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by Darren Held

These are the improv musings of a troupe member who prefers anonymity. Also, there’s a sports analogy, so it’s clearly not Viet.

Not too long ago I was in the audience of a non-H2G improv show. It was different in that it was directed by two of the improvisers performing in the show, whereas we have the amazing Darren Held who directs without stepping on stage himself.

The improvisers/directors in this show were funny, had good stage presence and were clearly experienced actors. They were also in virtually every scene and did most of the talking. By the end of the show, I kinda hated them as much as one can rationally hate people based on live entertainment.

Don't Kobe your improv scene...

Don’t Kobe your improv scene…

One of the reasons to love improv is that it can’t be done alone. (It can, but it’s never good.) You and your partners get up on a stage and work together to create something out of nothing. When it all goes right, you feel the connection and trust that allow you to seamlessly know what the other person is going to do without saying a word. Those moments are magical.

That is… unless you’re one of the stage whores in the show I watched. In which case, you treat your scene partners like a stage prop in your solo performance. Not cool. Also, a total waste of someone else’s talents. You don’t always get to say the killer line that brings everyone to their knees with laughter. But it’s just as satisfying to set up your partner to deliver that great line. Even though there is a prominent “I” in the word, improv is a team sport and no one wins when they play alone.

So don’t be surprised if you’re ever at an improv show and hear someone yell from the audience, “Hey, Kobe Bryant, pass the damn ball!” It’s probably me and it won’t be a scene suggestion.

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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