Last weekend, my husband and I took a quick jaunt to Chicago, the city where we met, dated and became betrothed. Our trip to the Windy City was twofold—an anniversary getaway (romantic!) and a way for my husband to get enough miles on Alaska Airlines to maintain his MVP status (not romantic!).
I had never once gone to improv at Second City, so we bought tickets, took our seats in the old people’s section, and laughed and marveled at the talent and quick-wittedness of the comedic actors. At least we marveled at four of the five comedic actors. While the fifth seemed to suspect that she was bombing, she didn’t embrace the bombing. As a result, highly sensitive and unnecessarily empathetic me felt like I was bombing right alongside her. It was like schadenfreude, only different.
During the show, when I wasn’t blown being away by the courage of the actors, or laughing at their wit, or doing empathetic schadenfreude or calculating that at least we were the youngest members of the old person section, I wondered whether the elements that make improv work (or flop) are the same as those that make fiction sing (or flounder). Here’s what I came up with. (Here’s up with what I came?) [Read more…]