Students of easylaughs - Eric & Rogier Yntema
Some people decide to take up improv alone. Some people may convince a friend to join them when trying it for the first time. Some may even go along with a family member. Both have day jobs in the tech industry, but since taking up improv with easylaughs, they have completed multiple courses and performed on our stage a number of times as a result. Being brothers, they decided to answer our Students of easylaughs questions together.
Have you ever performed on stage before?
Eric had not, Rogier had done easylaughs classes 10 years prior.
What made you decide to try improv?
We wanted to do some different and get outside of our comfort zone, as we're both more introverted by nature. We both also enjoy comedy in its various forms, so it was a nice thing to share. As it can be a bit stressful to start something new, it was also nice to do this together. Finally, it was also nice to just do something together as brothers, rather than just the normal catch-ups.
What was your first-ever class like?
It was both exciting and a little scary at the same time. It was also nice to meet new people from different backgrounds (some quite different than the ones we work with).
What do you like most about improv?
It's nice that there's no prep needed and the way it promotes being in the moment. It's also enjoyable that the outcome of what you're doing is always a surprise (sometimes for the better and sometimes not 🙂). Also, the team aspect is really good, so building on each other suggestions. This also makes it different from standup.
Has anything you’ve learned in improv impacted other parts of your life?
Absolutely, it's one of the best ways to become more confident, more spontaneous and have more fun and that transpires into all the areas of your life; work, friends, family even just the odd giggle while you're alone 🙂. It's especially useful in (work) situations where you weren't able to prepare, as it gives you the confidence to think on your feet.
Have there been any parts you’ve found particularly challenging?
Eric found showing emotions hard sometimes, so more the acting portions of Improv. Rogier struggled with establishing the Who, What, Where of the scene, as it's easy to get caught up in the images in your mind and forget that you're the only one seeing them. In general, we found it hard to not constantly try to prepare for upcoming things, as your mind is so geared towards doing that. So, it definitely takes a while to get these impulses under control. We both were pretty good at honouring the yes and rule.
Was there anything that your teacher said that stuck with you?
Say 'yes, and', not 'but'. It helps you build on suggestions of others and create something together. Also, we did an exercise where we were supposed to be as lame as possible and it ended up being very funny. It taught me that humour is almost something involuntary.