Improv Conspiracy Blog

The latest news, opinions and more!

  October 29, 2014

I should probably start this by saying that the following will not apply to every scene, it may not be how you want to play as an improviser, it might be something you vehemently disagree with, and it certainly will not help you choose the perfect Christmas present for your mother (it’s probably something that smells of lavender. Mums love anything that smells like lavender. Get your mum some lavender). 

All of this has been knocking around in my head recently, and I thought I might share it with you, because it might help your scene work, it might make things easier for you, or it might just lock a little bit more down for you. 

Along with a sense of play and fun, we’ve been looking a lot at mirroring in Level 1, and there’s a pretty simple reason for that – it’s a really quick and easy way of connecting with you scene partner. 

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Some of you guys really love improv, and we're absolutely thrilled to have you as part of our community!

While there are certainly some punters who only attend 1-2 shows per year, we have a growing number of rabid Improv Conspiracy die-hards who attend 1-2 shows per week and constantly drag their friends and family members along with them. If you're one of these uber-fans, we'd like to reward you for your amazing loyalty. We're pleased to announce a variety of new programs intended to save you money and get extra bums on seats for our shows!

We're launching a Loyalty Program, a VIP Membership Program, and have put printable Gift Passes on sale via our online store.

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  October 14, 2014

At about the age of eight, I developed an insidious trait – perfectionism. On the surface it sounds good. And it’s self-fulfilling – perfectionists tend to be pretty good at a lot of stuff, in my experience. 

It probably had something to do with some mean school yard kids. To protect myself, I found a source of constant approval where no one could tease you – getting everything right. And I found another trick – avoid the things you get wrong. Then they can never say anything bad about you. Ever. 

This carried me all throughout school, where my perfectionism was rewarded again and again, ultimately with a very high score (that, meanwhile, was well beyond the score I needed for the course I wanted to get into, but never mind). It continued into adulthood; at work, performance reviews were rarely negative. In retrospect, perhaps my managers sensed the need to limit negative feedback with me. Nonetheless, the feedback loop favouring perfectionism continued and I built my self-esteem and self-worth on ongoing and unblemished success. I loved hearing about athletes who had never lost a race, actors who only chose good movies. This was the sign of a great human. People who were always getting it right. These were the people to be.

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  October 8, 2014

This week (5 – 12 October) is Mental Health Week, and it got me thinking about improv and my mental health, and how the two are connected.

They say that one of the best things for improving your mental health is to exercise. Well, ok, but I don't really like exercise because it usually involves sports. Or lycra. What I DO like is improvising! Fortunately it seems to be good for me and as a bonus there's zero lycra involved.

Sure, when I first started improvising I probably went backwards anxiety-wise, because I was so hung up on whether I was doing a good job, being an idiot (read: myself) in front of a room full of strangers, and most of all I was terrified of letting go of control. 

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  September 26, 2014

I used to watch a lot of television in the mid-2000s. I mean, a lot. I'd come home from work around 6pm, turn the TV, and keep it on until going to bed around midnight. I can't remember most of the shows I watched, but I can certainly remember the feeling of being glued to the couch like some sort of solitary slug-person. The entertainment wasn't memorable in the slightest, but I suppose it did a decent job of passing the time and prevented me from dwelling on the fact that I wanted more out of life.

Cut to one day in 2006: a friend dragged me out to my first improv comedy show. It blew my mind with its sheer awesomeness, and I promptly attended a second, and a third. Hip, hilarious and extremely quotable, these shows struck me as more entertaining than anything I'd ever seen on my 42" LCD. Before too long I was taking improv classes and attending live comedy shows four or five nights every week. As my improv addiction grew, my DVR started to fill up with all of the shows I was missing at home. Questions like "should I catch up on Law & Order tonight, or go see ASSSSCAT at UCB and then have drinks with my classmates?" got easier and easier to answer every week. Eventually I got rid of the TV and DVR entirely: the slug had somehow transformed into a social butterfly, preferring to spend his free time out in the real world, sharing real laughs with real friends.

My transformation was life-changing, and I thank the Los Angeles comedy community for having so much on offer that people like me could attend great improv shows every single night of the week and feel like a part of something truly special. 

With my origin story in place, I'm thrilled to announce another step towards recreating that magic here in Melbourne. Starting immediately we're launching our second weekly night of entertainment at the Dan O'Connell Hotel: Improv Conspiracy Sundays. Paired with Harold Night on Wednesdays, you'll now have two opportunities each week to see Australia's best Chicago-style improvised comedy.

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