Updated: Dec 15, 2020
"Yes, and..." These two words changed my life and continue to do so today. They open me up to possibilities and make me become completely in the moment. I am so obsessed with the phrase so I obvi tattooed it on my body.
In order to say yes, and on stage when you are improvising you have to listen, accept, and contribute. I have taken so many classes and been in so many troupes and in those magical moments where everyone is on the same page and listening, accepting what is happening, and finding ways to contribute to what they are building together it can result in rich stories being made up out of improv. This magic has always made me love improv so much.
Before I had taken my first adult improv classes, I was feeling stuck in my career. My job seemed listless and hard. After only 6 years in my career as a copywriter, I was ready to quit. During this time I took my first adult improv classes, I was working as a writer at an oil and gas event company. I felt overwhelmed having to write about something I did not know or care about. Every day felt like work. Soul-sucking, mind-numbing work, and going to do improv in my evenings and weekends became a solace and brought out a side of me that I forgot existed. When I am doing improv I am “on”. I feel like this is probably what athletes feel like when they are sporting at events. When I am “on” I am so in the moment with the people on stage creating with me that I have no time and energy to contribute to my usual anxious, self-doubting narrative. When I am “on”... I am brave, intelligent, and fearless in my willingness to contribute to that magical thing we are creating together. This is what I have come to discover is the “Best Andrea”.
It did not take me long to use what I have learned with improv to approach my career in writing.
I had to be as excited about fracking and heavy oil as I was about any offer I was getting on stage. That first offer is basically the first words you put on a blank page and then you listen to the markets to understand what the audiences want to hear and what your client wants to contribute and then knowing all that you contribute with facts you found and your own ways of writing and communicating. Strategically using improv in my career helped me learn how to love my job in a way I never had before.
So, if you are feeling stuck in your career take a step back to listen, accept, and contribute to see what you can build out of nothing. Still figuring out how to use this improv magic in my love life though.