I’d love to see an honest discussion about this idea, but I’ll lead off with some theories that I have on this topic.
Improvisation has no STATS. As a guy who grew up as a sports junkie, and still am to a sense, my life revolved around numbers that told me exactly where I stood. Now that I am a runner, I can judge a run based purely on how fast I get it done. I don’t have to think about how well I did, because I had the numbers to tell me.
So I always had these numbers to tell me my average, and it’s pretty easy to be happy when you are hitting your average, and you feel AMAZING when you perform at just a slightly higher level than your average.
With improvisation, for some reason, it feels I equate my best show to be my average, and that anything below my best feels like I let my teammates down. I set my average bar way too high for me to reach on a consistent level, so now I’m constantly clawing up a mountain to try to reach it EVERY show. Impossible. Fucking impossible.
When I played baseball, I could make ONE amazing play in a game, and I would feel like I had the best game of my life. In improv, I can make one good move, and it means shit to me.
I wonder if stats would help, or make it worse? If I knew, on average, how many “on game” moves I make. Would it matter? Would it matter if I knew, statistically if I performed better than my average. Would I leave more shows feeling better about them?
I don’t know. I just see so many performers who are super down about the show they did, when I thought they had a GREAT show.
Or is this simply how we improve? Do we have to beat ourselves up until we become numb to our own abuse?
I think about this a lot. I would like to be able to find a way to tell an improviser why their show was better than they thought it was. I’d like to be able to break it down and make them feel better. I have no idea how to do that, other than say “good show” even though I know they won’t really believe it.
Anyways, this shit is fun either way.