Ah, first dates. Butterflies in the stomach, weird conversations that go nowhere, awkward questions, sizing up people in just a few hours. Good stuff.
I’ve been there. I’ve been there too many times. To make things less awkward for you and your potential first dates (note the plural), I recommend watching an improv show.
In case you don’t know what improv is. It means that the performers (aka improvisers) create scenes on the spot, most of the time based on audience suggestions. No two shows are the same.
Here are seven reasons why you should watch improv on a first date:
1. It’s never the same
If you go to a standup show, you’ll likely see the same-old comedians who use the same-old jokes sometimes. Not that they can help it, it’s part of what they do!
But at an improv show, everything’s different. You can bring as many first dates as you want and still find something new at an improv show.
2. You won’t get poked fun at…too much
At standups, I find it uncomfortable when the comedian pokes fun of the audience. I don’t see why I pay money for you to make fun of me, especially if it’s unprovoked. It’s just not my style of humor.
At improv, most improvisers won’t do that. But now that I think of it, sometimes they do and hopefully the other teammates reign them in.
3. To show that you’re edgy
Not many people know about improv, so if you suggest improv as a first date, you’ll be at the cutting edge of hip. The downside is, improv shows in Singapore aren’t very frequent so you can’t really make plans too far ahead.
4. You get to figure out your date
At improv shows, the improvisers ask for suggestions from the audience. If your date throws out ideas that suggest axe murdering, drug addiction and an unhealthy obsession with genitals, you can sort of guess what kind of person they are.
In the same line, if you really don’t like your date, feel free to suggest axe murdering and drug addiction. Unless they turn out to like that sort of thing.
5. It will be super meta if you guys go on ‘First Date’
There’s a fun improv game called First Date. A couple goes on stage to talk about their first date. The improvisers act out the first date, sometimes making mistakes. The couple will either ring a bell if the improvisers are right or honk a horn if the improvisers are wrong.
If you go to watch an improv show on your first date, and years or months later get asked on stage for the game First Date, it would be so hilarious.
6. Ice breaker
Go on your proper meal/drink date after the show and you’ll have a bunch of things to talk about. SO MANY THINGS TO TALK ABOUT.
7. You might find the love of your life
In this case, I don’t mean a person, but improv as a potential love of your life. You might find yourself signing up for class and have a life-changing experience saying “Yes, and…” to adventures. [//end cult brainwashing script]
But if you do get lucky and find a person that turns out to be the love of your life at an improv show, do send me some money as a token for being your matchmaker. THX.
PS Not all improv shows are funny and there are different formats. Choose your show wisely if you’re going on a first date.
Where you can watch improv in Singapore
Compared to standup comedy, improv shows are rarer but here’s some improv troupes that have performances from time to time.
- The Improv Company (I play on Les Musicables, a musical improv team where we create stories and songs on the fly.)
- The Modern Schemers (I play here too.)
- The Latecomers
- The Story Machine by Story Heros
//Let me know who else I’ve missed out. Preferably a troupe that performs for the public and have semi-regular shows.
- Testimonials: How one year of improv can change you*: People I know talk about how they see improv changed me. *Results not guaranteed.
- How to use improv to survive any family gatherings: Busybody relatives? Use improv to keep yourself sane.