Improv in the ’Lab

I’ve seen BoJack Horseman. Both seasons. So the idea of doing improv theatre was… a bit awkward. Still, I’ve played enough Dungeons & Dragons to know that there is a certain power to the theatre part of role-playing games and that’s definitely something I’d like to cultivate. Luckily, FreedomLab had a course on improv theatre to dive into.

Improv theatre at FreedomLab
Improv theatre at FreedomLab

The first session was more or less getting used to that old friend of mine: failure. Improv won’t always work in producing fun results and you need to be able to cope with that. And indeed, I’m pretty ill-equipped to do so. With simple talk and movement based assignments being used to make you fail at your task quite rapidly, the urge to cringe and react to my failures is damn near instinctive.

Even at the end of the session it’s still a difficult thing to let go off, and in its difficulty I find a proper reason to do improv at all. Other tasks involve building upon each other’s cues. Here an overwhelming sense of wanting to be in control is the main bugbear, and although I kind of manage it, it’s still difficult to let go of the notion you need to steer conversations. Especially when just listening and using the cues of your teammates is exactly what makes things work better.

Improv theatre at FreedomLab
Improv theatre at FreedomLab

It’s also damn good fun in making up crazy stories about blue bananas (they talk), golden mountains (from Japan), crocodile cricket (with oranges and squirrels) and robot-kites (don’t be offended). I’m not sure what improv will do specifically for me, but I do get the feeling it’ll help me in general with a lot of communication aspects. Now where’s my cruise?