Improv for Introverts: First Class

As previously mentioned I decided to take improv classes in an attempt to overcome some of my anxiety.  I’m happy to report that I didn’t chicken out and I actually attended the first class.  I’m also sort of bummed I’m going to miss the second class.  I had a previous planned trip back to Massachusetts this weekend, so I won’t be able to make it.  The fact that I’m bummed about missing a class is such a good sign. 

Let me set the stage for you… See what I did there?  This place is so tiny.  I mean, probably room for about 20 people in the audience.  Teeny, tiny, and also perfect for someone like me.  I had pictured a massive, intimidating auditorium.  I sort of giggled at how small it was.  “Wow, ok.  No need to get worked up over this.” I thought to myself when I walked in.  I’m not theater size shaming, just sharing my story…. But really, look at how cute it is!

In addition to being a small venue, the class was also small with newbies like me.  There are nine of us from varying ages and backgrounds.  It was interesting to hear other people’s reasons for taking an improv class.  Some were trying to sharpen their communication skills for work, others just looking for a creative outlet.  Even a couple people who admitted it was to help with confidence.  I told a half truth and said I signed up on a whim to help me work through being painfully awkward.  It’s not exactly a lie.

We learned some basic principles of improv and I have to say “yes and” is harder than I thought. We did an exercise where we paired off and had to repeat what our partner said and add to it.  Example, my partner says “the curtain is red.” I respond with “yes the curtain is red and this is a small theater.” It continues on until the instructor said to stop.  I couldn’t think of new things quickly and started saying random shit.  I’m pretty sure I shouted out “PEANUT BUTTER!” more than once.  My poor partner, “yes peanut butter, and…”

Despite a mild case of tourettes, I left class feeling great!  The instructor mentioned there was a show that evening and as students it was free for us.  I definitely wanted to go, but a full three hours of socializing must have been too much for me.  A short nap turned into fours later and I missed it.  Whoops.

I’m really excited to go to the next one when I get back.  I feel like this is going to be really good for me.  The next installment of this series won’t be for a couple weeks.

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