Emotional Safety

Hey there! I hope you’re doing well.

This month is the one-year anniversary of Improv Illusionist! I’m thrilled to be able to share the power of environment and physicality with you. These are skills we’re really going to need as we return to live theatre soon. (And how exciting is that?)

Is there anything specific you want to know more about? I’ve got lots of information to share, but your input helps me understand your priorities over mine. Drop me a reply and let me know? Thanks.

Emotional Safety Resources for Improv

Safety is an important topic for all theatre performers, and improvisers especially because the action is so spontaneous. There are few if any centralized resources to help players avoid injuries. I’m working to change that.

But safety isn’t only about preventing falls or accidental collisions on stage. An unsafe experience can be as dangerous to the mind as it is to the body. We can play characters in humiliating or dangerous situations, but it’s NOT okay to make performers act out those situations if they’re not comfortable doing so. No actor should risk their mental health for the sake of entertainment.

These issues aren’t confined to gender or race or other arbitrary classifications. Anyone can find themselves in an unsafe situation. It’s not just about intimate or sexual contact either. Stage violence, lifting, and similar physical activities can also make players feel unsafe. Improv is a group activity, and we must all be responsible for one another’s emotional safety.

Earlier this month I posted a list of Emotional Safety resources for improvisers. It includes links to contact information for sexual misconduct survivors, sample anti-harassment policies for theatre companies, procedures for boundaries check-ins and consent, and some excellent articles everyone should read.

The list is here. You can help promote improviser safety by sharing it with your local company and players or anywhere you’re active online.

If you know of any other sites or articles out there that would fit this list, please send them to me. I’m truly grateful for your support.

And if you’re feeling distress because of an unsafe experience in improv, please emphasize self-care and seek help as best you can.

More for the Improv Illusionist

Improv Exercises for Physical Skills

Improv Books — Reviews & Recommendations

Improv Podcasts — Reviews & Recommendations

ICB and friends – Fundraiser for COVID relief
India has been especially hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and our friends at Improv Comedy Bangalore hosted this fundraiser to raise money for healthcare. They’ve met their goal, but if you’d still like to donate, it’s open for a couple more weeks.

“C” is for “Consent”
Excellent article from David Charles (Improv Doctor) about consent practice and suggested procedures before, during, and after a show. Please share this on and promote performer safety.

How to get more movement in your (online) class
Zoom-prov can be very static. How can we get more movement? (Laura also writes a regular column for Status magazine.)

Whose Line Is It Anyway? And 5 Other Improv Comedy Shows To Watch On Streaming
Depending on your location you might not have access to the streaming sites in this article. But these are cool shows worth tracking down.

Question(s) of the Month

Have you ever been injured while doing improv? As I wrote above, safety is a big topic I’m committed to promoting. What are the common injuries you hear most about?

Hit Reply and share. I love to chat with readers, and it gives me ideas for future content to help the whole community.


Thanks for reading. I hope you’re finding these newsletters interesting.

If not, I’d love to hear your feedback. Contact me through the website or just reply to this email. I read and respond to everything.

Back again on June 24th. Stay safe – we’re getting close to beating this thing!

Ex nihilo!

David Raitt - Headshot

Hi, I'm David Raitt. I've been performing and teaching improv and sketch comedy for over 25 years.
MY MISSION: To help improvisers everywhere (re-)learn the power of environment, object work, and physicality in character and performance.

Learning the Improv Illusion

A free series introducing the techniques of Physical Improv.