Ask the intravert who's taking an improv comedy course

Philly has a pretty active improv community, it turns out, and the Philly Improv Theater offers a lot of classes in improv, sketch comedy, and the like. After taking a free intro workshop last month, a friend and I signed up to take the eight-week Improv 101.

Why am I doing this? I’m pretty funny with the snappy comeback, and I want to see if that quick-wittedness can appear onstage. I also enjoy doing something completely different from my day job (writer/editor), which requires anal attention to semicolons and word nuance. The idea of getting out of my head and being present in the moment definitely appeals. I tap-danced for many years, and got a great deal of pleasure in doing something that, for success, required turning off my brain. This is obviously more mental than that, but overthinking is death in improv.

The first two-hour class was last night. We did an hour or so of ice-breaking, get to know you exercises and games, and then spent the rest of the time doing three-line scenes: one person creates a scenario by saying one line, the other person reacts, and the first person caps it off. Ack! As many misses as hits for all of us (15 in the class), though I did bring down the house with “That is definitely a white person’s problem.” You had to be there.

So – ask me anything.

Yes, and?

Did you notice your brain changing as you went along? Like - did you end up tweaking your second line in those three line exercises to make it easier for the other guy? Do you consciously know what you did to do so?

If you don’t want to participate in a thread, don’t. Posting just to imply that the topic isn’t worth discussing is threadshitting, and it’s an especially bad idea to do it when the OP is a mod.

Good question! Most of the feedback the teacher was giving us was about ways to open things up more for the other person – not just in the second line but in the first. As a group, we were doing better at the end of the evening than when we started – hopefully we’ll be able to do it more reflexively as we go along.

Is your friend introverted too? Do you think the class has other introverts?

Will you have to perform in front of an audience?

Yes she is, actually – though she appeared in HS plays, etc., so not a particularly extreme case. A couple of people mentioned that they want to become more comfortable with public speaking, so presumably there are some other intraverts as well.

And yes, there’s a little Saturday-morning show at the end of the course – :eek:

“Yes, and…” is a classic idea generation technique used in improv.

Have you already noticed your own particular rhythm? (What feels right and seems to work.)

Hahaha! Well, she has only done the one class. Maybe that will be covered next week…

Introverts aren’t necessarily shy and shy people are not necessarily introverts. I’m a terrible introvert but a fantastic public speaker, a years long volunteer in an area that keeps me in the company of strangers all the time, a nurse (hard to be a shy nurse) as well as a property manager who oversees the occupants and potential occupants of multiple buildings, I’ve taken random classes much like your comedy class but for different areas of interest, etc. I’m not SHY at all. So just because your friend was in plays in high school doesn’t mean anything with regards to her level of introversion. Same with people in the group who are uncomfortable with public speaking. Perhaps they just haven’t had a lot of opportunities to practice that skill.


Not yet – obviously I still haven’t grasped the basics, though. :frowning:


Comedy’s not for everybody.

And apparently neither are apologies.

You shouldn’t threadshit. Especially when the thread was started by a moderator.

So I’ve heard.

MOL! Haven’t ridden your dick in coon’s age. You are still capable of cracking me up, I see. Good to know. You can still say exactly what the fuck I’m thinking, but wittier.

Maybe they’re all intraverts instead?* :smiley:

*COMEDY! :stuck_out_tongue:

Reported, and?


This whole thread is comedy gold.

Did you choose improv over stand-up because it’s easier to hide lack of funniness?

What is an intravert?