“Improv taught me to really say YES” is something I read whenever a non-improv media source writes about improv. “SAY YES TO EVERYTHING” seems to be the big eye-opening moment that journalists take away from improv classes. Even accomplished comedians look back at their time in improv and speak to the revolutionary concept of being cooperative and then when pressed for specific examples will talk about the joy of saying yes to things one would say normally say no to.
I think that is over-simplisitic and wrong. Yes-And is not about SAYING YES TO EVERYTHING and in fact, an important part of becoming a good improviser is learning how and when to say NO on stage, so things stay truthful. It makes for a good story, but saying that “improv taught me to say yes” is like saying that comic books aren’t for kids anymore.
The revolutionary game-changing skill of long-form improv is: EMPATHY.
For anyone who isn’t aware I’ve uploaded episodes 5 and 6 of TUWYL.
Both of these episodes feature guests who made appearances on Whose Line, and I think it’s sweet that Colin and Wayne got to reunite with Florence, albeit with much less necking.
Episode 5: Jerry Springer
Episode 6: Florence Henderson
- CRAIG: So what, are you still working with Ryan?
- COLIN: I haven't seen uh... y'know, Ryan's hard to get hold of. I actually had to befriend his daughter on Facebook... I'd say, "Hey it's Uncle Colin, tell your dad to call me," 'cause he never calls. He was changing his number like every couple of months.
- CRAIG: Well maybe he's trying to avoid your call.
- COLIN: That's not possible. I'm adorable.