When you are on stage (or even online) and ask the audience for a suggestion of a profession, there will be someone who makes an offer that you may not know what that job is. When improvisers are presented with this offer they are not familiar with what it is, there is something they do which every improviser should try and avoid, they go into a scene and say ‘it’s my first day.’
Saying that it is your first day on the job in a scene automatically makes an improv situation easier for you but actually harder for your teammate. You have now forced the other members in your team to be the professionals on stage. This ends up the scene being a teaching scene and whilst at times these may be ok on stage, a lot of the time these scenes can fall a bit flat and puts a lot of responsibility on one improviser.
It is an easy trap to fall into, especially when you are new to improv but do try and get out of this habit quickly. Pretending it is your first day is a way of taking out the endless opportunities you can have in a scene.
Ok, I admit – if you get given a profession you know nothing about or don’t know what it is, it can be really scary or daunting to anyone, it used to be for me. However – who says in improv you have to play true to what that profession actually is?
Just because in real life a profession is a certain thing doesn’t mean that it has to be that in the improv world. For example, in an improv scene that I was a part of I didn’t know what the profession was so I winged it and made something else up. The audience found it funny and enjoyed the new twist and the different take on it. Whilst it was nerve-wracking at first I bit my tongue and made the decision to play it my way.
Photo Credit: https://www.ratedradardetector.org/