By Doug Kayne
Improvisation is a team sport. Yes, you can do it by yourself, but it’s much more rewarding with a partner (Yes I’m aware this sentence can also apply to a handful of other activities, no pun intended, but let’s stick with the subject of improvisation
for the purposes of this blog entry).
I’ve done stand-up comedy. I keep threatening myself to do it again. My hat goes off to those who find success at it. It’s just you and the audience. One of the things I enjoy about improv the most is that you are a part of a team. When you have a good scene, it’s not about which person has the most laughs, the most lines, or anything that points to the individual’s performance. It’s about teamwork.
Take, for example, the following video clip from our July 26, 2013 show. The game is Rubik’s Revenge. The players are Chris Clarke and myself (Doug Kayne). The situation is “The Signing of the Declaration of Independence”.
There are a few things you should have noticed. For one, Chris and I received the longest sustained laugh so far by any members of Split Decision after I uttered my first line. What’s interesting, though, is this: Chris gave me the credit for the laugh,
since it was my line and I got the situation from the audience. I give him the credit, because my line by itself would not have garnered the laughter. It was his reaction
that sold it. Those fifteen seconds or so of laughter was the result of the two of us working together to create a situation.
I owe the success of the situation to Chris. He owes it to me. We owe it to an audience who let us take them on the journey.
So, who gets the credit? That’s an easy one: WE do.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.