Improvising for Fun and Profit

I've always had an interest in comedy. My earliest comedic performances took place in elementary school classrooms where I was quick with a zinger in response to what was happening around me. It often got me into trouble with the authorities but it was worth the warm feeling that comes from bringing joy and laughter to others. 

I recently signed up for an Intro to Improv course. I was actually looking for some kind of standup comedy course but all I could find locally was this improv course. My plan is to develop the skills  to incorporate more humour into my writing and live performances. In the back of my mind I have a vision of an engaging and entertaining live show that combines music and comedy. 

So far the experience has been energizing. Improv draws on and develops a range of skills including listening, mental focus, problem solving, and quick thinking as well as social skills including the ability to understand and appreciate the perspective and ideas of others. Above all, improv cultivates mindful creativity. You can't be anywhere else but in the moment and ready to react to others. 

Improv also requires you to pre-accept failure because you will fail. Joyful failure is how the facilitator describes it. Not every improvisational skit or exercise is successful from a comedic standpoint but sometimes the humour reveals itself in the failure. 

I'd still like to try stand up comedy in the future but it involves much more thoughtful writing, rehearsal and fine tuning. Trying my hand at improv is a start.

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