Take a Break! Don’t Forget About Life!

“Improv is a life art so go experience it”

RelaxI see a lot of improvisors get burned out. Hell, I get burned out too.  You have to remember as an improvisor part of your learning experience and your rehearsal is the things you do in life. If you’re performing onstage all the time you are forgetting about the outside world. I’ve been there, three rehearsals, two shows and coaching and then you’re like, “Wow, where did my week go? I’ve been at the theatre every night.

TAKE A BREAK!

I think every improvisor should take a break from shows every once in a while. Think of it like a sabbatical. This will re-energize you and get your head away from performing for just a little bit and get you in touch with the world around you again. Being totally immersed into something is okay at first, but in improv you just have to take a step back. Improv is a life art. Part of what informs your improv is your experiences offstage so if you’re missing that your work may plateau. I often hear improvisors saying, “I think I’ve plateued.” It’s usually because they’re a student in the middle of classes they’ve been taking over the course of a year, or a vet who is doing everything improv from coaching, performing and rehearsing.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO BE AWAY FROM IMPROV?

There’s no answer to this. You could just take a week or maybe even a month. It’s really up to you. But read some books, go camping, catch up on your favorite shows, hang out with friends that you haven’t seen in a while that are outside the improv world. Think of it as a summer break so that when you come back to improv it’s like you’re going back to school and seeing all your old friends again.

Improv is meant to be fun and if you’re not having fun onstage and it just becomes work, then you need to take some time off. Improv isn’t work it’s art. So take a break, go have fun, live life for a little bit and then come back and get ready to have some fun!

Nick Armstrong

Nick is Camp Director and Founder of Improv Utopia an improv retreat for grown ups in California and Pennsylvania. He is also one of the founding members of the National Improv Network. We are always looking for better ways to serve the community. Drop us a line and let us know what you want! For more information visit: http://www.nickarmstrong.com or http://www.improvutopia.com

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