The “Voice of Reason” serves an important role in many (arguably most) improv scenes: highlighting the absurdity and tethering it back to a reality that the audience can recognize. Many scenes struggle without it, ending up in a murky pool of nondescript weirdness where nobody’s quite sure what to do next. The voice of reason solves that—but many improvisers find themselves having less fun serving that role, or even that it feels like “work”.
In this workshop, we’ll learn what I call the “Feel Something / Want Something” framework to simplify playing the voice of reason. And making it simpler also makes it easier to find the fun in it. (You may even find that you’re getting the most laughs, just by showing the audience exactly how weird that other character is being—while also making your scene partner look great.)
James Imes has been improvising since 2013 and has studied in both Denver and in Los Angeles at UCB and with numerous independent instructors. He’s a founding member of Barkley, who have been a weekly staple on the Rise Comedy stage since 2017. Experienced in both UCB-style Game and just good old-fashioned grounded and committed improv, he approaches comedy through the lens of wanting the chaos to be orderly—but for there to always be just a bit too much chaos to be successfully organized.