Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why Improv is my favorite new hobby

Lately I've been doing nearly 8 hours of improv acting every weekend.

It’s definitely the scariest thing you can do. You get up in front of an audience with no script working with another person who could do anything.

Here is a video from my teacher Ricky Wayne

The three things I've gotten out of Improv, and why I recommend it to anyone:

1. The "YES, AND" philosophy is the center of Improv. Getting used to saying yes gives you a more open view point in relationships and in life. You wouldn't believe the things that happen when instead of automatically saying "no," you say "yes." Once you've faced not only being on stage talking and doing things, but doing it without a script, you definitely feel more courageous. You start telling yourself, Yeah, I can do a lot more than I thought before. It really expands your view of the world.

2. Mainly Improv is supposed to be comedy. Doing improv has enriched my funny bone. Being on stage hearing what audiences like, lets you become more sensitive to what is funny and what isn't. I can now use this new sensitivity to enhance my other speeches.

3. Increased enjoyment of all life. When I am on stage in a scene, I have to act like I am somewhere else doing something as someone else. These challenges force me to pay close attention in the rest of life. When I meet a person, I pay attention to how they speak their unique attitude. When I am doing any activity, doing the dishes, I pay attention to how I hold them, the weight. This attention makes just day to day living more exciting and enjoyable.

If you want to learn more and you are in Tampa Bay, get in touch with Toby Martini. He has improv workshops which are very focused and effective. I just finished taking it and really saw a lot of improvement in my improv!

 I think you'll really get a lot of benefit out of doing improv, no matter what reasons you need it.

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