This is a list of notes from a course by Wayne Brady on the art of improv comedy and acting.

  • Improv is an intangible art.
  • Listening – (Out of your head, no agenda)
  • Listen so well that you are aware.
  • YES AND … offer value, always!
  • Build like stacking blocks on top of each other.
  • Always attack with an offer.
  • “Yes and” is a building block.
  • Offers are a building block.
  • Play the scene for exactly what it is.
  • Whenever you stop someone’s offer, make sure you have a replacement that will help.
  • You have good stuff to say, let it breathe, don’t steamroll
  • Give, Give, Give
  • Failure happens, deal with it, but have complete commitment
  • Embrace it! Embrace Failure! Have a good time! Do not be afraid to fail!
  • If you suck, WHATEVER!
  • Celebrate your suckiness!
  • Don’t worry about failing.
  • You can’t be afraid to look stupid.
  • Recall. Be well read. Take as much information as you can and cram it.
  • Keep trying to move things forward.
  • If someone else is failing, keep giving them offers.
  • Be observant. People Watch. Notice Nuances.
  • Know as much as you can.
  • Be “Up” on things (pop culture)
  • Ask a question if it is “loaded” and you know it will further the scene.
  • First, establish where the scene is taking place.
  • Once you have set up where, the environment, make it consistent.
  • Anytime you are in doubt go back to your environment, and you will always find something.
  • What does the scene need?
  • What do I want as a character?
  • Who. Establish yourself and be committed to it. If you change too quickly, you lose trust. Stick to your guns!
  • Listen, listen, listen!
  • Be aware!
  • Establish relationships.
  • Read “Impro – by Kieth Johnston.”
  • If you can’t give the illusion that you can do that skill well, then the scene will die.
  • PRACTICE! PRACTICE !
  • Check out theatre sports.
  • Improv is a disposable art form. Do not get attached to the outcome.
  • Celebrate yourself, even if you are sucking.
  • Agree and offer value.
  • Listen with no agenda.
  • If in doubt go to your environment.
  • Ask questions that offer value.
  • EXPRESSION, NOT IMPRESSION!