Improvisation is a performance art where the performers don’t practice beforehand. You get on stage, take a suggestion from the audience, and act out a scene on the spot. I like to think of it as adult make-believe. All around, improv is fun and entertaining, and anyone who does it has some serious guts.
I’ve been improvising for about a year now. I’ve taken classes at theatres in downtown Toronto, and I’ve done my fair share of improv jams, where any improviser can come out and play. But I’ve learned that improv is so much more than making stuff up. Improv has taught me so many transferable skills and life lessons, and anyone looking to learn something new should definitely look into improv classes in their area.
That said, here are 21 life lessons I’ve learned from doing improv.
1. Take risks.
2. Always step up, especially when no one else will.
3. Support your team – family, friends, and everyone in between.
4. Trust your team – you don’t have to take anything on alone.
5. Don’t be afraid to lead.
6. Don’t be afraid to follow.
7. Go big or go home.
8. At the very least, just show up.
9. The details can make all the difference.
10. Everyone brings a diverse skill set and background to the table. And that makes everyone incredibly valuable.
11. Find comfort in chaos.
12. Not every silence must be filled.
13. Keep it simple, stupid.
14. Be open to new people. You never know what connections you might make.
15. Don’t judge.
16. Be present.
17. Make eye contact.
18. Any effort is a valid effort.
19. Everyone has good shows and bad shows (good days and bad days) – but every show is an experience.
20. Find joy in simple things.
21. We’re all in this together.