I performed in an improv show at a comedy festival in Greenville, SC last weekend that went so well I thought afterward I might make it my last.
The six people I played with were drawn from other Southeastern improv troupes, and together we formed a festival supergroup. The other improvisers varied in closeness to me from perfect stranger to loose acquaintance. We performed on a stage I’ve never considered mine and one I’ve never spent time managing. We got good laughs from the audience, and afterward, just enough people told me I was smart and funny.
It was an emotionally unencumbered high, and one that tempted me to walk away. Because I love creating with other people, but I hate wanting things from them. And when I’m in a group I find myself wanting things: commitment, shared vision, similar ambitions.
With the festival group, it was good time casual improv. Afterward there would be no one to miss or be disappointed with or regret leaving. As a result, during the show I was able to “just have fun out there” which is the advice that improv teachers and coaches always give their students and teams.
What comes next for me in improv has been weighing heavily on me during the last few shows I’ve done in Atlanta. I have another show in a couple weeks, and I’m going to try to channel my improv supergroup attitude and just have fun. Because that’s one of the lovely things about improv that can easily get lost.