This may seem like a really random part but it is one that is pretty relevant to an improv show believe it or not. If you have a huge improv show try and set a band you like the night before. OK, so 99.9% of the time life doesn’t create these perfect opportunities but if it does, jump at the chance.
I recently got the chance to see one of my favourite bands before one of our big shows and the adrenaline and natural uplift I got from the concert automatically meant that I was high energy on stage. Seeing a band before your show is a great idea because it also gives you an idea of how professionals approach the stage and perform to the audience. It is really inspirational to see how they use production values to give an audience a great time.
When you look at a band on stage you can really relate to how they use the space and try and transfer that into your own show – think about how you are usually coming across to your audience. It can even maybe allow you to think about thow you can create more visual effects and produce an immersive experience. OK… So I am not saying you turn your show into Glastonbury but production values are really important factor.
Another thing you think about is repetitiveness, I saw The Backstreet Boys before Improv Towers. I saw them in 2011 in Chicago as well and both times they performed their huge singles differently with sometimes different dance routines as well as outfits. Again this is another transferable skill in improv. The more shows that you do, you start to realise you get a lot of the same suggestions (e.g pineapple) and you can take inspiration from the fact bands always keep repeats fresh. So why not do the same thing – don’t approach the suggestions in the same way, always try and think of a new angle.
The final thing to think about Is the lighting – BSB put on a phenomenal light show to be honest it probably isn’t right for an improv night, but why not ask your tech person for the night to add some mood lightning and effects to your show.
The only thing I will say is the negative about seeing a band you like the night before a show is that you may lose your voice!