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The Matt Besser Interview: Part Three

(Part Three of the Matt Besser interview. Check out Part 1 and Part 2.)

This is it. Part 3 of my interview with Matt Besser (Asssscat!, Improv4Humans podcast, Freak Dance), in which we talk about what to do when a scene’s not going right, monoscenes, Harolds, and shit gets personal. Let’s hop right into it, because this is the longest and best part yet.

Sean London: You said something in your interview with Stephen Perlstein about not needing the audience to find the game.

Matt Besser: I think that’s a silly definition. Otherwise, you couldn’t find it in rehearsal. It’s a good clue to where the game is for sure.

SL: Let’s say I’m in a scene and I’m hitting the game and I’m doing what I believe to be technically good improv. But I’m not getting laughs from the audience. As an improviser, what are you thinking? Do you stay on game, or do you think “The audience isn’t getting this. I got to mix this up.”? How much does the audience affect what you’re doing?

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The Matt Besser Interview: Part Two

(Part two of three of the Matt Besser interview. If you missed part one, it’s right here.)

This is a fun one. He talks about sub-games, justifications, and walks us through pulling a premise from a monologue and beginning a set. Great stuff.

But first: his thoughts on the note, “Don’t be funny.”

Sean London: What’s your interpretation of “don’t be funny”? Specifically, if the point is, ultimately, to be funny.

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May 8

The Matt Besser Interview: Part One

I recently had the huge honor of interviewing Matt Besser (Upright Citizens Brigade, Improv4Humans, Freakdance) and we just talked strictly improv. I highly recommend checking out his interviews on Improv Obsession and Improvinterviews.com, as I do skip past a lot of “basics” and try to find his opinions on a few more esoteric, specific things.

So without further ado, here it is: part one of my interview with Matt Besser, in which we discuss what he learned from writing the UCB book, playing characters, and what it means to be a selfish improvisor.

Sean London: So one of the things you were talking about was that writing the UCB book gave you new insight into improv. Was there anything where you thought about it and learned something new, or changed the way you played and thought, “Oh, I was doing this wrong.”?

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