Improv Comedy’s fun. Really fun.
And has given me a lot in life.
Besides hitting on girls in train stations — nothing can compare to it.
Let me tell you a quick story —
For 4 years straight, I was obsessed with it. On weekends it was all I did — attending classes, doing jams (performing in front of others), and watching comedy shows.
Some days I would hit all the well-known theaters (UCB, Magnet, and the Pit). And just perform.
In my afternoon screenwriting class, I would stare at the clock until it hit 6 PM.
At 6, I would race outta there in order to make it to the 3 hour class at 7 in Manhattan.
I caught the performing bug and it wouldn’t leave my body.
It was my passion (which has now switched to writing), obsession, and first lesson in self-development.
Without further ado, here are the top benefits of being a improviser.
Number 1 — Social Skills
Job interviews make you nervous?
Business meetings, presentations for school?
Wanna talk to random strangers — just for the heck of it?
How bout that crush of yours?
Cat got your tongue when talking to them?
After four years of this stuff, I can tell you that giving presentations are easy for me. I can talk to anybody I want on the street and don’t feel any social anxiety. Especially on job interviews.
If you do some Improv — you won’t either. I promise you.
Do enough classes, enough scenes, and enough performances — your charisma will increase.
Also, one of the big principles in Improv is active listening – which means actually listening to people, shutting the hell up and letting someone speak for once.
This will help strengthen your interpersonal relationships.
Because most people, you and I, don’t get heard — at all.
People are always talking over us and not hearing us out (our loved ones, friends, and bosses).
So by using active listening, you’ll learn to hear people out — which will make you more empathetic in business, at home and in the streets.
Is this you when presenting?
Number 2 — Creativity
So, I’ve always been a creative guy. Used to play the keyboard and draw a lot when I was younger. And I used to get a lot of creative blocks, getting stuck for weeks on a project.
This happens to you a lot?
Then Improv will help.
You know all those comedy actors/ writers on TV — like Tina Fey and Will Ferrell.
They make tons of funny shows… And get paid a bunch of $$$ …
How do they come up with that?
Well, they put in 10,000 hours of improv practice — thus making them funny “creative geniuses.”
You may not wanna become a famous entertainer, but you may wanna be able to create more ideas or increase your problem solving skills.
After an prolonged exposure to Improv — you’ll sprout ideas like a fountain.
You’ll become adaptable — which is a needed for future business leaders. Or anyone interested in self development.
The way Improv helps you do this is through — Yes and…
This principle is easy to understand.
Basically, when you have an idea, don’t negate it! Instead add to it, build it up. Ask yourself, “What if.” Don’t edit yourself.
This is the basis of idea generation — I use this to make loglines for stories (I can create 10 ideas in about 5 minutes).
Try spitting out 10 ideas in 5 minutes. It’s harder than it seems. But will increase your problem solving skills tenfold!
The best fiction writers and Ad – men/women do this effortlessly everyday.
Did you know Ferrell was a Ad Man?
Number 3 — Fun
If your life needs a little shaking up, sign up for a class.
You’ll meet a wide range of people.
I’ve met actors, actresses, programmers, small business owners, comedians and many others through this stuff.
I’ve drank and partied with a wide variety of them too. Now, I have strong, personal memories that I’ll never forget.
After you go through 3 hours of performing (a super emotional experience) you’ll feel so close to your scene partners — that’ll feel like you’ve known them forever.
That’s the power of improv!
Annual Festival at the UCB!
***** Disclaimer *****
Just more thing… Improv isn’t magic.
months years of consistent practice to get good.
You’re not gonna get socially confident after one class.
Honestly, it didn’t click for me until my second year of doing this stuff…
I highly recommend it though — especially if your social skills are non existent.
I truly love it.
If I didn’t do four years of improv, I wouldn’t have gotten the job I have now, obtained a bunch of friends or written 3 feature scripts (more on that later)…
Now, find your local theater, sign up for a class & go make somebody laugh!!
Perform your booty off!