This is my improv history/resume:
Started learning improv at 8 years old in drama lessons. Continued with classes until 16.
Did 2 qualifications in teaching sport aged 14-16 Junior Sports Leadership award and Citizen Sports Leadership award. Learnt to lesson plan.
Taught the school drama club aged 15 - 20. I wrote a couple of short plays that were performed at school and at the local theatre.
Started attending an improv group at 16 and performed locally with them
Started an improv group with friends at 21, performed locally to good sized crowds
Set up We Are Improv in 2011 aged 23
Performed locally and at improv festivals in the UK and Ireland
Taught for 10 years specialising in narrative Longform
Trained with Pgraph (The Hideout Theatre, Austin Texas), Jason Chin (iO, Chicago), Rich and Rebecca Sohn (Annoyance Theatre, Chicago) and The Maydays (Brighton, London)
Created multiple Longform shows ‘The Nearly Famous Five’ an improvised Enid Blyton show and ‘Four Walls’ a 50 minute monoscene with 3 actors who have to finish the show when the onstage time hits 00:00
Now this information isn’t here to brag or show off. It’s purely to state I have a lot of experience.
But oh my goodness I feel like an imposter! I have imposter syndrome so bad right now.
After every class I teach I worry that it wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t ‘teach’ enough, that because I had an improv break whilst I had my boys that I’m not relevant enough.
I feel like a fraud because I haven’t read an improv book in years, because I haven’t attended any workshops, because I didn’t spend lockdown keeping the improv scene alive (I spent lockdown breastfeeding a new born and trying to entertain an excitable toddler!)
Imposter syndrome sucks. Most of us get it and it’s a horrible feeling.
I’ve always had it but I think becoming a Mother has made it morph from a niggle into a raging monster! Pre kids when I was travelling the country to perform and attend workshops, when I was watching improv shows and socialising afterwards, when I was traipsing around town pinning posters to notice boards it was easier to reassure myself that I was doing a good job.
But now when I’m writing this blog post in the dark after my little boy has fallen asleep, or quickly typing an Instagram post whilst breastfeeding my baby or sneaking out of the house to teach on zoom it’s so much harder to feel like the “real deal.”
Do you feel like an imposter? Does that nagging voice in your head stop you from doing what you’d like to do?
If you could hit pause and stop that irritating voice just for a little while what would you do? Audition for a show? Start your own improv troupe? Fully commit to your scenes?
I wish I had the answers but I don’t! But believe me when I say that even the most together improvisers have that voice.
You are not alone and that voice is wrong. You can do all those things you want to do and so much more! ❤️