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Revelation Forum
by Ryan Locante

"Screw the rules, play the scene." - Utah's own, Becca Larson.

I'd like to publicly thank Joe Rogan for writing his controversial article. Like it or not, Utah improvisers are speaking out on what they believe in.

Like it or not, Utah improvisers are speaking out on what they believe in.

Iím sorry when I say this... because it's selfish as hell... but Iím loving it. Why else was this web site created? It wasn't created solely so we can tell each other about shows. It wasn't created solely for those who have questions. It was created for improvisers in Utah to go to a place offstage and talk about improv.

And what better offstage way to improve your improv than to solidify your own beliefs by doing one of the following three things...

  1. Discover that people out there agree with you, are going through the same things as you, or have hit that same roadblock before.
  2. Further strengthen the things you do and see that make you love improv. That may be something as simple as seeing someone defending a mantra that doesn't work for you.
  3. To simply speak your mind on what you love doing.

Back to Beccaís quote. Iíve spent the entire last year "training" and taking classes from some serious improv "veterans". During that time, every time I heard a quote that I thought applied to what I wanted to learn, Iíve written it down. Trust me, Iíve filled up a notebook and a half so far. So you can understand that it gets me exciting seeing equally as notable quotes by friends in Utah just defending what they believe.

Iíll hit a plateau, stay there for a while, and then have some eye-opening event that sparks a nice fresh streak that takes me to my next plateau.

Improv revelations come in waves. Iíll hit a plateau, stay there for a while, and then have some eye-opening event that sparks a nice fresh streak that takes me to my next plateau. Iíve selfishly shook off my "Me" and realized that everyone goes through this. Even my revelation waves have come in waves. When I was in Utah, I had them happen every few months. When I started taking classes here in Chicago, I had them at least twice a month... no joke.

I also realized that taking classes wasnít so I could regurgitate what people did before me, but it was so I could hear people agree and disagree with my beliefs. I take what I like, and let all the crap that doesnít help me and I let it hit Samantha behind me, because believe me, she NEEDED to hear it... um... sorry. It should be noted that I still write down the Samantha-helping notes, because whoís to say I wonít need that later.

I could go on and on about why I think you all should take classes, but that would further stray us off the topic toward Bias-ville... so I wonít go there.

Where was I?

Oh, I remember... Revelations! *Cue the magical sound effect so often heard in movies*

Why canít revelations happen reading a book? What about at Barbacoa (Iím sorry, I have some serious Barbacoa nostalgia going on)? What about while watching your mom talk to your dad? What about while watching Troy buy frozen pizzas at Smiths? They can. However, my hypothesis is that they come harder and truer (and arguably, more often), the more you talk through your roadblocks or what is presently pushing or exciting you.

If you have a revelation, or even want one, keep talking about what you love and what bothers you.

Talk about moves and forms and games that you love.

Talk about rules, and practices, and the lack of professionalism that you despise.

The message board has been so quiet. If Joe had posted his words as a topic in one of the sections, it would have gotten buried. Plus, I wouldnít be writing late at night, and you wouldnít be reading at (insert time of day here). Joe had a revelation. And he let us all know about it.

My guess is that he feels pretty damn good about his improv right now. I know that Iíd want to play with him tonight if I could. Ooh, Iím going to analogize with a current event: Michael Moore made a controversial movie lately, in case you hadnít noticed, and he said, and I paraphrase, "Iíd like to thank the conservative media for telling people not to see this movie, because now more people want to see this movie."

Am I saying that if you have an improv revelation that you should controversially rant about it? Yes.

Just kidding. Iím actually saying that if you have a revelation, or even want one, keep talking about what you love and what bothers you. In return, youíll find people that are just as eager to talk, even if they disagree with you. Most importantly, youíll discover, like Joe, that if you look back, youíll see a plateau below you.

*Cue the magical sound effect again*


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