Improv Corner – Nerves? What Nerves?!

Ever so often, I will have a look at those things that people describe as ‘women magazines’ you know, the ones like Heat, Love It (is that still going?), Marie Clare and Glamour. I usually tend to read them when I am at the hairdressers, but ever so often a producer will pop into the edit suite with a magazine and i will have a sneaky read when they have finished with it.

I came across an article recently in the 17th September 2018 issue of Grazia (yes, I know it is October apologies for the wait but wanted write a proper article and haven’t had a lot of time recently) where actor Dominhall Gleeson was being interviewed to promote his latest film The Little Stranger (which also stars Ruth Wilson and Will Poulter if you are interested). I wouldn’t usually read an interview with Dominhall Gleeson because I don’t tend to like a lot of his films, however the quote that was in big bold letters really stood out and inspired me to write an article.

Here is the quote that I read:

‘Being nervous when you go to work makes you feel alive’

Now, the reason that this quote stood out to me was because in some ways this quote really relates to improv especially when you first start perfoming but lets be honest it relates to all of us. I remember the first time I did improv in front of an audience I felt so nervous, the waiting is the hardest part, the thing that you really want to do is just go up on stage and get it over and done with. The whole idea of standing in front of a crowd and ‘failing’ is pretty intimidating to think about however once you have done your first scene the adrenaline rush is absolutely insane and that is one thing that makes it fantastic.

I think the one thing that I have realised when performing comedy is that if you don’t feel nervous before you go on stage then you need to push yourself harder or challenge yourself to do something that makes you nervous. Whether that is trying out a new character or being more physical on stage.

It may seem a really crazy statement but feeling nervous is what makes improv FUN! I love doing Improv Tower nights because the majority of our audiences are non improvisers so you want to try harder to impress people and really make them enjoy the show. I do find when I do a set and I know that it is going to in front of other improvisers I do not feel nervous and some would say that is too ‘comfortable’ and that i may not be pushing myself as hard as i possibly should.

So the next time you do a show and you feel a real rush of nervousness don’t look at it as a bad thing because it is more then likely a very positive thing. It means you really care about what you are doing and that is important.


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