“I teach Buddhist theater.”
So says David Razowsky, the erstwhile artistic director of Second City’s L.A. training center who’s now trotting the globe giving workshops as a comedy “improv guru.” And maybe that’s not simply marketing hype. In a Chicago Sun-Times profile published yesterday, Razowsky cited Steve Hagen’s Buddhism Plain and Simple in his recommended reading list, and says great improvisers need an in-the-moment presence, a “zero-point [of] non-engagement”:
“When I give an improv class, I say, ‘Your personality’s not allowed in the room, your ego’s not allowed in the room.’”
Razowsky goes on to observe that, “the only source of suffering is non-acceptance” and that truly inspired improvisation avoids judgment, jettisons ambition, notices everything that arises as it arises, and is imbued with a sense of gratitude.
In fact, he says, “all improv is meditation.”