I’m just back from performing in my Improv Level II class’s “graduation show” at ComedySportz in San Jose. This was the first time I’ve been on the stage since, oh, probably since the Variety Show during Senior Year of high school, and, unlike that experience, this was not scripted and rehearsed.
I can’t comment on my own performance (I was too busy to take any notes), but it was clear that having an audience brought out the best in my fellow players, so I hope it helped me, too.
Level II is long-form improv, where each “act” lasts 20-25 minutes (not that any one person is on stage the whole time!), unlike the games that ComedySportz plays during their regular shows. We did two acts — one was a modified Harold (three stories, not obviously related, though there were a few leaks between them), and the other was a montage (lots of short bits, sometimes returned to, often not). The montage is fun (and probably has more laugh-out-loud moments for the audience), but the Harold requires actually staying in a character and developing a relationship over several scenes. Both are interesting to do.
Level III starts in a few weeks; I plan to be there!