All you have to do is get rid of this need for control which I believe is the cause of “Olio, I have no idea!”

About the audience that comes to improvisation programs, Delia Rizzio, an actor and improv coach, says it’s something special. It’s an audience that can’t wait to see how you get out of tough, self-made situations on stage. For 14 years, since he finished college, he’s been improvising and never short of ideas.

Personally, I dream of the day when it becomes the subject of study in specialized colleges. I think it would clean a little more and perform a little better. But this is just my opinion. Until then, I recommend those who are curious to try improvisation, research the market well beforehand, and try the festival workshops.

At this week’s MPRO National Improvisation Festival, you can see it on Saturday with Shhh Show! , which depends more on silence than words. He thinks improvisation is something that takes you out of the routine of classic theatrical roles, for example. “Improvisation” is about the team and the moment the idea of ​​freedom of dialogue is inculcated, the obstacles disappear.

Your background and important career steps

I finished acting, but in my sophomore year of college I discovered improvisational theater. Since then I can say that I oriented myself more towards improvement than towards theatre. And since then, I mean I’ve been doing it for 14 years. Either as a coach or as an artist. Maybe it all started with the fact that I like to make my family laugh.

In 2008 I joined Comedypunctshow, a band that fueled my love for the phenomenon. Later, I and my colleagues founded the first all-female improv band, iELE. Then I was part of Recul and Improteca, which are spaces dedicated to improvisation. Since then, I have gained confidence in collaborating with as many people and spaces as possible. Jinx represented an important step, a group I was a part of and played with in many festivals in Europe which opened my mind regarding this field. The defining moment for me as a coach were the applied improvisation projects that I thought, wrote and implemented with my good colleague and friend Sever Andre. I have taught in prisons and for vulnerable social groups, experiences which have strengthened me well. Besides collaborating with Jamais Vu, an independent theater company, I also discovered Mattie Grunberg, one of the few filmmakers I met who is open about what improvisational theater entails. So we also tested what it means to create an improvisational Shakespeare-style show. Moreover, every encounter with people who are active in this field or passionate about this field has enriched me spiritually and not only that. And here I would like to mention the cast of the show The Secret Life of Housewives, the talented team of actors from InstaShakespeare, the coaches I’ve learned a lot from, the interns I have, the people involved in BOOM, a show dedicated to amateur improvisation and everyone with me who shared the scene and I share.

Where do you learn to improvise

I learned the basics from Comedypunctshow. Then the National Festival brought in quite a few coaches from Europe and the United States over the years and we took every opportunity. When I started to leave the country, I furthered my knowledge by testing different workshops on specific topics. To all this have been added the books that I have and I am curious to read about this phenomenon.

Today there are more and more spaces, private schools and individuals to teach. I cannot guarantee that all or all of them do it correctly. I also teach and also do my own “revision” before starting a new course. Because it is a specialized phenomenon, to say the least, it is unregulated, which makes it often overlooked. Personally, I dream of the day when it becomes the subject of study in specialized colleges. I think it would clean a little more and perform a little better. But this is just my opinion. Until then, I recommend those who are curious to try improvisation, research the market well beforehand, and try the festival’s workshops.

How much improvisation helps you in your career

Since I still do it even after 14 years, you know it helps tremendously. At least I am. As an actor, this brings you so much into the present, in the situation your character is in, it takes you out of the trap of routine that some of us fall into when we’ve been doing a show for a while. And it opens your mind a bit as to the different paths or ways of being that a character can have.

What does it mean to be an improv coach?

What I have discovered so far is that you first have to approach the learner’s inner universe very carefully. In the field of improvement, most of the time we work with our own stories, with our materials that are. We often experience embarrassment. So there are a lot of weaknesses on the part of those who come. So the coach needs to make sure that he creates the right environment for them.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of times the students get hung up on you, your opinion of what’s funny or good on stage. They are looking to validate you and in some cases, you also become a kind of healer for them. It is very delicate and difficult to manage. That’s exactly why I think you as a coach should just be a guide, let them find out. And do not put yourself in the position of a psychotherapist, because it is none of your business. You and remain the mentor in the improvisational theater.

Some of the methods you use

I don’t have a specific technique. I develop the method of teaching according to the group and the individuals in the group. What I can clearly say is that I am trying to create a very good foundation. First the confidence report. From the learner towards me and at the same time towards the group. Once established, the learner becomes more comfortable and relaxed with the idea of ​​playing. Then cultivate the idea of ​​partnership and cooperation with others. Because improvisation is a team game. Once that happens, offer them personalized challenges appropriate to the game or scene in question. My point is that if you have that solid foundation, freedom flows naturally.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I am inspired by what I live, what I see, what I read, what I listen to. And yes, I did pass roadblocks. But this is something, in my opinion, your mind makes up. This idea that you have no ideas. Improvisation is about discovery anyway, so you can enter the scene without a clue. If you care about your partner, you can’t help but discover something. You just have to get rid of this need for control which I think is actually the cause of “Stop, I have no idea!”

audience reaction

I think the audience in general is great. Be it theater or something else. Yes, there may have been a few in the audience who should have gone elsewhere that night. But by the fact that they come, that they take the time to come, that’s really a lot to me. Specifically, the optimizing audience is very friendly, they know you’re innovating right away and they want to see how you get into trouble and how brilliant you get out of there. Maybe he’s a lot warmer than the stage precisely because he knows you’re in danger, and that you’re spotting with him too.

Tell us more about this year’s show

This year we wanted to be more silent on the show, to discover other ways to improvise besides speaking. And so far, from the rehearsals, I am very satisfied with what we discovered together. The show will be called Shhh! It is a montage of scenes where we explore various ways or patterns of situations in which you don’t interact verbally. What we are trying to do is difficult, but we are optimistic.

This time last year we were performing at InstaShakespeare, an impromptu Shakespeare-style show where we aimed to tell a story head-on. It’s the hardest in my opinion to have a style show, although I’ve had the experience of showing a Game of Thrones style a few years ago. You need the documentation and natural integration of it while creating a complete story on the spot.

Other shows I’ve played in that are very dear to me are “Road Trip”, created with Jinx and a tour of Europe. It’s exactly the story of three people who got into a car, and the rest we improvise. There will also be “The Secret Life of Housewives”, a show about the female universe, where I’ve discovered a very cool improvement team. “Uncensored,” a show in which we suggested we not censor ourselves at all, and “EnCor,” an impromptu music show.

Another show I’ve acted on and am still doing is “So it came to me!” From Fool Club, they focused more on short-form improvisation as we call it.

And also from this category there is also “Happy Impro”, a new project, where I once again met colleagues from Comedypunctshow. Which I realized I really missed.

Your favorite improvisations

“A Silent Adventure of Four Bandits”, a silent show created by the French improvisational theater company The Fraltons; “Trust us, this is all made up” by TJ Jagudowski and David Pasquezi, which I believe is still on Vimeo. And watching the movie “Middleditch and Schwartz” is fun. Besides them, there are YouTube clips of Susan Messing, UCB or Death by Row shows, which I really enjoyed.

What are your expectations from this year’s festival?

no one. I’m just curious and can’t wait to get started!

Advice for those who are just starting to improvise

Don’t forget to have fun!

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