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by Darren Held

We have our monthly improv comedy show at Hot Java this Saturday. So yay!

Thinking about the show reminded me of something I wanted to share with you. You’re welcome.

When I went to culinary school (yes, I can cook; I just eat out all the time because I hate doing dishes) one of my instructors would get über annoyed if anyone would apologize for something they made. You know, like, “Oh, sorry, I should’ve browned the chicken longer” or “I’m sorry, I thought fourteen jalepeños would be better than one” or whatever. People do that when they invite others over for a meal. A guest will say, “Wow, this is great bean salad,” and whoever made the salad will say, “Oh, it’s no good – I should’ve used haricots verts instead of regular green beans.”

Damn, I’m rambling. Anyway, my teacher’s point was that, you’ve gone to some effort to make something for your friends or family and, presumably, you weren’t trying to poison them. So don’t apologize! Especially if they said they liked it – because if they liked it, and then you babble about how it’s not actually any good, you’re kind of insulting their taste.

Hey! I have a point! The same is true when you perform an improv show. I hear audience members come up and tell the performers things like great show or oh my god, you were so funny, and the performers mumble about how they sucked or it wasn’t funny or somebody other than them was funny or we were off tonight or whatever.

DON’T DO THAT. If the audience thought you were funny, don’t insult their taste by insisting you weren’t. You may know for a fact that what you did wasn’t good improv, but that’s a discussion to have with your director/teacher/priest. Unless you purposely did something horrible that you should apologize for, like showed up drunk or naked or refused to speak during your scenes, accept their compliments with a nice, “thank you!”

And for those of you who are coming to see us perform this Saturday, I promise not to apologize no matter how much you compliment us.

By Sonnjea Blackwell

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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