Entries by Amy Shostak


In March 2019, I organized a dialogue for artists. While it wasn’t the first dialogue I had ever convened, it felt significant because it was the first one I had hosted after having done any research on what a dialogue is and how to convene one. 😂 Don’t get me wrong. Other meetings I had […]

The Thinking Steps

Have you ever noticed that most improvised scenes start with an improvisor moving three steps down stage centre? The audience yells a suggestion, or an edit happens, and the improvisor moves, as themselves, downstage. Once they hit centre stage, they make a choice. This moment is almost imperceptible, so you have to really look for […]

Surfing the Chaord

This post is derived from a talk I was invited to give at Nerd Nite Vancouver on January 25, 2017.  Improv as we know (that is, improv for improv’s sake) it is a relatively new art form. When theatrical improvisation started gaining popularity in the 1960s, it was a rather radical concept. The founding voices of modern […]

2 Fast 2 Curious

Improvising as a duo can be exposing, terrifying, and one of the most liberating experiences you will have as an improvisor. You have your partner, yourself, and that’s it. The year was 2006. Capri pants were in. Katie Holmes inexplicably married Tom Cruise. And I formed my first improv duo with a fellow Rapid Fire […]

What’s in a Laugh?

My improv buddies in Edmonton used to joke about LPMs: Laughs per Minute; a fictitious indicator of perceived success. For us, this was a joke, but for many improv companies, audience laughter is what defines a show as good. Without audience laughter, how can we tell if an audience is engaged in the performance? If […]

Facing Your Fears

What is the worst that could happen on stage? There is no limit to how many awful on-stage moments we can dream up when we are standing backstage. Fear and judgement are the evil siblings to joy and trust, and we all have moments before, during or after a show where the whispers of our nagging […]