I have been taking improv classes for a little while now. I don’t think I can pinpoint a single activity that has impacted my life more positively.
I am pretty introverted normally. But, I crave social interaction. Improv, and being unable to think about my words before I say them, was one of the scariest things I ever signed up for. But I’m so glad that I did. It has pushed me farther than most anything else. It has also shown me that opening up, and being vulnerable in front of strangers is actually liberating.
The beginning is scary. It’s terrifying opening up and being vulnerable in reality. Until it happens to you. And then to the person next to you. And next to you. And you see, maybe for the first time, how universal your experiences and feelings and fears and hopes are. The head nods that come from even a simple sentence jolt through your body like lightening.
Once that happens, any gunk clogging your brain-pipes or kinks in your mind-grapes are vanquished, and something deeper springs forth. We talk about group-mind a lot in improv. It’s sort of woo-woo, but it really feels special when you connect subconsciously with those around you. It is spiritual in a very real sense.
You’re probably thinking, “Man, he’s really drunk the Kool-Aid.” BoJack Horseman had a whole episode about this.
And yeah, you’re right.
But, at least where I’m at, the environment is so inclusive and welcoming, and relentlessly supportive that, personally, I’m fine with that. The connotation of “kool-aid” is negative: a denial of reality. But really, it’s more about seeing through the veneer of social rules we live in constantly. It’s breaking down our walls to connect to others. Which is scary. But liberating.
If you have ever thought about improv, I strongly suggest you give it a try. If you can afford a class (most places will have a class that gives you a taste of their curriculum), then give it a try. And really commit to it. It will feel weird, probably excessively so at first. But if you can push through that and accept your goofy, awkward, uncomfortable inner child, then maybe you’ll find the same liberation that I did.
Day 25 (quarter done!) of the #100DaysToOffload challenge complete.