"It's weird to wake up knowing you'll be onstage in twelve hours and there's absolutely nothing you can do to ensure success."
"Ask people to give you an original idea and see the chaos it throws them into. If they said the first thing that came into there head, there'd be no problem." Keith Johnstone, Impro.
Improvisation is a word bandied around too often with regard to acting and much of the time with little understanding of what it means and little regard to how difficult it is and how easy it is to improvise very badly. It is also a skill that is sometimes raised to quasi-mythological status in order for those that think they're good at it to smokescreen the fact that with practice we can all be good (and indeed already are) improvisers.
Improvisation is merely an adult word for play, a skill we quickly lose as adult life consumes us and we are educated into repressing not only our imaginations but also anything that makes us look psychotic, obscene or as if we are unoriginal.
I am currently embarking on a new teaching programme with my students regarding becoming better improvisors and in turn freeing up their creative elements and stopping repressive behaviours.
I work with them for 2 hours a week to repair some 20+ years of oppression but when the break throughs come they are quite profound.
I'll keep you posted!