Dear veteran improvisors

You have a responsibility.

Dear veteran improvisors,

Please love each other.

Please be an example to younger improvisors.

Please play with enthusiasm and an eagerness, and attack the stage.

Please leave if you are no longer excited to play, feeling entitled, bringing a negative energy. You can always come back.

Please start your shows on time.

Please stay off your cell phones during rehearsals.

Please be a nice person.

Please improvise to the best of your ability vs. just showing up, phoning it in with bits, talk negatively about other groups/training centers, or just leaning against a wall.

Please respect people's time and treat the audience like geniuses instead of loathing them or antagonizing them.

Please love and listen.

Please push the boundaries of what can be done.

Please continue to learn, take classes and drop into a beginning level class to relight the fuse of your joy.

Please make improv inclusive instead of exclusive.

If you're no longer excited about it, please stop teaching also. You're unintentionally hurting the art form.

Please follow the examples of the Improv Institute, Sheila, Sirens, Keith Johnstone, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, Cook County Social Club, The Reckoning, Martin De Maat, Joyce Sloane, Don DePollo, Amy Sedaris, Steven Colbert, Steve Carell Ian Gomez, Nia Vardalos, Scott Adsit, TJ Jagodowski, Katherine Gotsick, Dave Pasquesi, Rachael Mason, Phill Arensberg, Kyle Kizzier, Johnnie HIldreth, Shulie Cowan, Bill Chott, Kevin Dorff, Jim Zulevic, Rob Andristplourde, Kevin Colby, Jim McDonnell, ComedySportz, Cheryl Sloane, John Michalski, Dionna Griffin-Irons, Jack Bronis, "Jane", "EbonyEssenceJet", Jay Steigmann, Lisa Bany, Micah Philbrook, Tim Soszko, Judy Fabjance, Stephnie Weir, Bob Dassie, "Wakamalaka", "Jazz Freddy", Ali Reza Farahnakian, "The Family", "Beer Shark Mice", Brain Stack, Joey Bland, Frank Caeti, Beth Melewski, Rashida Sheedz Olayiwola, Mission Improvable, Claudia Wallace, Ranjit Souri, Liz Allen, Ed Dassie, Ed Smaron, Angie McMahon, Bob Curry, Aaran Rhodes, Chicago Improv Productions, Lisa Beasley, Rashawn Nadine Scott, Mike Abdelsayed, Mike Kosinski, Second City Outreach & Diversity, Craig Cackowski, Jill Eickmann, Stir Friday Night, Michael Gellman, Scott Goldstein, Jimmy Carrane, Marz Timms, Gregory Hollimon, Jonald Reyes, Dan Bakkedahl, Joanne Cloonan, Katie Caussin, David Razowsky, Matt Elwell, Andreas Sodemark, Paul Grondy, Dave Gaudet, Rachel Hamilton, Randy Smock and all the great people and groups and treat every moment as an opportunity to explore, heighten, transform to the absolute best of your ability.

Please support improv podcasts like SDI, Improv Resource Center Podcast, Improv Nerd, ADD Comedy with David Razowsky, Chicago Style Improv, Smeared, Inc, The Improv Sound Off, and any others

Please perform shows that make people want to come back, tell their friends, and sign up for classes.

Please love each other.

Please never think you are above anything.

Please play to the height of your intelligence.

Please give back.

Please remember if you ever win an individual award for improvisation, you didn't do your job.

Please remember the times no one showed up, or knew what improv was, the shows above a noisy bar with a reggae band playing downstairs, pissing in a bucket backstage because there was no toilet, spending months rehearsing three times a week just because you wanted to do something cool and artistic, moving spaces from bar to bar to hotel breakout rooms, to bars, to comedy clubs that gave you twelve hours to come get all your things because the space would be padlocked due to bankruptcy, warming up in alleys, playing spaces that if you sucked, you were heckled and beer poured on you. Not just thrown. Poured. From above.

Please remember that in improv, no one is "too cool for school," no matter how you try to play yourself off as such.

Please remember that there are younger people inspired by you. The comedy nerds. The dudes living in their parent's basement. The high school girls who just don't feel they fit in. And there are the older people as well. The parents in the suburbs who need a creative outlet. The attorney scared to speak in front of a jury. The therapist who sees use for not only patients but themselves. The people who always wanted to do something like that but for whom fear and life got in the way. And for these people, young and old, you may be their only source of joy and happiness. Please take that seriously.

Please be thankful that people know what improv is.

Please remember that improv changes peoples lives for the good and the world would be a better place if everyone took just one class.

Please remember your vow: yes, and. Make your partner look like a rock star. Support or die. Ensemble.

Please love each other.

Please never forget.

Live - Laugh - Love.

As Martin deMaat said, “You are pure potential.”

Thank you for reading.

Please help by sharing this blog post on social media. Every bit helps.

If you’re feeling particularly brave, share your experiences in the comments section below.

Written 6 years, 5 months ago.
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