Writer and Artist in Los Angeles
Originally posted in Monrovia Weekly
Ryan Smith, Lauren Rose Lewis, and Nick Massouh. – Photo by Sasha A. Venola
By Nathaniel Cayanan
Improv has a bad rap – even some of our favorite television shows mock improv as a reduced art-form, where actors talk aimlessly, spewing out self-referential winks and topical jokes to an “all-too-generous” audience. This is perhaps due to so many bad improv troupes out there, who are so in love with their own cleverness that we just want to roll our eyes.
But, good improv goes far beyond these typical misperceptions. A skilled improv troupe should have not only a good sense of humor, but also a strong understanding of the fundamentals of storytelling, such as structure, conflict, tension, and dialogue. Furthermore, the actors need to be sensitive, both to their collaborators and the subject matter they endeavor