I was in a really confusing time where I needed to move on from Jack but was not ready to date. I chatted about how lost I was with my coworkers / friends. I hadn’t been single and not actively looking to date before. I went directly from divorce to farmersonly in one day.
Dating myself was weird.
I really loved yoga but was looking for something else to grow. My buddy recommend I take a class… At first he said a singing class …
I reminded him of my “Celine style” chops and he quickly course corrected by saying “What about Improv?”
(I think some of his speed in reply was in fear that I may break out into My Heart Will Go On with dance moves and hand motions – obviously.)
Within minutes I found the location of a local class, times and a plan to sign up when I got home. I am by far the funniest person I know (to myself not by other people’s laughter rates), I can think on my feet and while I sometimes get nervous I can push through talking in front of people. It was perfect!
Walking into the door the butterflies in my stomach were mating and my hands are sweaty. It was not nearly as confident as I hoped.
I signed in with the owner (a guy from high school) and sat down front and center ready to bust out butterflies.
After only one class I took away the below lessons. Just note this is my blog, so these are definitely my interpretion of the lessons as I learned I don’t listen well… so feel free to sign up for some classes to learn your own lessons😉
A key to improv is managing anxiety under pressure – Wow this was huge! I hadn’t even thought of this! I’m supposed to be focused on being funny and yet within minutes.. WHAM!
Anxiety is an issue I have documented here and struggle with a lot. Putting myself in a situation with lights aiming at me, on a stage with judging eyes and having to think quick on my feet… Yea hoping to be a skill I learn.
You have to REALLY listen to people– I’m sorry what did you say?! I am one of the worst listeners. I have literally walked away from someone as they were talking. If I have a to do list… I always forget to add thoughtful listening to it. I do care…I swear.
In improv I have to actively listen. It’s not an option to multi-think. I have no idea what the next person will say and don’t want to be the asshole that ruined a scene by thinking ahead. It will make everyone in the audience lose their vibe and be distracted..awkwardly.
Normally I live for that stuff…Thats where I laugh the hardest. A stand up comedian that bombs?!? 😂😂😂
So yeah I know the judging faces…
I’m normally one of them.
Your goal is to make the other person look good- This is something I actually try to focus on in life. I try to purposely call out others accomplishments and work.
However in improv, If I become the person trying to outdo everyone its not a scene-its stand up, in a very weird setting, with props.
I learned this lesson loud and clear in my last class. Our assignment was on stage to come up with crazy laws as if one of us were the president. Then the other had to be the Sean Spicer and clean up what was said to make it make sense.
I was able to think pretty quickly as the clean up person. However, when it was my time to make the laws… Ugh..
In a panic I went to what I know… Dating.
“There should be a law where everyone that swipes right on every picture should lose a hand.”
Well the class is composed of a lot of different demographics, many of which I don’t know have online dated or more specifically “Tindered”…
It was now on my poor partner to save the law. On something I don’t think he knew about. As was promised I looked like the jerk.
My other laws? Just as lame and specific… I mean do you think the rest of the room knew who Yo Gotti is..
Improv pushes you to stay in the moment.. Actually in the moment. Not thinking about the past, what will happen in the future but what is happening now.
This is something I strive to achieve in yoga and yet get closer to accomplishing in improv.
This is my greatest struggle and lesson I need to learn right now in my life. I don’t know how many nights I’ve laid awake with what ifs. Early mornings I wake up with worries of what will be. My heart isn’t in board with this break from dating so I have to combat it at the most inconvenient times. Now I am learning a skill of focusing on now.
I had no idea when I signed up for this class it wouldn’t be about laughs, but an actual serious (while fun) skills based life lesson. It’s exactly what I need.
Only 6 more weeks to master that it really is not about being funny…. While being absolutely hilarious!