Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. ~ Oscar Wilde
Change is hard for most of us, to varying degrees. Naturally, improv helps that, because it teaches you all about being in the moment. And when you are in the moment, change can’t bother you. It can’t because there is no worry about what might happen in the future, or about what you might want to cling to from the past. There’s only what you are doing right this very second. And that is effing awesome.
Recently, Held2gether created and performed a fantastic sketch comedy show. The people in it worked their asses off for six weeks and, in the process, became very close. Sometimes physically close, as we were cooped up in a tiny room for a long time with nothing but each other, warm PBR and candy. But mainly close as in “super good friends who would do anything for each other.”
Afterwards, one of the people said to me that she hopes the next sketch performance class contains the exact same people only, because it was such an incredible experience and she wanted to repeat it.
I love that sentiment – that we created something so magical that she wanted to repeat it with the same group. But I’ve learned from experience that you can’t force magic to happen. If for some reason, the next class DID turn out to be the same people, it still wouldn’t be the same experience. And as much as I love everyone from that class and show, to insist that no other future incarnation of the class could be as special is silly. There was a time I swore I never wanted the H2G troupe to change, because we were family and I couldn’t imagine having to part with anyone or being able to accept anyone new. But if it hadn’t changed, we wouldn’t have the Friday Company – which means I wouldn’t have some of my best friends.
I told my classmate not to cling too tightly to that sketch experience. Not only is change inevitable, but by holding on to the past, you automatically prevent yourself from being fully in the present. Not only that, but having a new class with different people doesn’t negate the friendships you built in the previous class. You’re not exchanging one set of people or experiences for another. You’re simply adding another group to your collection.
Besides, like Oscar said, holding onto sameness is for people who lack imagination. Which is obviously not people who do improv. Um, duh.