Yes, It is an Art
You have probably all seen this show and got a good idea of what improv is. Truth is that there is so much more than this show put on the air.
Although what they share is pure genius at times.
They primarily played games and had to have the ability to think on their feet. The cast is full of comic geniuses of which Wayne Brady was my favorite.
I studied improv for 8 months and learned a great deal about what it takes to be a successful at the art of improv. The focus of my studies revolved around what is called “long form improv”.
Imagine this for a moment: you decide to push your comfort zone and enroll for an improv. You arrive after convincing yourself not to chicken out. You look around and find out you are the only non-actor in the room. Oh boy. To say I was nervous is an understatement. But I learned quickly. I had no choice.
The genius of improv lays in the principle of being in the moment and engaged. Being present. It is impossible to help your team in a scene if your mind is elsewhere. You absolutely, positively have to be in the moment in that scene.
Flexibility to adapt?
And when you are in a scene with your team you have to be committed. Improv teaches you to be flexible and accept what your team has to offer.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was studying was deciding on a direction for the scene before I had the opportunity to participate. And as fate would have it, the scene had dynamically changed before I jumped in and my ideas no longer made sense.
I was in my head!
I then would freeze up as I would run through possible (clever) things to say and was not in the moment. I was editing myself as my teacher would regularly tell me. Over and over again…
Is real life not similar to this?
Skill of being present and alert
One of the overriding principles of improv is that of acceptance. The ability to take what someone else has said and accepting it, running with it and exploring it further.
Newbie usually will not accept. We are quick to decline the offer and then the scene stalls. Much like in life I would argue. I suppose it can be because we think we have a better idea and want to make sure you hear it. Imagine an improv scene where no one accepts the offers and then what? The fun is lost.
If it is your time on the spotlight and you were not paying attention because you were thinking about the fight you had with your girlfriend then the scene once again stalls. Being present is critical.
Improv Master To-Be
Once I started to get heavily involved in internet marketing, I stopped taking my improv classes. I still remember the burst of creative energy I would have for days after going to a session. It was unbelievable.
I believe that improv can help you in all facets of life. If you are someone that is afraid to speak in groups or simply would like to improv your ability to think much faster than improv is what you need. GUARANTEED!
My business is beginning to grow (little by little) and I need an outlet. So, I committed to myself to reward myself with improv classes.
Last week I contacted Ad-Libs through Facebook and asked them about their School of Improv. I promptly received a response from their owner and got some information. I then decided that I would go see one of their shows and get out of the house.
I LOVED IT! The guys were awesome! I was particularly impressed with Jason Folks. His energy and creativity were incredible. Needless to say, I am definitely sold and will be signing up.
Jason and the rest of the guys were awesome and hilarious. Poor Jason even got hit in the groin in a scene and still had the mental capacity to stay focused and engaged. The man was in a lot of pain. Yet, he was in the moment and refused to come out of character. I became a huge fan and look forward to training with them.
I must have been in luck because I won 8 tickets for the price of 1(and then I left and found my car had been booted).
I recommend improv to anyone who is interested in pushing their comfort zone. Improv improves your ability to think quickly and on your feet. If you have any questions about improv, feel free to drop me a line and I would be happy to fill you in.