In Improv there’s no such thing as the perfect show. As with all comedy gigs there are those that go brilliantly, those that go badly and those that for some undefinable reason fall slightly flat. You can leave feeling like you’re walking on air (audience applause ringing in your ears, team mates high-fiving you as you pass ) or you can leave feeling like you’re staggering through shit, to the deafening sound of silence.
There’s nothing wrong with post show analysis after a bad show, it’s often incredibly valuable, but I’m coming to the conclusion that there needs to be a cut off point when you stop worrying. Lying awake at 7.00am the next morning and thinking “Maybe I tagged in to that scene slightly too soon” or “If only I’d got on stage sooner I’d have been able to initiate that offer and it could have lead to something good” is fine, but if you’re still thinking that at 8:00pm the next day, maybe you need to give yourself a break. I do a fair amount of post-show worrying so am basically giving myself advice here. When I used to do more character stand-up sets I would listen to the audio of the gig afterwards purely to prove to myself that laughter did actually happen.
In Improv, more than most art forms, there are always other options that you could have explored, roads left untraveled which look way more appealing in the cold light of day than the ones you actually took. But I suppose that’s the point isn’t it? There’s nothing more transient than an improvised performance and no show has more script options than a scriptless show.
In the end you just have to climb back on to your mimed horse and trot hopefully in to the next gig. Because who knows, the next show could be perfect.