Clarification on Actor-Glue-Funny-Wild Card
Hey everyone, here's he clarification (And thanks Dan for the heads up!)
These are not exclusive labels, nor exclusive of each other.
These are merely aptitudes in Improvisation that we ALL possess, they are capabilities, capacities and do a degree speak to how we are innately wired Psychologically. So one is not MERELY one or the other, but I have been mindful of an "aptitude profile" for performers when I've put together or coached a team, or even chosen a course of action for a class that I'm teaching, given the aptitudes in the group. I also have, for fun, called this the 30 point Jagodowski Improv Aptitudes Profile (because the corporate training geek in me loves that title), where a 10 in any category would represent an aptitude level of mastery in the capability or sensibility. In my opinion, TJ one of a very few improvisers that can play with mastery in all 3 of the aptitudes. He would be a 30 point improviser, along with a handful of others.
There are people that are just innately "wired" for funny...the Funny aptitude experiences the world through that sensibility...they live in the exchange of circumstance given premise (Think the UCB tenant 'If this is true in this world, then WHAT ELSE could be true'), usually the verbal "game", and the pursuit of Funny in a scene appears effortless, even if they're straining or allowing self consciousness into their character...Think Matt Besser, Paul Scheer Amy Sedaris, Rachel Dratch...
Actor aptitude can play honest, intense & deep...and they listen through emotion and are affected by manner and the unspoken...they play the exchange of emotion as their primary experience and concern themselves with chasing a laugh secondarily, but can bring greater depth to moments and the show, by augmenting people with a greater "Funny" aptitude. Scott Adsit would be a great example of an improviser in possession of mastery of the acting aptitude, and even with mastery of the funny aptitude, I view him as "leading" with his acting aptitude more times than not. He plays with believable emotion and he plays deeper than most, in my view. Amy Poehler & Ian Roberts I'd put as as "Leads with Acting Aptitude", and then I'd say that Amy and Scott's aptitudes tend towards Acting/Funny sensibility where Ian I think would be Acting/Glue. The difference being emotional fluidity and flexibility vs. emotional fixation. Neither is better than the other, nor an absolute, they are just derivative of tendencies as I've seen them & I just hope the example serves a greater understanding of what I"m saying.
Glue aptitude sees and hears the whole. They are the puzzle workers and are often visual learners and analytical thinkers. They are in possession of the patterns of the show, they make far out declarations relevant, they hear puns, rhymes and enjoy word smithing and word play. They are in the most possession of the Objective awareness of the show as a whole than the others and they tend to be 2nd line players/responders and highly adaptive... however they tend to be less dynamic along the energy spectrum of how they present their characters. They are excellent at deadpan and leading the charge into the meta...Matt Walsh & Chad Carter I think would be great examples of Glue/Funny and I think that Brian Stack might be Glue/Actor again, just taking note of tendency...
Wild Card is the one that doesn't fold in with the other 3, because, those people are so powerfully and uniquely themselves that they flavor everyone else in the group's method of play. The they are big personalities on stage and tend to just be themselves, amplified and consistent, and you either take the ride with them and account for their sensibility, or the show's going to be in trouble. A number of Stand-ups that do Improv Fall into this category, and in a way, this is a way to account for Stand up sensibility in putting together a group.
Fuck. That was long. Sorry.