I’ve been “teaching” improvisation for a few years now and every time it’s as challenging. The group is always different: different number of people, different ages, different backgrounds or professions, different group dynamics, different exercises & games…The only constant in all my workshops was that I was always using improvisation to help my participants learn or practice something (to listen better, to express better and so on). Not very constant either, I know, but it gave me a framework.
Starting 2014 I received another challenge and in the spirit of improvisation I said: Yes, and!
So I started couching an improv group. The focus here is not on personal development of some sort (although it comes as a bonus) but to actually turn the group into improv performers. Three of them are also into stand-up comedy, the other two never performed on a stage before. I thought it was ALL new to me.
But what I discovered is that improvisation is always new and it’s always the same:
- New because there are so many variables that change, you never know exactly how a session will turn out (it’s the same in training in general, but in improvisation the content is even more volatile).
- The same because no matter where you apply improvisation it always requires/trains a specific mindset – the improv mindset: being open, positive, agile!
After only around 20 hours of practice together we had our first show. The audience was delighted: “I didn’t expect for it to be so funny” said some of them! And we felt great performing!
I am so proud of being part of this group! Because what made the show so great weren’t necessarily the improv rules, the acting skills, the exercises we chose to play. It was our mindset – the improv mindset! A mindset that can help a group achieve anything they want.
And I start to strongly believe that this is the constant in what improvisation does and the greatest noticeable positive change it can bring in the business world.