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by Darren Held

Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, your friend emails you and asks you to photoshop her ex-boyfriend out of a photo. You would, of course, oblige because you are, hypothetically speaking, a nice person. And then, voilá! Your friend would have a wonderful photo for her mantle.

Sweet baby Zeus, what is wrong with her today? No, don’t deny it – I know that’s what you’re thinking.

I’m getting there. See, my point is just that there are many ways to fix a mistake, whether in improv or in life. In improv, things happen all the time that, strictly speaking, would be considered mistakes. Somebody will call somebody else the wrong name, or forget important facts, or accidentally throw out crazy-ass information, or whatever. But as long as all of the players remain calm and remember to stick together, you can explain, justify or correct just about anything.

In real life, I think we tend to forget that as well. Sometimes there are mistakes (or problems of whatever ilk) that seem catastrophic, at least to you personally. But if you can remember your improv skills and stay calm and don’t bail on your teammates in the situation by starting to throw blame around or look for a scapegoat, there’s an excellent chance you can explain, justify or correct just about anything. The trick is to stay in the moment and don’t spin out into “what-if” world, which always makes things so much worse.

And if you can’t fix a mistake, you can always Photoshop it away. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

By Sonnjea Blackwell

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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