Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Life lessons in unexpected places

First night of Comedy College and it was awesome.  Awesome not to be the instructor, awesome not to have homework to grade, and awesome just to be there.  Did I mention it was awesome?

There are seven of us who considered a class in improvisational comedy a good idea.  It turns out we were right, though maybe not for the reasons we thought.

I already knew that being funny was not required for improv; otherwise, I wouldn't have considered the course. What I didn't fully appreciate is that improv is a skill, one that involves listening, being in the moment, focusing on one's partner(s), and viewing ourselves and others without judgment.  The most important element of improvisational comedy is genuineness.

Who knew?

Earlier today, I was talking with a student about the 88 keys on a piano...and how a magnificent piano can sound very different when played by a student at her first recital than it sounds when played by a virtuoso.  In music, in management, in improvisational comedy, who we are makes all the difference.  
I suspect that many of my students, my colleagues, and my friends struggle with whether to be successful as defined by society (or family, in many cases) or to be true to who they are.  It's a decision we face many places in life, even in a class on improvisational comedy.

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