Have you seen the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer? It's pretty entertaining. And, it got me thinking about improv.
Frequently, superheroes manufacture the tools they need to succeed. Well, Superman was born with the tools (strength, heat rays, flying). I'm thinking Batman, and Green Lantern.
Regular people, who have to step up and approach battles differently.
I'm sure I'll get some DC fan grief over these descriptions (here are some Wikipedia links if you'd like to learn the full story about Batman and Green Lantern), but if you're unfamiliar, Batman is a man, who is more detective then superhero. He makes a lot of gadgets to fight evil. Batman is wealthy, but he still has to design and create his tools.
Green Lantern, was originally regular guy Hal Jordan. He acquired a ring and now protects the galaxy. Yep, he can fly, and yes, Green Lantern has a ring, but it's worthless if he doesn't have any imagination. Anything he can imagine, the ring can generate.
Both heroes deal with extraordinary situations that demand extraordinary creativity.
In improv, the exact opposite can happen. We get lulled into uninspired choices, in locations we've visited a million times.
Our locations may be ordinary (subway, park, Starbucks), but we don't have to pair that with ordinary events. Improv is extraordinary. We're creating something beautiful onstage, instant theater we're sharing with an audience, and then it's gone (and, even if it is captured on video it's never the same. It's always a special live event).
We should demand more of ourselves. We can be more creative. I teach improv classes in Sacramento and improv classes in Placer, and frequently encourage students to not limit themselves. Unleash your creativity! Approach the situation like you never have before. The students worry about being perfect, as if stepping into an improv theater demands perfection. "This is a comedy club, right? Will people like me if what I say doesn't get a laugh?"
You can't break improv. Jill Bernard of HUGE theater told me that once. And, despite all my attempts, I can't break improv. You can't either. How many times do you worry, "It won't be funny. I'm going to wreck this scene if I do X"? You can't wreck the scene. You'll alter the path, change the scene forever, but isn't that the point of improv? Isn't that why we do improv? We have a team of artists who will never be together quite like this moment again....let's see what happens!
If Batman serves Gotham, Green Lantern serves Sector 2814, and we serve the improv scene, everything we do is "good." We're trying our best, the team will help us. So, you can ditch that fear, and yes, and whatever wild idea you have in your mind. It's not about perfection onstage, it's about trying. Let go of fear. It's about being a creative, and having a home to be that creative.