in a decision that was part whim, part LA rite of passage, i signed up for improv. my 8-session course begins in one week.
that’s a big leap for me, a shy, easily-blushing introvert. when i started this post, i was armed with a litany of anxieties: failure, humiliation, and banishment from the acting world, to which i don’t even (want to) belong.
but i’m tired of thinking that way. the stakes are so low as to be invisible. the mere act of signing up is a leap of faith, a quick “yes, and…” to myself.
humor on the fly in collaboration with strangers is my next frontier in self-directed spontaneity and off-the-cuff adventures. besides, everyone will have a sense of humor, right?
since improv forces you to bypass mulling and bulldoze through to expression, i’m doing the same and forgoing self-deprecation. my sentiments are best summarized with this equation, from The Lovely Bones: Happy + Frightened = Churned
“…preparation is almost a thing of the past in most situations! And that frees up time for other things like sleeping longer in the morning, watching another episode of your favorite TV show on Netflix… and singing in the mirror while blow drying your hair…”
and faster decisions mean faster responses. did it suck? now you know! was it exceptional? the laughs will tell you. audiences provide instant job performance reviews.
the question becomes, what’s your improv? by that, i mean what’s the helpful thing you know you should try but that’s easy to delay out of fear?
consider my case: my landlord doesn’t care if i attend. the government won’t come after me if i said, “improv? eh. maybe next year.” essentially no one cares if i ever enroll, except for my mom, who’s pretty into it vicariously.
i’m just driven by an internal message telling me “it’s time,” which sounds intriguing but is spectacularly easy to tune out.
i’ll write a follow-up about the class. in the meantime, you figure out what you're avoiding and move closer to it.
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