I have been doing improv for quite sometime LOOK AT MY FACE RIGHT. Even now, when I audition can you improv? Yeah, sure why not. Way back about hundred years ago when I was teen I had a gig with Planned Parenthood it was one of my first jobs! Basically, I worked with a improv group that would go to schools and talk to teens about life, peer pressure and being responsible. That was first acting job or improv gig!
Here is a list of basic improv that you should remember and what I learned!
Say Yes and, always after Yes add (new information), Avoid Questions, Location and the Details and never block doing the opposite of saying “yes” and last but not least RELATIONSHIP and WHO you are!
Later, I would end up doing improv in acting class to loosen up and learn to listen and to be quick on my feet and after studying at Second City I really appreciate the masters. At Second City one of the exercise’s was: we would stand in two’s face each other and quickly establish what I just mentioned above within one minute without the other person knowing anything before hand.
My influences growing up were Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Jim Belushi the one and only Robin Williams. Robin’s passing left us all in shock and he left us way too soon.
I began to think couple of days ago what that meant the “influences”. We tend to take it for granted that they somehow will be with us forever a friend who we can laugh with.
Robin Williams allow and created a space for the unusual and the quirky with his influence in comedy sitcom’s today and stand-up are forever changed and his wonderful character work in Mrs. DoubtFire to Goodwill Hunting and Night of the Museum will last generations to come.
I also realized that his comedy influenced me as an actress but also as a writer because without his genius and many like him before I would have not had the courage to write “Redneck Weddings”.
To be able to create bold characters and the off- center-ness and the sketch tone in my comedy pilot, because of them I had the freedom to go there! Without the Greats, leading the way and making it acceptable to be freaky or out there or just reflect real life the world would be a lot different and may I add TV would have been a lot different too!
Bless Gary Marshall, one of the producers that created Mork & Mindy to see Robin’s Gift an let him be able to do his thing!
Even talk show hosts were influenced by Robin, Richard, Jim the whole industry for that matter.
Jimmy Fallon honoring Robin Williams on the Johnny Carson Show.
It will be interesting to see who comes up ten years from now and what new trend of comedy will endure but like what Marlon Brando did for film acting Robin, Jim and Richard did for comedy. They took us to places and characters that we all knew and gave us a slice of life and that is why it was so funny!
All I can say, they must be having one big party in the sky!
They made their mark!
May you all rest in peace.