Last night an owl with eyes of a cold blue fire came to my window. It bore a message, burned into the dried skin of some long-extinct animal. He called himself “Del.” Of course, I can’t know for sure…but here is the letter:)
I have noticed that you partake in the divine art of improvised comedy! What ho! What a joyous endeavor and etc. And although you are not nearly as good as you think you are or hope to be, Dionysius himself would laud your efforts! Huzzah! Oh, allow me to introduce myself: I am the one who helped shape this art form and I influenced most everyone you’ve ever seriously laughed at in your life. Call me Del.
But can I be real for a second? You know how like, in like a improv show or whatever? When some people are out in a scene and then there’s like a back line or a sideline? You guys know people in the audience can see you, right?
Because a lot of times I’ll be watching a show when I’m like inhabiting the body of a mouse or a virgin or something and I’ll notice people who aren’t in the scene have…these looks on their face. Like they look like they’re bored or judging the show or are afraid of what they’re seeing. What the heck, baby? And then as an audience member I’m like: “well what am I here watching this for? I could be off looking for cheese or losing my virginity.”
And then there’s body language. People are like, leaning on walls. Or about to sink into the curtains. But then other times people are leaning way too forward, posturing like: “put me in, coach! B’YAHH!” And even that distracts from what’s happening on stage. At least those folks have their heart in the right place.
Just, like, be neutral-to-happy. You’re lucky to be on stage in front of people. And you’re luckier to be on stage with players who support and encourage you. And you’re lucky even in the moments you aren’t in the scene. Your face and body language should reflect that. People should see your face on the sidelines and go, “Oh, right I should look where they’re looking–the action on stage.”
(These guys nailed it!)
For the gods’ sake, people actually paid to watch you and your friends make things up.
Sorry to go off on a whole thing just then. I think it’s great that people do this stuff. And it’s even greater when people try to be their best at it and they appreciate it and let the audience see they appreciate it and are humbled by it all. Huzzah.
I thank you for reading my message. And now it is time for me to leave my latest corporeal form and get back to what I do best: giving writer’s block to people who arbitrarily shit on improv.
Cthugh thlu perompi! And Adieu!
P.S. I know Bill Murray
(After I finished reading, the owl flew off and somehow…I feel…dissolved into the universe)