When I tell people I do improv, I get the following responses:
1. “Tell me a joke!”
2. “Say something funny!”
3. “Show me what you do on stage!”
4. “Do some comedy!”
5. “Oh I could never do that!”
Guess what? All those responses are wrong! Here’s why:
1. Improv isn’t about telling jokes.
2. Improv isn’t about being funny.
3. Improv is never done the same way twice.
4. Improv doesn’t have a script.
5. Improv is something everyone can do.
According to Wikipedia, “Improvisational theater, often called improv, is a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed. In its purest form, the dialogue, the action, the story and the characters are created collaboratively by the players as the improvisation unfolds in present time, without use of an already prepared, written script.”
Isn’t life unscripted? Doesn’t life unfold in present time? Isn’t every interaction with someone a scene in your life?
Life is improvised! You do improv every day and you don’t even know it! Improv is a life skill for your personal stage. And the most important roll you’ll ever have is staring in your own life.
Here are the top ten ways improv can make you a star on life’s stage:
Ten: You learn how to be the present. Improv is about the moment and doesn’t allow you to dwell in the past or worry about the future. If you’re not present, you’re not getting the most out of the moment.
Nine: You explore your own creativity. You’re able to tap into parts of yourself that aren’t available in your daily routine. You can actually let your guard down and have fun doing it!
Eight: You’re inspired. You’re inspired to keep trying new things. You’re inspired to be spontaneous. You’re inspired to have adventures.
Seven: You develop a community. You become part of a community of life long learners and explorers.
Six: You have fun breathing. Through improv you breathe to slow down and embrace whatever’s happening – now!
Five: You turn into a “yes” wo/man. Good improvisers say, “yes” to their scene partners. Great improvisers say “yes, and” to their scene partners. Imagine if you say “yes, and” to life!
Four: You experience the art of authenticity. Improv enables you to dig deep and get into your heart. This can be a great tool for your love life!
Three: Your “couldas,” “wouldas,” “shouldas” quiet down. Once you make a decision or take action – in life or in improv – it’s done. Why dwell on it? Forward march!
Two: You begin to trust. Slowly you’ll start losing your inhibitions, becoming more confident, and, you may even stop judging yourself.
And the number one way improv can make you a star on life’s stage is … up to you! I’m leaving the most important way open for you to fill in your own experience, because every person that improvises has a unique reaction.
If you use improv for the theater, I applaud you. Bravo! If you use improv for your life that’s when you become a real star.
Amy Angelilli teaches Improv for Everybody: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life!.