Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rant: Improv Words

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I'm back (hopefully) and I've got something to say about our word choices as we and others describe improv, comedy, and the art we do.

1) Improvd, Improvr, Improvation vs. Improvised, Improviser, Improvisation
I realize half the people who read this will be with me, and half will be against me, but I am one of those guys who gets annoyed with Improvd and Improvr. I spell them without e's because otherwise it's improved and improver, which if those were the philosophical points that you wanted to get accross by using the words, great. OTHERWISE, stop using these words. It doesn't make sense. The term Improv is short for Improvisation and slang for Improvisational Comedy. Therefore to say that you are an improvr, is to say you are an improvisationr or you improvisationed something. So, to the roughly 50% of you with me, this is the logical, calm argument you can make for it, to the rest of you, I suppose I've said as much as I can say.

2) Skit, Sketch, Scene, Form, Game
Skit-Something cheesy thrown together for a campfire, a business administration video, or a speech to get accross some more important point in some tired-ass way

Sketch- A planned, (mostly) scripted piece of short fiction designed to be either satirical, comical, expository, edgy, weird or some combination of the above.

Scene- Generally just in longform or midform, a segment within the overall form

Form- short phrase to mean a longform or midform. The Harold is a form, if you perform a harold, you have performed a form, and people can talk about the form you just performed and break it up into scenes within that harold.

Game- Game means all kind of things. Game within the scene, the game of the scene, a short form game, some people use it for Longform and midform Games.

The main point of this section is to define all these things so people stop talking about the skits we did at our sketch show, or the skit in the improv show. Skit implies crappy, campy, stupid. Sketch is an artform, improv is an artform, skit is a corporate tool.

3) Legitimate Theatre vs. Improv

I used to get upset that Legitimate Theater was the term for non improv. Implying that Improv was illegitimate. I looked up the definition however, and the term legitimate mainly refers to " Being in accordance with established or accepted patterns and standards." You know what, they can keep the term. But I refuse to refer to improv as illegitimate. So if they are in accordance with established or accepted, boring, patterns and standards, then we are a new branch of theater altogether. Not illegitimate, not new age, but kick-awesome.

Kick-Awesome Theater shall now refer to all theater which is: Bad ass, Awesome, new and fun, exciting, original, unexpected, unpredictable, always a new experience, audience-inspired, and worth paying money for

Whooo, that's sure a load off my chest.


  1. No such thing, Rush. If there's a redeeming quality besides a pun, it's probably not a skit.