There is one thing that fascinates me about improv and that is how it is portrayed in Television and Film. This is becoming more and more apparent in recent years because the comedy art form is sort of in fashion. There are some interesting topics that we can gain from these ways they are displayed so every so often we are going to look at different scenes from different shows and films.
I always like to listen to podcasts as you end up finding out about different things that you may have not known before as well as being entertained. Ever so often there will be some actor that I will listen to be interviewed that may be of some relevance to the other day I listened to an episode that had some interesting discussions.
Conan Needs A Friend is a great podcast for finding out more about the background of an actor. I was listening to an episode with Jake Gyllenhaal where they were having an in depth conversation about acting. One of the topics that he discussed was that if you take yourself too seriously it will not be fun anymore. I think this is a really important point that should sort of be thought about when thinking about improv. When you start taking the comedy format too seriously the fun will eventually come out of it.
There are times with improv where I have focussed more on making sure that the show will be perfect for the audience that it has taken out the magic of the actual comedy format. When that happens, I have to take a step away and really focus on what is the most important thing about performing. This is what a lot of improvisers can do – they can get lost in the ideology of being on stage, trying to be the ‘star’ and trying to get the stage time that the fun can be forgotten about.
This is ok in small doses but if you cannot shake this feeling it can lead to improv being too much of a serious thing then actual fun. That is why I enjoyed this particular episode, it really sort of got to a point that I had not really thought about in a long time and it made me realise it really is easy to fall into the world of .