I can’t believe it’s been over a YEAR! A whole year since I picked up that innocent looking flyer advertising Improv For Beginners and before I could talk myself out of it, dialled the number on the front and booked myself on.
Cut to now and I know that my life would look very different if I hadn’t pushed through the fear and resistance and just got on and did the thing. So I thought I’d share some of the personal benefits, in case anyone reading this is thinking about it.
At the risk of getting all wellness and hippy, improv has changed me, in the best way. It’s changed my life and opened my eyes to so many possibilities and opportunities in such a short time that I’m still slightly baffled and bewildered, and more than a little grateful.
I mean, all it is, right, when it comes down to it, is a bunch of us mucking about and making stuff up, all in the name of, what, comedy? Entertainment? The lols? No reason at all? Um, yeah, all of that.
There is something delicious and beautiful about having the freedom to play, to act out any role, unbound by scripts or convention.
There are rules for sure, but these are there to ensure max enjoyment for everyone involved, including the audience. How great is that?
Pretending is great. It’s the BEST. But there’s truth in improv too. Deep, pure truth. Which is wonderful, both to play and to watch.
There’s no judgement. Sure, there will be moments when you can feel vulnerable and exposed but other improvisers get this and so by their very nature tend to be supportive and accepting, therefore even as a newbie and a novice, it feels safe.
It’s a team sport, requiring exactly the number of people that there are. Generosity of spirit is a must and egos are best left at the door. It teaches you to listen more and to be present.
I could go on and on and on and on and on…😬). Look, am a big fan ok?
Since I started improvising, I’ve rediscovered my love for performance, and for comedy, have dealt with and overcome stagefright, have performed in front of crowds, both familiar and not.
I’ve written a stage play and submitted it to a local theatrical festival. I’m auditioning for said festival.
And on 18 November I’ll be performing Stand-up comedy for the first time at a New Act competition in a venue in London.
I can say with a hundred percent certainty that none of this would have happened without improv.
So thank you, Alex, Justine and all my scene partners in The Unqualified Yes, thank you to the Maydays and to everyone who attended the Maydays Improv retreat in September and thanks to my fear for always being there.
Thank you for reading! Any comments or questions, please do get in touch. Ax