Improv Corner – Improv In The Media – You Made It Weird With Peter Holmes

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.

Sometimes listening to a podcast can inspire you to think about other aspects (read out latest feature strand here) and I find that when it comes to improv, there are a lot of key skills you can learn even if the conversation is not relevant to the comedy form. A conversation or a scene can lead to ideas and thoughts about improv arise and today we are heading over to the podcast You Made It Weird With Peter Holmes and a conversation with the comedic actor French Stewart.

The podcast mainly talks about French Stewart’s life and career – if the name or the voice sounds familiar to you it is because French was Harry Soloman in the television sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun and has been in many films and shows since including Mom, The Middle and Inspector Gadget to name a few.

I was listening to this show to just find out more about the actor and also to see if there was anything that could be relevant to improv – and just by luck there actually was! It was not about the comedy art form but you know me, I can always hear something that relates in a certain way and prove an important point about the area.

Peter Holmes and French Stewart started to talk about how he met his ex-wife and his current wife and they started to discuss the fact that he had met both of them on the set of a show or a project that he was working on. In this section of the podcast they started discussing the ideology of ‘ the best version of yourself.’ They discuss the fact that both of his wives he met at a time when he was on a television show or behind the scenes where you are at the best version of yourself due to the way that the hairdressers do up your hair, the stylists dress you etc etc. This got me thinking about improv.

Unlike other styles of comedy or theatre that you have on stage, improv can be a lot more ‘revealing’ and it can be very hard to always show ‘your best you’ on stage and in some ways in can be a lot more honest and true to the audience. I think that is why audiences tend to really like it because there is no escape from the reality on stage – you can initially try to be the best version of yourself but that can easily go out the window when you start reacting to the scene in front of you.

That is why this podcast is so interesting, I never really thought of the reason why actors date each other is due to the fact they can see each other in a really strong light when you are made up to the nines and in a role or a character, it is a really interesting thing and also very unique thing to think about.

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