Why I Love Improv — by Katie Klein

(I am so excited to have Katie on board…I love the way she wrote this– it’s just like she improvises:  with her whole heart–Dina Facklis)


I love improvisation so much, that I often forget other people in this world might not even know what it is. My grandfather thought I did stand up, because that was easier to explain. My co workers say things like “You should put this in your skit” to which I can only smile and say “oh for sure!”. The thing is though, improvisation is not like stand up or “skits”. It is a magical moment in time where you get to act like the 7 year old spaz you still are, with your grown up vocabulary and life experiences acting as your filter. These little girls are “playing doctor”. I still play doctor whenever it should come up in an improv scene. How many other adults get to do that without feeling like a pervert?

I love improvisation because you get to laugh. When I think about how often I get to laugh, it makes me feel badly for others. Some people never laugh! Or maybe they laugh once a week when they watch a fail compilation on youtube while home alone eating their soggy meat leftovers. Improvisation classes, rehearsals and shows allow me the true joy and privilege to laugh constantly. Being in a scene, or standing on the side lines watching my partners create and explore, gives me a specific kind of joy that people who don’t do improv, could never really understand.

That moment where you see your close friend surprised themselves with something they said or did is incredible. Incredible!

Thirdly (not lastly because I could keep going but this is a blog not a novel) (The novel i’m writing is called “The girl and the bird” it’s a love story set in medieval times. The Dinner and tournament castle, not the time period) I love improvisation because an improv show is truly a moment in time made up on the spot that has never been seen, and will never be seen again. Yes I know that sounded like an introduction I might say when I host a show, but it’s true. I very much find that concept to be mesmerizing. When you are doing a piece, be it in rehearsal or on stage, you and anyone in that room are part of this creation. You can try to explain it later, or show a recorded tape to your mom, but it won’t be the same. There is actually something magical to me about the moment of pure improvisation and truth that is happening in that moment, that can not be duplicated later.

These are reasons why I love improv.

Thank you.

Katie Klein

Katie began her improv career in Washington DC, where she trained with the DC improv comedy school and performed with Comedy Sportz and iMusical. Now in Chicago, she has trained with iO and The Second City. She is a cast member of Second city’s IMPROV EXTRAVAGANZA EXPLOSION, performed with a training center house ensemble and BenchCo. At iO she is on a Harold team Late 90’s ands performs weekly with Virgin Daiquiri and Superhuman. She is a cast member of the Laugh Out Loud theater and performs independently with her partner-in-crime in their tag-team duo, Ed and Kath. Katie has coached, directed and taught improv and sketch around town as well as in other towns. She loves to travel!

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