For most people, the thought of doing an improv class is just downright terrifying.
Performing silly exercises that force you to embarrass yourself in front of a bunch of strangers or co-workers? Yeah, no thanks.
But it turns out, improv, or improvisational theatre, is actually incredibly useful for everyone and can bring you overall success in work and in life.
“Absolutely everybody [should try improv],” three-time Canadian Comedy Award-winning actor, writer and improviser Adam Cawley tells FASHION. He highlights the importance of “Yes, And,” an improvisational concept that suggests a participant should accept what another participant has said and then expand on it.
“The easiest thing is to always say no,” the Guidance creator, co-writer and co-star explains. “But yes provides with so many more exciting opportunities. If the fear is going to stop you and you say no, you never have to experience fear, but if you say yes, you get to experience and grow from it.”
Cawley, who is an alumnus of The Second City Mainstage, says that even though yes can be tricky at first, it’s totally worth it in the end.
“I’ve taught 70-year-olds, I’ve taught eight-year-olds, and each time it’s a struggle to get them to say yes,” says Cawley, who is set to appear on the upcoming seasons of CBC’s Workin’ Moms and Global’s Mary Kills People. “But once they do, they realize that it’s OK, and I think that makes them a better person.”
Still not convinced? Here are five more reasons from Cawley as to why everyone should try improv at least once in their lives.
1. It forces you to step out of your comfort zone.
“We’re all used to having a plan in our daily lives, but in improv, there is no script. So we learn to survive, enjoy and feel confident in the unknown.”
2. It forces you to say yes to things that scare you.
“In improv, one rule is to always say yes to your partner. Even if you don’t agree or don’t know where it’s going, saying yes to things that scare you can lead to exciting new places.”
3. You can’t do it alone, so it’s the ultimate lesson in team-building.
“In life we love feeling in control. Giving it up can be nerve wracking. In improv, scenes go to wonderfully unexpected places because you can only control 50 per cent of your scene. Relying on your teammates becomes paramount.”
4. Improv teaches you that mistakes should be turned into opportunities.
“If someone makes a mistake in a scene, we don’t try to hide it, we accept it as truth and use it to have more fun.”
5. You’re forced to listen to understand, rather than listening to respond.
“In normal conversation, you are likely thinking about how YOU want to respond. But in improv, you need to listen to everything your partners say so you know what to do next.”
And if anything, it can also teach you how to rap on the spot on various topics (a great party trick, if you ask us), just like Adam does in the video below:
The post Here’s Why We Should All Try Improv at Some Point In Our Lives appeared first on FASHION Magazine.