It's a little irritating when you go into something thinking you're going to be great at it and you're just so-so.
Let me assure you that it's not a hell of a lot of fun to look back at a year and a half of working on something and feel about the same, or even feel that "so-so" might have been a generous self-assessment.
I've done, by my very rough count, about 20-25 improv performances, and about 180 or so hours of classes, workshops, and practices in that time. A fair amount of work and, yet, generally speaking, I still wonder if I'm any good at this at all.
I've worked with truly great coaches and teachers of the craft: Miles Stroth, Heather Campbell, Billy Merritt, Jeff Hawkins, et al. I've played with a great team of guys (Harvey Rocketship), all of whom I esteem greatly.
And yet, after all that, I still don't know, when I'm out there, whether I'm inciting yawns or laughter. I know there are people who I think are pretty good who still strike out a lot, and I wonder uncomfortably about the math of that. I'm quite sure I'm not as good at this as X and here he is blowing it. If I blow it more often than he does in proportion to how good I think he is ... yeesh.
I think a lot of improv folks are probably reflecting on their progress over the last year and a half in the wake of Heather and Miles' unseating in the UCB Cagematch after 49 consecutive wins. It's a convenient era to measure against and, for anyone familiar with their work, it feels very significant.
Still, I did think I was going to be better at this than I feel, and I wish that feeling wasn't quite so familiar.