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My first time performing was in the black box theater of my high school's basement as a member of 'Clownaz,' the school's improv team. We charged money for tickets, saying the proceeds went to our school's recycling program. Then, immediately after the show, we divided up all the money and kept it.
You know how sports teach kids teamwork and how to be strong and brave and confident? Improv was my sport. I learned how to not waffle and how to hold a conversation, how to take risks and actually be excited to fail.
The improv, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but when it does, it's like open-field running.
Improv as an actor makes you present in the moment. You listen, you're attentive. You're not acting so much as reacting, which is what you're doing in life all the time.
There's sketch, improv, writing, acting, music, and badminton. Those are the seven forms of comedy.
T. J. Miller
Very rarely do I talk off the top of my head on stage. I'm not an improv guy. I'm a writer-guy who presents what he's written.
I didn't do improv in college, I never performed, I didn't do theater either. I was in student government, I was a history major.
I feel confident writing on my feet with improv, but it's different when you're sitting down and writing it out.
I joined an improv group in college, which was a lot of fun. After I graduated, I moved to Chicago to try to get into the Second City.
With improv, it's a combination of listening and not trying to be funny.
I was never that good on stage with live improv. I was much better on film or writing something and then thinking about it. I was too in my head when I was on stage.
I'm convinced to do improv. All you have to do is listen to what people are saying to you, and then just add more information to what they've just said. That's all there is to improv, but it's the hardest thing to do.
For 'Iron Man' I had to improv with Robert Downey Jr., which is like going up against LeBron in basketball. At one point he stopped and said, 'Can we give a round of applause to Olivia, because she's rocking it right now.'
I did sketch comedy, but I never did improv. So I've just tried to learn as I go.
I always loved acting and improv and sketch comedy and theater, which I did at a local youth theater.
After college, I knew I wanted to work in comedy, so the first thing I did was go to where the comedy was. I moved from Charlottesville to Chicago, because that's where The Second City and Improv Olympics are. You have to go wherever you need to go to study what interests you.
Almost every college playwright or sketch or improv comedian was sort of aware of Christopher Durang - even kids in high school. His short plays were so accessible to younger people and I think that was inspirational to me.
I never did improv professionally, but that was certainly in my training as an actor. I like it.
My brothers and I always did improv stuff in our basement with our friends; we're super nerds, and that was our way of spending a Friday night.
I think there's something really freeing about improv, that it's a collective, creative, in-the-moment piece. That's really exciting and really frustrating, because it's there and gone. There's an amazing interaction with the audience that happens because they are very much another scene partner.
What I don't like is when I see stuff that I know has had a lot of improv done or is playing around where there's no purpose to the scene other than to just be funny. What you don't want is funny scene, funny scene, funny scene, and now here's the epiphany scene and then the movie's over.
When I finished my residency in New Orleans, I went to L.A. where I would work as a doctor during the day, and then at night I would actually go to The Improv and do standup, all the while kind of cultivating my comedy resume.
The current Babe Ruth of improv? Sacha Baron Cohen. He's pretty amazing.
Things that make me laugh range from a wonderful stand-up like Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K. and Chris Rock to my son Gabe, who does great improv work. I also look backwards to the great comedic actors like Jackie Gleason, Paul Lynde and Phil Silvers.
I was on the improv team in high school, and after I graduated, I joined an improv company that had been established 10 years prior to me getting there. They did longform improv, and I fell in love with it. It's acting, character creation, collaborative, artistic expression and comedy - and it's scary. It was a big rush.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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