Last week we had visitors! Melissa Cabral of Good Day Sacramento came out to Blacktop Comedy. We spent some time demonstrating improv, showing Sacramento how supportive improv can be. We shared a couple "rules" of improv: "yes, and," and "don't try and be funny." We even got Melissa onstage to improvise with our cast. We played some of our favorite short form improv games like Freeze, and I'm a Tree. She's good! Though, she thought she didn't do well. Doubt creeps into everyone's mind. She's an experienced reporter, with hundreds of hours of live in-field experience, thinking on her feet, adapting to situations, and even she wasn't immune to, "I wasn't good!" We pointed out her successes, and they were many. She listened really well, and used space objects (mime). She frequently was living in the moment, and helping her partners look good. It's not that she was initially dismissive of "what" she did well. Melissa, in fact, didn't even consider her sucesses. They weren't on her rader to either acknowledge or dismiss. She was initially demonstrating these improv rules on autopilot, and therefore, after the piece on Good Day Sacramento, as they were packing up their equipment, and ready to shoot off to another spot in Rocklin, she didn't congratulate herself. She didn't even see anything to congradulate.
That's one great thing about improv, and working with your team. They're so quick to notice the things you didn't. It sounds a little, "um, yeah, obvious," but we're with ourselves all the time! What we do becomes unremarkable. Well, unremarkable to us. That's where a fantastic improv team comes in. They can help pick you up, brush you off, and point of what you did well.
Teams are more then just great confidence boosters. They can see things you miss, can help you recognize parts of your improv game you need to improve. Do you need to work on heightening, characters, or entrances? Maybe you have a verbal or physical crutch you have never noticed. We all have physical and verbal space fillers.
I literally used to try and FILL UP space, by shifting my weight from my left foot to my right foot, and back again. I would just sway onstage. Ever try to looking powerful and sway? It's hard! Fortunately, a member of the team let me know. It was a face palm moment. Of course! That makes sense. I had never noticed.
It was great being on Good Day Sacramento! Want to see our clip with Melissa Cabral? Check it out!