What I learned from Improv: Ron Visconti
Last year, my wife strongly urged me to take a class, just for fun. The stipulation was that it could not be work-related. "How about Improv?" she suggested.
Two things crossed my mind. Would I be good enough? Would I be funny enough?
My perception of Improv had been formed from shows like the Drew Carey show, Whose Line is it Anyway? And as a jazz enthusiast, I know that jazz musicians improvise.
After taking the class, I wanted to share my enthusiasm with others, in particular, with Phase2Careers clients.
Why not have a workshop just for us?
On October 27, 12 attendees participated in an Improv class at the Dragon Theatre in Redwood City led by Max Koknar. In addition to everyone having fun, I heard participants talk about lots of side benefits.
Here are some of the takeaways that I got:
1. Say Yes. How many times are we trained to just say no?
2. Listen and pay attention to the cues of others.
3. It is okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the process. Embrace them and just move on.
4. Be present. Stay tuned in to what is going on right now.
There are many Improv principles cited in a book I just read Improv Wisdom (13 principles to be exact with lots of stories) by Stanford Professor, Patricia Ryan Madison. By the way, it is a simple and fun read.
Sometimes the best journeys in life are ones in which we weren't expecting anything. Why not say yes?
Can Improv lead to better communication? Make you a better job seeker? Make you a better parent? A more responsive co-worker? I strongly think so.
There are dozens of Improv exercises. Here's one that we did that creates a team building exercise and fosters opportunity to go with the flow of the group. Someone starts the story; the next person builds on the story created by your partner, and it continues from there. Sound like fun? Take an improv class and you decide for yourself!
For information about the Improv classes offered by the Dragon Theater go to their website under Adult Classes and Workshops: