Why I Love Improv — by Sarah Fineout

By: Sarah Fineout

I love improv because it opens you up to an instant connection with other people. Improv helps you know yourself better, and at the same time, it teaches you how to get outside of yourself and become connected to the world around you.

Three improv principles that I’ve been really excited about lately are: Being Present, Being Honest, and Having Fun.


Being present, being in the moment, is one of my favorite things about improv. Improv is unlike any other art form in that it only exists in the present and doesn’t leave behind a product. An improv scene is gone the moment it’s finished. I love the challenge of being truly connected to the space and people around me. I love the idea of being spontaneous and ready to go anywhere. My favorite thing in a scene is when it goes off the rails, to everyone’s delight.

unicorn poopAnother thing I love about improv is the idea of playing with honesty. It’s so important to be authentic onstage, whether you’re playing a sugar-buzzed unicorn or an overweight toaster. I love when I see people bringing heart and vulnerability into every character.

Having fun is what it’s really about, when it comes down to it. That’s why we do it. That’s why we watch it. When I see people playing with joy, it spreads. I love when I see people following the fun, onstage and off. The friendships I have made in this community are the greatest gifts I’ve received from improv. This is truly one of the best communities on earth and I feel lucky to be a part of it.

NunsHavingFunCalendarOceanI also love improv because it’s about the journey and the process. These things I’m writing about are also things that I’m constantly working on. You’re never “there,” and I love that about improv. It takes commitment and focus to get better and better. The best part is, the more you do this thing you love, the better you become. 


Sarah Fineout has been studying and performing improv in Chicago since 2005. She has completed the training program at iO Chicago where she performs weekly with The Scene and Harold team, Revolver. She was a member of the show Close Quarters which ran at iO Chicago from 2009 to 2011. Sarah has appeared in several productions at The Annoyance Theater, including Glitter in the Gutter and Flames and Blazes. In addition to performing and coaching improv, Sarah is a Registered Yoga Teacher and is currently pursuing a Master's in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. Sarah has a BFA in Theater Arts from the University of Mississippi.

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