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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.
My best friend growing up really put the bug in my ear about acting. We created this one hour-and-a-half improv play when we were 10 or 11 and performed it at the library. We just played off each other so well and had the best time doing it and the funniest part was, we wound up having packed houses, other people loved it too.
I don't like improv at all. It terrifies me. I like to know exactly what I'm going to say. Being surprised does make me a better actor. Anytime I'm afraid of something that makes me rise to the occasion, it scares me, but it's what makes great actors - being in the moment.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
There's sketch, improv, writing, acting, music, and badminton. Those are the seven forms of comedy.
T. J. Miller
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.
The improv, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but when it does, it's like open-field running.
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.
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.
I did sketch comedy, but I never did improv. So I've just tried to learn as I go.
Steve Buscemi is hilarious. He's really, really good with improv.
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.
And I've always loved commercials. I like working out how to organically weave a brand's message into the writing process. It's like an improv show, where comics ask the audience to throw out a word and a skit is built around it.
I always loved acting and improv and sketch comedy and theater, which I did at a local youth theater.
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.
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.
We are going to do 'Hot Tub' until we die. Every Monday. Then we'll come back and do it as zombies. 'Hot Tub' is very important. What we do is based on our live skills. It's stand-up and sketch and improv; everything we do in 'Hot Tub' is important to our jobs. And every Monday I'm excited to do it.
I love improv. 'Crazy, Stupid, Love,' the script was really great, but the directors were open to letting you try different things. And that felt like a muscle I hadn't exercised in a really long time.
I think for anyone - male or female - in improv, the biggest thing to get over is the fear. I think every improviser has that.
In the happy scenes there were really fun times. Sean would say really funny stuff because he likes to improv. I would want to laugh, but you are not allowed to do that during the take.
I was always a big fan of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner's '2000-Year-Old Man' sketch. I think it's one of the biggest influences on the podcast, definitely. You'd never say Carl Reiner was the funniest dude on there, because he's just teeing it up, but he knows what questions to ask to lead to great improv.
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.
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.
With improv, it's a combination of listening and not trying to be funny.
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.
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.'
William Arthur Ward
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Friends and good manners will carry you where money won't go.
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