Improv - Why do we love it?

- By Nasir Engineer, Artistic Director, Improv Comedy Bangalore

Improvisation, as all other creative fields, is an art form. It is a theatre after all. Everyone on this planet is going to have their own respective journey's with something, whether it is a person, a creative art form, a job or a place..they all have their own individual choices. But it is when what they pursue begins to drive them towards a change in themselves, a change for the better and continues to do so every single day, then that something becomes what you truly love.

My first ever introduction to Improvisation came from watching 'Whose Line Is It Anyway', over 10 years ago. That followed with workshops in Mumbai (which is where I am from) in July 2010 which was my first ever brush with actually doing any kind of theatre or dramatics, as you'd like to call it. But you know, for something to take effect on you, you need to give it its due time. Back then, Improv was merely a means to be creative on stage. I always wanted to BE characters I had seen in movies, the way they'd talk, the way they'd walk..it was all quite exciting to play. Gradually, after 4 years of learning and performing Improv in Mumbai, I began to see a difference in my own understanding of it. It was at this time I could see the real benefits of doing Improv. Benefits such as working together, making the other person look good, accepting and building, making the best use of available resources etc started to shape the understanding of the Improv that I did..

With this newfound enlightenment in Improv, once I moved to Bangalore, I started looking out for and sharing my Improv knowledge with interested individuals that finally led to the founding of ICB (Improv Comedy Bangalore).

But you won't believe, in these 4 years with ICB and with the people I have had the opportunity to interact with and learn from, the value that Improv can possibly give someone went leaps and bounds ahead from where it was for me. Improv started making me realize to be better person. It made me so much more thoughtful, accepting and caring for myself, the people I spend my time with and the situations I am in. Those matter immensely to me. The realization of the thoughts and actions I take, help me be self-aware. And the self-awareness keeps me quite thrilled because I get to figure myself out more and more.

When it comes to ICB, each one has their own individual journey and I am certain that they see Improv to be as valuable as I see it too. It is all of our collective intention for growth and for learning that makes us love Improv for what it continues to teach us about ourselves. This is why we love to do Improv. Improv is our something.

Nasir began his Improv journey in 2010 when he signed up for a workshop by Improv Comedy Mumbai (ICM). He has performed over 75 shows, curates and designs shows for ICB and coaches kids, adults and corporates in Improvisation. He is the festival director of India's first Improv festival titled the 'Bengaluru Improv Festival'. He is also in love with his cat.

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