“Improv is a highly extroverted, only child’s absolute dream!”
That’s what I blurted out after doing a long form improv jam last night. I’ve been doing this most weeks this summer. Some folks have started this weekly gathering — it’s called The Mash — and it’s a hilarious time of fun, connection, creativity, and play. I’ve never done anything like this until this summer, but I am loving it. After all, improv is a highly extroverted, only child’s absolute dream!
Well, that’s just me.
But anyone can try it, even if you’re brand new to it, and it’s really a great time.
And while improv might feel frivolous (I mean, in many ways, it is) it’s also true to life. Improv moves on the concept of Yes-And. When someone spontaneously creates a character and a scenario for a scene, you just go with it. You say ‘Yes’ to it and then add to it. This can also involve adding a twist from time to time! A scene is created fully in the moment as everyone steps into that moment and adds to it, initiating a creative interplay.
Life is not always spontaneous to this degree, but it often requires this way of living. We add ourselves and make choices based on the parameters around us. These are not always parameters we choose, but within them, we can make choices and add to them. We can create connections with others and create a world within them. Other times, we may form those connections precisely to push up against the parameters themselves. This is empowering!
Improv is also a way of living.
MaryAnn McKibben Dana has especially done a lot of writing in this direction. Great stuff. And she has a new book which sounds phenomenal. If the themes of this post speak to you, or if you just want to delve in more into playfulness and a spirituality of the stuff of life, I especially recommend her new book to you. It’s called God, Improv, and the Art of Living.
I’m going to think about this more intentionally today. And play with the parameters.