With much respect to Will, I have to say I disagree with the advice given.
The behavior exhibited at the jam sounds like it was sexist, and by staying silent, the only thing that will be accomplished is perpetuating such behavior.
You have the right to stand up for yourself if you want to.
A shitty improv move (like Will describes) and a “demeaning” one (sexist, racist, etc) are not the same thing. To equate to two is… I… Words. Failing.
Sorry. Let me try a different approach. (This will be rambling because I am feeling a bit angry this morning.)
Look, I am never going to tell anyone that they have to confront players who make demeaning moves. That is an individual choice and I appreciate the “Ack. Not worth my time. I’ll just not perform with that player.”
But we should also empower people to speak up if they feel the need. Because “Well, let’s not say anything and just hope the jerks go away. Or hope that they learn what is okay behavior… by osmosis or something”… doesn’t work. That is passive ass shit.
Improv teams can self-regulate to a certain extent. If there is an individual who demeans in this fashion, the team can kick them out (and perhaps they will learn). But we are talking about a jam here. If no one says anything, how the hell do we expect anything to change?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We don’t want to “restrain improv.” We would like improv to have all doors open. But that is with people who you have earned trust with. Improv jams and classes and whatever are not excuses to demean people. If anything, we should be creating environments where players can walk onto a stage at a jam (especially if said jam is hosted by any of the improv institiutions), and feel like they are safe.
By saying “learn to deal with it” is… disturbing to me. Sure, learn to deal with shitty improv moves. You do NOT have to learn to deal with being demeaned.
Will a note change them? Probably not. Might it in the future make them pause before making a demeaning move? Maybe. If we all make sure to speak up when we see behavior that makes improv unsafe, maybe, in the long run, it will be.
(Reminder: I am available for coaching.)
Edit to add: I also want to make it clear that this is not about the asker of the question. Individual moments shouldn’t be made into causes or blown up. If it were, the amount of jams I’ve been to where a performers race (or sexuality or gender or ) was mentioned as if that were the weird thing… Sigh.
I’m sorry I misunderstood the situation. No one should have to put up with being demeaned. I shouldn’t have implied that. If there’s something I can do to help, let me know. If this is the Grandma’s Ashes jam, I know they put a priority on making it a respectful show so I’d talk to someone on that team about the specific situation.