How do I find the joy of improv after I’ve lost it?

“I'm starting to realize that I’m the person people don’t want to be onstage with.”

Boy oh boy, this is something I can relate to. I fell out of love with improv because I got burned out. I was doing too many shows, lived and hanging out with only improvisors, never saw my other friends (unless they came to a show), was unhappy personally, and started feeling entitled and bitter. Basically, I didn’t live life. I lost the joy. I lost sight of why I loved improv: Getting to play with my friends and making them look like rock stars, being silly and playing, and creating something as a group bigger than I could ever alone.

"How do I find the joy of improv after I’ve lost it?"

Recharge your energy. Refocus your priorities. Remember why you fell in love with improv.

I had to just walk away for awhile; a couple of years, in fact. Honestly, I didn't know if I was coming back. I was doing no one any good bringing that depressing, victim-type energy to my scenes. I was a vampire, sucking the life out of my tribe. The worst part? I was blaming everyone else for my problems.

My friend Lori McClain told me straight up, “Don’t be a victim.” It was the perfect advice I needed to hear at the perfect time.

Here are some traits of joyless improvisors: Sadness Entitlements Blaming others Playing the victim Trying to control Not enjoying the moment Anger, arguments and apathy Obsessing about their “bad scenes” No life experiences

"Yeah, Jay. I get it. But what can I do?"

You can’t control them. You can only control you.

If you're not happy, leave the group. It's taking up valuable time you don't have to give. Go out, find your tribe, and create a group you enjoy and look forward to paying with. If you didn't look forward to playing with the group you’re in, create the group. Find the people. They're out there. Talk to other improvisors. We’ve all been there. Remember: in improv, you’re never alone

Be honest and vulnerable. Tell people how you feel. It’s not the strong person who keeps everything inside. It’s the strong person who asks for help.

Be the improvisor you want to play with.

Live - Laugh - Love.

Thank you for reading. As Martin deMaat said, “You are pure potential.”

Would love to hear your comments.

Contact me at with a question that's been on your mind. It could inspire the next blog.

Written 6 years, 6 months ago.
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