Lessons For Success In Life From Improv Comedy

UCB College Improv TourHow can improv comedy help you to succeed in life? Isn’t it just a bunch of people being silly? Well, not really. Improv is actually a team, working creatively together to produce something out of nothing. Learning to trust yourself and others, to think on your feet, and tap into your creativity can definitely help you in real life.

What does it take to get up on stage in front of a room full of strangers with nothing prepared and make them laugh? To have a great time and not embarrass yourself? It takes willingness to take risks, trust, teamwork and structure. Far from being a free-for-all, improv follows rules, such as:

Say yes – and… Accept whatever is given to you and work with it, denial will stop improv dead in its tracks. Unfortunate things happen in life all the time, you need to deal with them and move on. In order for the story to continue, it must be built upon until it reaches its conclusion. This is the where the fun of spontaneous creativity comes into play.

Trust yourself and your team. And remember, if you make them look good, you look good. When you choose to trust in yourself and your capabilities, it’s easy to trust in your partners. You will then build the synergy needed to create the best possible scene, whether that is on stage or in the real world.

Observe, concentrate and stay focused in the here and now. While being engaged in any creative process, it is all too easy to become distracted and get off track. It is important to pay attention to the task at hand in order to keep the energy going in the right direction.

Make statements, and avoid asking open ended questions. Questions can be a way of denying, or forcing your partners to do your work for you. Of course, this does not apply to clarifying questions asked to ensure understanding. Statements allow you to set goals, move the story forward, and get the creative process flowing.

Take action and create changes. In order for the story to go forward and be interesting, there has to be action and change. Be bold and take chances. Physical action engages the audience and gives the actors time to think. The same is true when we are stuck in our own creative process. Taking a break and doing something else will often help us to get a fresh perspective, and get us through the block.

All of these are ingredients in improv that have helped many people to succeed, not only in theatrical life, but in business and other areas as well. After all is said and done, it’s all about telling a good story. If you would like to know more about learning improv, or would just like to see a great show, please contact us.