Life Is One Big Improv

Here’s a blog I wrote back in 2009. Thought I’d share again on this new site.

After class last night, I started thinking about improv and how it relates to life. 

In improv, there are no lines to memorize, no actions to run through, no stage directions to follow. When you get up to do a scene, you don’t know what’s going to happen, where it’s going to lead, or who’s going to do what. 

Sometimes, all you know is the situation – if you’re lucky. 

Sometimes you just get a sentence. Or a word. 

Your creativity, your emotions, your actions determine how that scene is going to play out. You are the deciding factor. 

There are no rehearsals. There are no retakes. You’ve got one shot. And that’s it.

Kind of scary, uh? 

But isn’t that life. No rehearsals, no directions, no plot. 

Life is one big improv. Or a bunch of little ones going on at the same time. 

Think about it. 

Sure you can plan for things. You can prepare for what you’re going to say or do. But the truth of the matter is, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. You don’t know what that other person is going to say, act or feel. 

You don’t know. 

But the good news is, just like improv, you are the one who controls the scene. 

Now grant it, some people are better at improv than others. But everyone can be good. Anyone can make a scene fun and exciting to watch, as long as they follow the “rules.”

So I started thinking, if life and improv are so similar and if we can make improv great by following at least a few of the rules, then maybe, just maybe if we applied those same guidelines to our everyday situations, we could have a great life. 

It’s worth a shot. Right?

So here they are:
1. Have a want
2. Define your relationship
3. Don’t negate what you have been told to be true
4. “Yes, and…”
5. Listen
6. Resolve arguments quickly
7. Don’t go back
8. Don’t hold back
9. Trust your instincts
10. Have fun

These are just the 10 that I thought of. If you have any more, let me know and I’ll add them.

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