I have been doing improv for over 20 years and somewhat jadedly, I thought I’d seen it all. It turns out I was wrong, which I am delighted about, as these weeks of doing online improv classes have thrown up some of the most weird and wonderful things NONE of which I’ve seen before. Here are my top 5 moments so far…
5 Things I’d never seen before online improv classes
In these classes, people are generally in their homes doing what they normally do. During one class, an improviser was smoking while watching the other scenes. Before his scene started he was just about to extinguish his cigarette but the suggestion for his character was ‘Apathy’ – cue the most hilarious and brilliant smoking in character I have never seen, with real fag in hand.
Improv classes are normally quite physical, or at least I normally try to make them that way so improvisers don’t get too ‘in their heads’. So why make online improv classes any different? However, since many people show up to class assuming they will remain sitting down in front of a screen, many people also don’t think to put their trousers on. I have never taught improv so regularly to people in their pants before this.
You may have seen this now legendary clip of the newsreader giving a report from home when his young children burst in. Many of our classes now have regular cameos from people’s children, flatmates and partners. My favourite was an Ocado delivery being taken mid-class. Someone’s flatmate was a Doctor and they needed to receive their much-needed supplies whilst said Doctor flatmate was out doing much-needed work. Though the deeper question here is was how the hell did they actually manage to get through to the Ocado website?
I’m a dog person normally but I have honestly become convinced recently that cats know how to improvise as they sure do know how to hit the edit point of a scene by miaowing at the exact right moment – I’m telling you, the cats know.
Since we went online, I now run classes with many countries improvising together all in the same room, with people I taught a workshop to at a festival several years ago that I never thought I’d see again, to people who haven’t been able to get out to class for a while anyway because they live out of town or can’t make evenings because of kids bedtime etc. Jules writes more about this here but I never thought being physically disconnected could make me feel more connected to people everywhere.
The Maydays and Nursery online drop-ins run 7 days a week and you can book here but if you or anyone you know would like to come and play but can’t afford to right now please do get in touch at [email protected] and we can book you in for a class – we all need to connect and laugh right now.