So many people want to get better at Improv (one of the ironies of improv is that you never get better until you stop wanting to be good and just play). I believe that all expertise comes from getting deep into a subject. I also think that it is easier when you are playing games and having fun. With that in mind I have made up “Improv”ing: The Game
Your goal is to get the most points in a week. You can play by yourself or against friends.
You may not score more than 5 points a day.
Here is how you score points:
Performing in an Improv Show = 5 points
Improv Classes = 4 points
Rehearsing for an Improv Performance = 4 points
Watching an Improv Show = 3 points
Reading an Improv Book = 3 points
Talking about Improv = 3 points
Watching Improv on Video/YouTube = 2 points
Immersing in Pop Culture = 1 point
Watching a popular TV show, Movie, Etc = 1 point
Getting drunk = 0 points
Going to a sporting event = 0 points
Going on a date = 0 points
Watching a favorite TV show = 0 points
Weekly activities i.e. Dodge Ball, Karaoke, etc. = 0 points
Visiting with relatives = 0 points
Doing Laundry, Cleaning, etc. = 0 points
25+ points a week = Winner! Great Job! I hope you are having the time of your life, because if you can keep this up you may be doing this for a long, long time. You obviously love improv and you must perform. You go see other shows, you are performing, rehearsing, studying, discussing and thinking about improv more than 5 days a week! You are getting better and having more fun each and every week. You might not see it, but you are growing by leaps and bounds. Have a blast!
20-24 points a week = Really Good Job! You must love this stuff. You must be playing and rehearsing, but you can never watch enough Improv. Go watch some more and deconstruct it, until you see every choice, feeling and reaction. At this rate, in a few months you will be playing at a different level. Keep it up! It’s a lot, but it beats watching TV every night. Soon you will be surprising yourself on stage every time you get out there.
16-20 points a week = Good job. It is hard to get the big points without performing a lot. Form another group and find someplace to play more. Go see more improv. Talk about what you saw and not just evaluate it, but figure out what it was that made it fun or horrible. Go to see all the shows. Be a fixture. You are doing incredible and you should be having more fun each and every week at this rate.
11-15 points a week = Okay. You are into Improv, duh. You may even play, but are you getting better? Are you always out of your head? Are you part of the Improv community? Do you want to? Time to ladder it up a little. At this level you can get better after years of play, why not jump up the commitment a bit and cut that time in half?
6-10 points a week = You have got to get out more to see improv. Talk Improv with the people at the theater. Talk with folks after it. Take a class (or another one). Form your own group. If you want to get good at something you have to do it at least 3 times a week. You are close to something wonderful, keep going!
0-5 points a week = You may be able to enjoy Improv and even understand it more than most, but you are never going to be a great improviser at this rate. Time to re-double your efforts or pick something else to be passionate about and just be content watching and laughing.
That’s “Improv”ing: The Game. I hope you have fun playing!