watching you fail to jump three metres high, but watching a person who can’t really sing commit to a love song can be awesome.