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I am a member of the Improv Community

What is a community?

I think we all agree that a community is made up of a group of people with common goals, ideas or needs.  This commonality can be location, spiritual or interest oriented.  The community can not be centered around one person or just one thing or it is just a cult.  It must be something broader that transcends the here and now.  It must be big enough that many different people can find a value of coming together under the umbrella of the community.

Communities are also inclusive.  They bring in everyone and welcome everyone.  They support and encourage everyone at every level of commitment to the community.  If the community stops being patient and starts ridiculing others, it stops being a community and starts being a club or a clique.   Without this idea of supporting and encouraging people to take the next step deeper into the community it fails.

According to the Oxford Press:

The word “community” is derived from the Old French communité which is derived from the Latin communitas (’cum’ = “with/together” + ‘munus’ = “gift”), a broad term for fellowship or organized society.

So community is not only a group of people with a commonality, but a group of people in service, or with a duty to each other.  So community means we are in service to the others in the community.

We in the improv community need to remember to be in service to each other.  Each next level needs to reach out to the level before it and encourage, support and help.

Improv players need to encourage each other.  At the Bovine when we go out on stage the last thing we say to each other is “I got your back”.  We need to act on that on stage and off. Not just to other players, but we also need to reach out to the current students and newbies and encourage them to keep going and keep having fun.  There are no cliques in an improv community, because cliques are divisive, mean and exclusive.

Coaches and teachers need to encourage each other and support each other.  We need to mentor the people who want to coach and/or teach.  We need to encourage the new players and coach the current players to support each other on and off stage.

During classes and rehearsals we need to remember that there are no good players and bad players.  There are only people who want to be a part of this community and we need to encourage and support them.

Simply put, community’s are inclusive, bring everyone up and are about service.

As always, due to the huge amount of spam we receive,  if you please make sure you include the word “improv” in any comments you leave, we will make sure that they get added to the post.  Thanks!

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