I recently wrapped up an 8 week improv course that not only pushed me to points of uncomfortability (is that a word??) for 8 weeks straight but has taught me things about myself that I had no idea I would learn. I was expecting to only learn how to tell jokes but I ended up learning so much more that I can not only use on stage, also in my business and life.
I learned that I am loved.
My friends were there to support me at my final show and the best feeling is having people surrounding and supporting you when you’re not even sure what you’re doing or why. So, with starting my business and the blog and the podcast it’s sometimes hard to get my friends to understand where my focus is or why I can’t go get drinks or go out on Sunday night etc… My bigger plan is to work for myself. It’s not easy or the most popular path to choose so to see my friends and family around me supporting me in this crazy world of improv and comedy and praising my efforts made me feel so full.
Even if your friends and family don’t understand what you’re doing they still love and support… Click To Tweet
You have to understand most people will react negatively to things they do not understand. The problem is no one can see your vision but you. You do it for the joy it brings others not for the accolades or applause. So keep going and trust me your family and friends love you regardless. Butttt if you need a reminder take an improv class and invite everyone you know then go out and spend the rest of the day drinking. Just kidding – NOT a good idea. Two days later I am still trying to recover. But you’ll definitely feel loved then.
Most people think improv is…
What many don’t know is there is a structure to each scene and to the overall show. In order to properly execute the scene and show structures successfully, improv requires you to LISTEN and ADAPT. You have to listen to your partner, you need to listen to the audience. Because you don’t know ANYTHING about the topic you’ll be talking about before getting on stage there’s really no way to prepare. It forces you to open up all senses and experience each scene with your entire being.
That sounds a lot to me like entrepreneurship. You as a business owner have a broad idea of what you want your business or day or week or month or year to look like but sh*t happens. The only way to continue moving forward is to adapt. You can’t walk off stage in improv just like you can’t give up on your business. You have to constantly listen, adapt, think and be 100% present to keep you and your business marching forward.
My teacher told me that successful scenes are scenes in which the improvists listen to each other to pick up on certain cues and to really care about the scene and what is happening to their characters.
Are you listening to your gut? Really listening?
Are you prepared to adapt to whatever is thrown at you? Do you really, truly care about what you are doing? I want to be successful and it’s interesting that I find myself asking these questions as inspired by an improvisation class but these questions are a reminder to check in with myself everyday and ensure that “my scene”, my business and I, is successful by listening to the answer then adapting where and when necessary and being 100% present in my business.
You must check in with yourself everyday and ensure that your business and YOU are successful. Click To Tweet
This phrase is drilled into your head when improvising. The idea of improvising is to work with your scene partners and to always add information to the scene. Setting the scene with facts and details that allow the audience to feel as if the scene could really be happening. How do we do that in improv? “Yes, and….”.
For example: Your scene partner gives a nugget of information and it is up to you to agree and accept that piece of information and add to it. Very simply, if your partner says they are a doctor in a scene you may say “Yes you are a doctor and I am your patient with a broken leg”. Then your partner would take the nugget you provided and expand on it further setting the reality of the scene. There is no arguing, there are no questions, it is literally you working with whatever your partner is giving you and building with it.
I look at this two ways….One, I am constantly reading and taking in information. I want to “Yes, and….” All information I consume. What can I add to the foundation of knowledge I am building? How will I add to that foundation? If I “Yes, and…” to life I will constantly be building my knowledge base which will directly affect my business.
The second way to look at it is as a way to build a foundation for your business. You build the foundation, create revenue streams, products etc. but with each facet your question to yourself should be “Yes, and…?” What else can you add to your services? Yes you have awesome services but what can you add to improve them? Yes you have a website but how do we make it more reader friendly? Yes I have a number of clients I’m comfortable with and I want to improve my number of clients by 20% in the next year.
What are you adding to your foundation and business to make it grow? Click To Tweet
Improv is one of the best things I’ve done for myself. It has obviously taught me to be more comfortable speaking in front of people and especially speaking without preparation! You learn to work that muscle that you rarely use because in business and in everyday life it is human nature to anticipate what’s next. In improv you can’t. Your only option is to surrender, which is what I have been doing for the past ten weeks. Surrendering to the whims and words of my scene partners and the only thing that has kept me sane is learning that while surrendering, “yes, and-ing..”, listening and adapting I have grown not only personally but business wise as well.
I hold myself to a higher standard now because I know that I am capable of jumping off the ledge with no preparation and soaring. All I need to do is trust myself and “yes, and…” to the universe!
Need more inspiration? Check out my podcast where I interview women who own businesses while working a 9-5 or having previous worked a 9-5. These women are SHE-E-Os and Girl Bosses in their own right. I sit down with them to learn how best to start and run my own creative business and I am bringing these intimate conversations to you to listen and learn. Take a listen and GET INSPIRED! If you’ve ever thought you can’t or don’t know how to get started this podcast is for you. Trust me you can do it and these women are living proof!