This week I was meant to be part of an Improv show but due to being ill i had to cancel it. In fact, i have been feeling rough all week so I decided not to go to lessons at all this week and take time to just focus on getting better and sort of reflect before everything exciting kicks off again next week…
Facebook memories reminded me that it was exactly a year this week since I did improv up in the North East. I know tend to mention the Newcastle Improv scene from time to time but I do sometimes miss it quite a lot – because the scene isn’t as big as the London Improv scene it is like one big family and you all tend to know everyone and it was a great environment and I absolutely loved being part of that. Saying that, the London Improv Network is a great place and thinking about it, I can’t believe I have been a part of it for 11 months.
The first lesson I went to was a drop in with The Maydays in a room was buzzing withs lots of improvisers and was all about short form improv. I don’t remember a lot apart from doing a scene about a diving board and creating laughter by playing the scene similarly to something that I recently did in a scene in Newcastle. That seems so long ago now and so much has happened since then. I have been to many drop ins from many different teachers, done an eight week course, formed a improv troupe, made friends and been welcomed into the London Improv Scene.
The thing about the London Improv scene is that is very huge. So huge, that at first I felt incredibly overwhelmed by it. In fact, some times even to this day I feel a little bit like that – there will always be that improviser that knows more improvisers then you or that other improviser that dos more shows then you and whilst thats fine it can make you miss the old ways of what you are used to.
I feel that since moving back to London and joining the improv scene I have learnt a hell of a lot, being welcomed into the world of advanced short form made me fall in love with it even more, and being introduced to Long Form has been fun and made it more a storytelling device. I have learnt a lot about the many different ways that you can perform improv and seen a lot of acts perform it – some good, some not as good but overtime you learn something new from it.
As i head into my second year of being in the London Improv scene there is one thing I want to do a lot more of and that is performing. I love being on stage and from being on stage and acting the clown and hearing the laughter, that has made me want to do it even more. I miss being in Newcastle and being part of a show every month – due to things happening away from improv this has not been possible so far this year, but things are set to change hopefully so fingers crossed!
With a high majority of the London Improv scene being very addicted to Long Form means that short form sort of gets snubbed a bit, but if i am honest i miss performing it so much! I am enjoying the long form but being silly, thats what I miss. I like being goofy on stage in short turn arounds as it makes a smile for the audience and is a bit like watching television – its easy to digest and you don’t have to think too hard when you watch it.
Heres to another year in London and seeing what the future holds! Here are a few Improvelutions (like New Years Resolutions) I want to make for myself in this new year:
- Stop being the nice girl
I have recently been coached a lot by Carleen by C3 Something as I am training alongside a Long Form group called Talking Dog and one thing she has told me to focus on is not always being the nice girl. For example if you are in scene and something awkward comes up in a scene make a decision and stick with it – don’t let them persuade you to go the other way.
2. Be the character you want to be
I find with improv, especially drop ins, its realllyyyyy hard to do characters. I love being characters and doing silly accents and walks but I find when you don’t go to real lessons but drop ins you look an idiot doing a character. This year I want to do MORE characters and BE the characters !
3. Perform more!
It’s been something I wanted to do from the start but work and life has sadly got in the way. I feel alive when I am on stage and love performing and I even got to be the host of a show this year which was really fun too! I want to be on the stage more in year 2 and do as many shows as i can
4. Delve more into Long Form
I feel like I am just diving into what Long Form is and I know that there is a lot more areas to explore – so that is what I am looking forward to – exploring these new and exciting areas!
5. But don’t forget about the Short Form
The thing I love about having a short form team is being silly and we try and create a show that has entertainment factor to the audience. This can be pretty hard when the audience is mainly improvisers but its ok we will keep developing and getting things done our way.
I love writing the Improv Diaries and they will return next week – but there will be new branding so keep an eye on it 😛