Last week it was canceled because a thunderstorm knocked out power to the theater, but last night I finally got to drive downtown through a less intense thunderstorm to my first improv rehearsal. I was the only first-timer in the very welcoming group, and I think I acquitted myself fairly well. I stayed reactive for the first few games, getting a feel for everyone’s style, but did lead one scene toward the end. I’m still waiting for the opportunity to get feedback on that. We played a couple of naive games in which one player tries to guess an object/situation based on leading commentary from all the other players. I was never in the naive role, but coming up with the leading questions is basically a foreshadowing/information release problem, and so fitted nicely into my existing skill set. One of the more senior members of the group complimented me on my questions in those games. After that we did an improvised competitive rhyming song, at which I was much less successful.
In fiction writing I am used to going over my self expression at the sentence level dozens of times. My comfort zone has me doing revision after meticulous revision—perhaps to a fault. I was attracted to the idea of trying improv to get outside of my own head; to put myself in a situation where engaging my internal editor wasn’t an option. I think I’m going to enjoy learning to do improv for its own sake, and the mental skills I develop should be helpful to me in other areas. In the meantime I’ve ordered this book to help me keep my tools sharp between rehearsals.