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Only at the Improv; my challenge to be more exciting

Six weeks ago I made a promise to myself to do more exciting things in 2013.

It’s a pretty easy resolution to keep because I don’t actually have to commit to anything specific. Instead it’s a self-imposed rule that forces me to do something exciting, even if every fiber of my being is telling me not to.

And that’s how I ended up in Introduction to Improv at the Loose Moose Theatre School.

A little while ago I saw that the historic school had a class for those interested in learning more about improvisation.  Once I saw that it existed, my new rule meant that it could not be unseen. I found myself reaching for the phone and within minutes, I had secured the last seat in the 12-person class.

In the minutes leading up to the beginning of my class, I was nervously sweating in my car, desperate to come up with a good reason not go to the class.  Unfortunately, my desire to brag about my supposedly brave decision to sign up for Improv Class on social media, meant that my friends would be curious about how the first class went.  As is often the case, I was trapped by my own need to share personal details of my life on the Internet.

To truly understand my first few minutes of this class, I have to also share with you that I have this compulsion to yawn whenever I’m extremely nervous. It’s a sometime hilarious tic that has ended many a date way too soon and led to awkward job interviews.  Basically, for the first half of the class, I was a sweaty and yawning mess. Luckily, people probably thought I was in character, which has to be the best thing about an improv class.

As the class moved into its second hour, I began to relax. After all, Intro to Improv is really just a series of games that seemed very familiar after years of watching SNL and Whose Line is it Anyway? They were fun, but not particularly easy. By the time I had finally stopped sweating (and yawning), I realized that I was beginning to like my rule to be more exciting in 2013.

As we grow up, we all try to make our life as easy as possible. Eventually, we tend to end up with the car, house, job and relationship that makes us happy. But how often do we do something that is both personally beneficial and puts us completely out of our comfort zone? I’m not saying that Intro to Improv is for everyone, but trying something new definitely should be. Whether it’s a pottery class or deciding to run for city council (please let it be Ward 13), as long as you’re either sweating or laughing, you’re well on your way.

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