Politeness is important.
Politeness evolved so we don’t tear each other’s heads off. It’s part of the culture in cities like London, where queueing is almost a religion. (Legend has it British men were too polite to fight for seats on Titanic’s lifeboats.)
Saying “please” and “thank you” and holding the door for others are all things we should all strive for.
But politeness in improv? Not so much.
The next time you find yourself holding back while you politely wait for the scene you’re watching to die, remember these words:
That doesn’t mean you should stomp on stage and grab focus like Gary Busey on…whatever he’s on.
It means stepping out and doing something when you know the time is right. It means offering support in the form of a character, scene painting, sound effects, or simply an edit. It means fully committing, on stage and in rehearsal, instead of just pussyfooting around.
So go ahead, fuck polite. I guarantee your team – and the audience – will thank you.
Well said! Politeness and generosity aren’t the same thing. Generosity trumps politeness any day.
Agreed! : )