Shortly after completing my level 2 class of the improvisation program at the People’s Improv Theater (PIT), I enrolled in the musical improv class. It has been the challenge of my life. We need things in life that challenge us in order to learn and grow. This class certainly has challenged me. Not only am I singing for the first time in a few years, but I am also making up the lyrics, following specific song structures, as well as listening and responding to my fellow improvisers (pianist included). Holy moly, my brain…I never knew my brain could work that fast. I also never thought that my brain would have to concentrate on so many things at once. I think that I am breaking out of a shell that I’ve been in for a while. It feels good to challenge myself as a performer, and it’s fantastic to have such wonderful teachers for the class. My level 2 teacher is one of the instructors, as well as the pianist (who is freakin’ amazing by the way) and I’ve been recommending it to everyone.
I think as performers, we should not only take improvisation to improve our skills, but specifically musical improv. It really helps get over hurdles and it’s fun too! We get to make up a musical on the spot. And for those people who think that things are pre-planned, believe me, they’re not. Believe me. But, that’s the beauty of it. It’s truly a magical thing when actors can be on the same page, work together, and come up with something interesting. I am so fortunate that I had the opportunity to take this class. Onward and upward to Level 3!!
Below I am including a video from my fellow musical improvisers at the PIT @EvanKaufman & @rebecca_vigil performing in Union Square during the holiday season with improvised Christmas carols. And guess what else? The pianist who accompanies them is one of the teachers for my class, and he is truly fantastic. Currently, they have a show called Your Love Our Musical, where they interview a couple and then make a musical out of the love story they just heard about. It’s amazing. It’s at the PIT. Plus, I have to support my fellow PIT performers. They’re awesome.
Here’s a little taste of musical improv: