I finished my fourth week of Improv 101 last Friday. It gets better every time I go. The more I get to know my fellow classmates, the safer I feel to be myself, to take a couple risks, and to make a complete fool of myself. I have never generated so many scenes, so many jokes, and so many characters in a single sitting than I do at UCB. Every moment is an opportunity to try something new and to make lots of mistakes.
I am halfway in the process and can say that the most important thing I have learned is to trust my scene partner. When we go into it as a team and only want the best for the scene, our characters, and each other, the moments are gold. The moment we try to take control or draw attention to ourselves, is the moment the scene falls apart. Trusting them and listening to them has given me a world of opportunity.
I don’t warm up to people very fast. It takes me months to feel comfortable enough to let people in to see who I am. That sounds strange since I regularly post about my life on a blog, but the words are easier to find than the courage to be myself in the real world. In four weeks I’ve given a lot of myself to relative strangers and nothing horrible has happened. I never knew that trust could be built up so quickly, but it can when done in the right environment with the right spirit.
I’d like to take that spirit to other facets of my life. I understand that outside of our little Improv classroom is a world full of losers, nutcases, jerks, and bad people, but by hiding who I am most of the time, I’m missing out on all the great genuine people out there. I’m going to have to deal with the bad ones to find the good ones. It seems basic enough but, for someone closed off, it is a revelation.
Today I feel like widening my circle a little bit and trusting in some new partners in crime. No trust falls required. Promise.