YES!!! I did it, a two “weekend intensive” course at the world-renowned SecondCity. And, no I don’t aspire to become a stand-up comic. My friend and colleague, Deborah Nixon, suggested we did this together. I thought it was a great idea and that it would be helpful for us as presenters and co-facilitators. In the spirit to continue learning and improving, I registered. I cannot speak for Deborah, but I certainly got a lot of out of this, in fact, much more than I anticipated.
I was going to write a blog about it, but one of our classmates, Marguerite Orane beat me to it. I can only echo what she has written:
For the past two weekends, I have been immersed in Improv (aka Improvisational Theatre) training at the world-reknown Second City in Toronto.
“Improv?” my friends asked when they heard “You plan to do standup?” Well, no. Truth is, I signed up because I thought improv would add to my facilitation and public speaking toolbox. Oooohhh ….. little did I know what I would experience.
- 20 hours of being present – actually BEING present. Not just talking about it, or meditating on it, but BEING it
- 20 hours of acting in the moment, of responding even when (and especially if) your mind is blank and you have no idea what you are going to say or do
- 20 hours of releasing attachment to thinking, of getting out of your head and into your gut (and heart)
- 20 hours of observing myself do crazy things, and not caring
- 20 hours of accepting myself as I am with all my issues, boxes and isms
- 20 hours of trusting my classmates, that they would “have my back” (to quote Marjorie, our teacher)
- 20 hours of trusting myself – that I am enough, that I CAN do it, that I already have it in me
- 20 hours of laughter, joy, fun
Does it sound like 20 hours of being “free and laughing”? Absolutely! And did I learn anything, or was I “just” having fun?
- I learned that true learning is less about the skills, and more about the deeper shift in who I am
- I learned that to really learn, you have to be uncomfortable. No shifts happen in a comfort zone
- I learned that when you don’t know what to do, do something – anything – just get the energy going
- I learned that being in the moment is hard – but possible
- I learned that every lesson in every course applies to my entire life. I observed myself engaging with my children in a different way, using improv techniques – I have begun to see through “improv eyes”
- I learned that when you are having fun, the lessons are truly learned (actually I knew that already and it was great to be reminded)
Oodles of thanks to my amazing, brilliant and courageous classmates – Anthony, Auravelia, Barbara, Carolyn, Catherine, Chad, Dayna, Diane, Deborah, Janice, Jordan, Julie Lana, Rom, Tulla (ha ha – I remembered the names!) – and everlasting love and gratitude to our teacher, Marjorie, who gave completely and so generously of herself!