I’ve been performing improv comedy in some capacity since I was in high school. So, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two in my time as a comedian. In my experience, there is a clear list of what one should and should not wear when going on stage. And, while I realize that not everyone reading this will make it on to a stage at some point in their life, I hope you can still enjoy the embarrassing mishaps I have lived through in order to come up with this list. Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up, shall we?
1) If you are going to run around on stage making a fool of yourself, you don’t want your wardrobe distracting the audience from the killer Christopher Walken impression you’re doing. A surefire way to make that happen is if you fall, and it’s not on purpose. Make sure you are wearing proper footwear, my fellow performers! There is nothing more humiliating than trying to scurry across stage and having the heel of your faux-leather bootie slip out from under you, sending you plummeting face first into the lap of an unsuspecting audience member. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
2) Dresses are adorable. They are appropriate for many occasions; performing on stage is not one of them. If I had a nickel for every time I donned a cute sundress for a summer show in the hopes of exuding my inner Zooey Deschanel, only to end up crying in the green room because half of the improv community became a little too familiar with my undergarment choices, I would be paying someone else to write this for me right now.
3) Decolletage can be a great thing, in the right setting. A second date with your crush, perfect. When you may have to do a cartwheel in a scene because it is true to your character, not so much. We all cringe a bit during red carpet “slip-ups” by celebrities, so just try and imagine how red in the face you would be if that happened in front of a room full of friends, family, and strangers. Especially when the closest audience member is a mere two feet away from you!
Again, I know most of you will never have to worry about these things happening to you, which is very fortunate. But the next time you attend a comedy show, try to have some compassion for the people up on stage, putting themselves out there, and who will inevitably encounter a fashion faux-pas at some point.