Monday, 28 November 2011

Impro vs Ego

A recent workshop with the great Patti Stiles, set me thinking about the Ego and the performer. Something that's fascinated me since I first realised the Ego doesn't come about through being overconfident (as it seemed), it comes from fear. Patti reminded us of how the Ego is the nemesis of Impro and pointed out the ways it tries to thwart the noble Impro on its quest to tell the best stories it can.


  • The Ego is what makes an improviser do what he wants to do rather than what the scene needs.
  • The Ego makes the actor go for the gag instead of the story.
  • The Ego is what makes us hate getting notes from our fellow players and treat them as attacks.


The Ego is created and nurtured by fear and mistrust.


  • A performer without an Ego will jump on stage and make you look good without even thinking about it.
  • A performer without an Ego is concerned with presenting the story to the audience and not looking for their moment to shine.
  • A performer without an Ego takes a note as a suggestion to try a new path or a helpful insight into performing habits.


Fellow travellers, we must join forces and fight along side the hero impro in its struggle against the forces of Ego. We can only do this together, for when we think as a team and are concerned with the welfare for all the other members of our merry band just as much as for ourselves, only then can Ego be defeated.

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