Before I got pregnant with the Thompson Twins, I was a regular performer with Project Improv, a local improv comedy group. I was looking for something creative that didn’t take up too much time, like a play or musical. I googled “improv in Mytown” and they were the first to pop up. A few emails later, I started practicing with them once a week. Within a month or so, I was in the shows.
I performed a few times while pregnant, but then I was just too unwieldy and nauseated to enjoy it. I was in my first show post-bebes last summer. With Husband’s work/school schedule I haven’t made many practices and no shows since then. The last two weeks, however, I did manage to get to practice and it’s been awesome. I probably won’t be in the February shows, but it’s ok. I can wait until March when our schedules shift again.
Improv, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Confidence Much in the way I assume child beauty pageants help kids who don’t even have their own teeth yet to be more confident, improv has made me feel less anxious in social situations.
Currency I’m average looking, of average intelligence, and I don’t have much money. So I’ve learned to use humor and candor as my currency. I often say that the only reason I have friends, a husband, and a job is because I am funny.*
Yes, and… The core philosophy of improv is ‘yes, and.’ There are other rules in improv, but this one is the Prime Directive. It means you’re listening, you’re open to possibilities, and you are ready to contribute to the adventure. It is a really good way to live your life. Amazing things happen when you say yes, and build on it.**
It doesn’t matter. I am a very self-conscious person. And I’m learning that other people’s opinions and asshattery don’t matter to me very often.
*I’m not fishing for compliments. I just realize I am never going to physically look like…whatever. And I should just do the best with what I got.
**Until you are familiar with the use of ‘yes, and…’ I don’t suggest using it on dates or at work.