Infinite Improvisers Theorem

What you can learn from watching absurd amounts of online improv

New York Zoological Society
Art: Aree Witoelar

About machine learning, and Alpha Zero

The best thing about online improv is how much scenes there are. Before, I could get 8 episodes of TJ & Dave on Vimeo, and dissect it 50 times. These days there is massive amounts of scenes, from good to horrible. And I can skim through bad shows. In the old in-person days, when I go to a theater and hate a bad show, I have to sit there for 20 minutes til it’s over and amuse myself by pondering how the theatre’s color spotlights work. Here I’ll watch a bad show for a bit until I get the idea, then I can just cut my losses, move to another channel and find more shows to watch. Get more data. This is the era of Big Data in improv.

Don’t be a snob

What’s moral message here? Well maybe there isn’t any. But like the Artificial Intelligence story, to go beyond a certain point you need to watch the bad games as well. Not just the veteran improvisers but also the beginner improvisers. Because that’s when you start reflecting about what you know, and whether that’s valid or not. I guess the moral message is, don’t be a snob and only learn from the very best improvisers.

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On Cloud Nine

An Impro Neuf blog. Evolving thoughts on improv from Aree Witoelar, teacher/founder of Impro Neuf International in Oslo, Norway.