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Lights, Camera, Improv!

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     The hardest thing for most of us to do is place ourselves out in front of an audience. While blogging is a way to interact with an audience, in truth, no one really has to see you. As a writer, the audience only knows what I want them to know. I can hold back, if I choose, and only submit a perfect piece of work after much editing.

     This evening, my Improv class performed for a live, breathing audience of family and friends. This class is a very advanced group of people who have worked together for a few years. At the end of each 8 weeks of class, the whole troupe gives a performance to show the skills we have learned. And, even though this is something I do often, it still gives me the jitters when it comes time to perform.

     In spite of the jitters, I have received so many benefits from doing Improv. What began as an interest and a way to get my husband off the couch, has spiraled into more than I could have ever imagined. Now, my husband has joined a troupe that performs every month in front of a paying audience, and I have elected to teach Improv to paying students as an enrichment program. It is amazing what just putting yourself out there can do.

     What is Improv, you say?  Well, it is a form of comedy that is made up on the spot. There are not any scripts, but, often, it takes the form of a game where rules are the only parameters given to the performers.  If you have ever watched the show, “Whose Line is it Anyway”, then you would be familiar with Improv.

     According to Awkward Squad Improv Troupe site, “The experience and knowledge that you gain from participating in an Improv troupe will enrich you in many unique ways.” Some of the common benefits are:

  • Increased Confidence

  • Improved Public Speaking Skills

  • Enhanced Acting Abilities

  • Gained Comfort in Social Settings

  • Refined Brainstorming Abilities

  • Improved Listening and Observation Skills

  • Enhanced Creative-Thinking Abilities

  • Improved Decision-Making Skills

  • Team Development Skills

     Improv has helped me as a teacher to think quickly and make connections for my students. It aids me in speaking to parents, to administrators, and in everyday conversations with others. It also makes me feel more confident about myself and boosts my ego. Not to mention, the friends I have made and people I have met.

     There are so many advantages to taking a chance and putting yourself physically and mentally on the line. Is it scary? You bet!  However, it is worth every moment of time. My husband and I began at our local community college by taking the Improv beginner classes.  The cost was less than going to the movies a couple of times. So, if you are looking for something to take you away from the TV this winter, you may wish to check for an Improv class in your area. What do you have to lose? And if you still feel too shy to try it yourself, go and see a live show. I guarantee that you will have a good laugh.

Links to Improv:

Improv Comedy Clubs – this site will connect you to Comedy Clubs in major cities around the USA. – A site with tips, games, and introduction to Improv

Improv Comedy : Why Take an Improv Comedy Class?– YouTube video


Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



About bigsmileu1

What good is living life if you don't share all the experiences, mistakes, and knowledge you have gained? I am a grandmother, a wife, a mother of two grown children, a Jr. High Teacher for almost two decades, an elementary principal and I want to share my experiences.

28 responses »

  1. Wow…that is super cool. I saw the Groundlings in LA when Jon Lovitz was there.

  2. What a great idea it must help you in your writing too 🙂

  3. Good for you, Jamie! What a fun and interesting activity. And now you’re teaching, too–terrific!

  4. Improv is such a wonderful form of comedy, and as you mentioned has so many benefits for the performers as well! There is a really strong improv presence in Austin and we love going and checking out their shows whenever we can! I love it that you are so deeply involved in it, and helping others to strengthen their craft as well!!

  5. Wow… I am thoroughly impressed!

  6. Yikes, congrats. I have terrible stage fright. I can work a room with strangers one on one, no problem. Put me in front of a class or up on a stage, and I freeze. Kudos!

  7. WOW! CONGRATULATIONS! At my age I never thought to do anything like this, but I think I will consider it for a winter time activity. Thanks for sharing. GOOD FOR YOU!


  8. That is so cool – good for you! Sounds really fun!

  9. You are very brave to do the improv.. I have watched that program and it is hard to do but I believe it must be a lot of fun and how great that you and your husband both like it..Diane

  10. WOW Big Smile! You sure are brave to do that. I am a shy chicken who hates to speak in public, that is why I write. I bet you are funny. I think it is wonderful that your husband is involved too. 🙂


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