Comic Frenzy in an improv comedy group at BYU-Idaho. Improv comedy is unique because neither the audience nor the cast members know what will be performed until the moment of the show.
With specified story types, help from the audience and word association games, the Comic Frenzy improv troupe seeks to tell stories and entertain their audience during each show.
Comic Frenzy is meant to be a fun experience for both the audience and the performers, but it is not just a surface-level thing. There are important life lessons to be learned from Improv Comedy.
In improv comedy, you have to work as a team. In order to successfully make a show work, you cannot focus on yourself. Instead, you should focus on helping everyone else out so that a scene is created.
“Comic Frenzy is not about one person shining,” said Ruth Call, a senior studying theatre performance and a member of Comic Frenzy. “It’s about the team shining, and being a team player.”
Being a team player involves trust. You have to learn to help others and trust that they will help you in return.
“There’s a huge element of trust, you learn to trust and rely on your castmates,” said Maren Finch, a junior studying theatre performance and a member of Comic Frenzy.
This lesson isn’t confined to strictly improv theatre. In life, we should focus on building other people up and helping them shine. We also need to learn to trust one another in life.
According to the English writer, Graham Green, “It is impossible to go through life without trust.“
2. Live in the moment
Each scene in improv comedy only happens one time. Then it is over. This means that each player cannot get caught up in the past. They need to focus on living in the moment.
“You have to learn to adapt and to create at the moment,” Maren said.
In improv theatre, you create things on the fly. Nothing is planned ahead of time, and you have to go with the flow.
“Trust your own instincts, do not go with preconceived notions,” said Izzy Bryant, a senior studying theatre performance and a member of Comic Frenzy. “You have to just be in that moment without thinking ahead or dwelling on what just happened.”
This advice isn’t limited to Comic Frenzy. In life, only one chance is given. If you spend too much time focusing on the past or worrying about the future, you forget to live in your current “scene.”
According to the American cartoonist, Bill Watterson, “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
3. Do it with confidence
In Comic Frenzy, you are acting out ridiculous scenes in front of people, so you have to be willing to make a fool out of yourself. You cannot be too worried or embarrassed on stage, you have to make a choice, be confident in it and stick with it.
“Once you’ve made a decision, you can’t take it back,” Finch said. “You have to trust yourself and be confident in what you are saying and the choices you are making.”
In life, you cannot be too worried about how you look or who is judging you. You have to forget yourself and be willing to be confident in your own decisions.
4. Be willing to fail
Sometimes in improv theatre, the story doesn’t make sense, or it ends up not being funny. This is a reality of this type of theatre. If you plan on performing, you cannot be afraid to fail.
“Sometimes it’s not hilarious when you fail, and you just have to pick yourself up again,” said Anna Chapman, a senior studying photography and an audience member of Comic Frenzy.”You just have to say, ‘People just saw me make myself look really stupid, but hey! That’s great, and I can move on.'”
In life, we also cannot be afraid to fail. Failure is a natural part of the process of life. If we spend forever stressing about failing, we will not progress. We should accept failure as part of the learning process.
5. Have Fun and Just Do it
Comic Frenzy and improv theatre, in general, are meant to be fun. If the cast members aren’t having fun, then the show will not turn out. In improv theatre, the biggest thing you can do is have fun. Have fun and be willing to just go for it.
“Just do it,” Call said. “Being willing is the first step in improv. Come and be ready to have fun.”
This lesson can be applied to life because so often people don’t stop to have fun and appreciate the joy in life. Really, you should have fun and be willing to just do things as they come.
Comic Frenzy will be doing two more performances this semester. These performances will be on June 12 and July 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Snow Drama Theatre. Contact Judy Wilkins, an office assistant in the Theatre Department, at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat.