Nearly 3 years ago I stepped through the front door of the Bovine Metropolis Theater in Denver, CO to take a Level 1 Improv class. Our instructor, the extremely talented and wonderful Katy Craig, asked us to each step onto the stage and announce, "My Stage."
2018 me hates to admit this, but I. Was. TERRIFIED. I Felt embarrassed, shy, nervous, and was drenched in self doubt. I started improv classes in the middle of a health journey that had me asking some serious life questions... One answer I had, was knowing that I NEEDED to IMPROVe my life. I was living scared, in lots of fear, and was so unsure of myself that even deviating from my shower routine (shampoo, face wash 1, conditioner, face scrub, body, rinse) would make me feel completely out of control. It was... baaaad.
Weeks passed in class. The first two were hard, and stress filled, and then one night... I fell in love, with the art of improvisational theater. I was struck by some Delian/Spolian lightning bolt, and I fell in love with the people, and with the freedom of self self expression and creativity that improv encouraged. I fell in love with being a good scene partner. I devoured the classes, and all the podcasts, and so many books. I wanted to know everything about it. My whole life started circling around this one thing; I found myself staying out till 4 am talking with my new friends. (Making friends as an adult is harder than one would think but also more rewarding that I ever imagined). More than once I glanced at my clock realizing it was 2:00 am and I was STILL standing in the US Bank Parking garage, above chilis… I never did venture inside the Chili’s though.
With Improv class, my whole life changed. I owe the person I am to the inspiration that improv gave me to start really LIVING my life. Living with the disability that I do, I always felt I could achieve more by doing less... by saving my energy. Improv showed me that the opposite is true and that passion will take you along way when your energy tank is empty. And when the energy runs out, the people will be there to support you.
We never know what is waiting around the corner for us, but we will never find out if we don’t keep moving forward and saying yes to new experiences, places, and people. Openness is probably the trait of mine that I am most proud of. Yet I love the irony of looking back on my life and understanding that what I thought was open THEN was likely still variably ignorant an closed. I hope this never changes and that I continue to allow people to change me, experiences to shape me, and places to mold me. I hope I never stop growing and learning and that my openness lets in more and more vibrancy.
So my question is: What have you been waiting to say “Yes, And…” to? What's holding you back? If it is fear, trust me that on the other side of challenging your fears is empowerment and strength!
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