Ever wanted to take an improv workshop with ComedySportz but nervous about taking your first steps? Worry that you’re not funny or creative enough? Starting improv classes can be daunting but don’t worry, our workshops are fun, friendly and supportive! Here are some tips for taking beginners improv workshops…
Don’t Try To Be Funny!
We make jokes when we’re nervous and uncomfortable and it is quite tempting to try and make jokes instead of engaging with a scene and just trusting that what happens will be funny. Or maybe it won’t; just because we’re called ComedySportz that doesn’t mean every scene you improvise has to be full of laughter! Trust that the funny will come and try to stay in the moment.
Bring A Brick …Not A House
The two most important words in Improv are “Yes, And”, accepting the reality of an idea and then adding something new.
Sometimes we’ll hear people say “I could never do that, I’m not imaginative/funny enough!” This is often because people are afraid of the pressure of having to create everything from scratch and are worried they would have to do all the work! In truth, when we improvise we are mostly reacting instead of creating. By remaining in the moment and just having an honest response to what is happening.
Don’t feel like you have to bring all the ideas at once, it’s a collaborative experience where everyone’s ideas are played with. When you come into a scene, bring a “brick” and build the house together – it’s a lot more fun that way!
Give 100% Commitment
Sometimes, in Improv, things get weird. Scenes might take unexpected turns and tangents, characters might say or do things you weren’t expecting. This can get confusing – especially when you’re trying to figure out the “rules” of improvisation/how to play a game. But if you give a 100% commitment to an idea or exercise, no matter how strange, you’ll be able to relax, enjoy the scene and take in any instructions. Games might seem a little strange – but there is always a point to playing them, even if that point is just to make us feel comfortable acting a bit silly.
“Failure” Is Just Learning
When people hold back at a workshop it is often because they are too concerned with getting things right or trying not to make themselves look silly. However, as above, if you give 100% commitment to an exercise and “succeed”, fantastic, we’ve all learned something! Likewise, if you give 100% commitment to an exercise and “fail”, fantastic, we’ve all learned something!
Anything that goes “wrong” is just an offer – an opportunity for the scene to go in a new direction or an opportunity to learn something new. Failure isn’t scary, it’s an important part of play – so don’t give yourself a hard time about it!
Starting Improv Classes With ComedySportz
ComedySportz UK has been performing and teaching since 2001. Our workshops have featured in The Stage, Cosmo UK and The Guardian. If you’re thinking about starting improv classes with us we’re happy to answer any questions you have before signing up. You can sign up here.
All of our classes and workshop leaders are fully accredited by CSzWorldwide, one of the world’s largest comedy performance schools. So, when you take a class with us, you’re not just benefiting from our experience but the knowledge of over 30 ComedySportz teams worldwide!
Already taken some improv classes and would like to take your learning to the next step? Try our Intermediate drop ins.