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by Darren Held

It’s one of those weeks where I’m doing so many different things that my head hurts. Writing about chiropractors? Check. Designing improv-y graphics? Check. Prepping to teach class this weekend? Check. Programming FB pages? Check. Editing video? Check. Updating websites? Check.

For the love of ponies, people, that is a LOT of different things. And all of them are time sensitive, so I’m moving from one thing to another and back as quickly as I can, which means I have to switch gears instantly to be fully focused on each new thing.

Good thing I take improv classes. I know, I know. That was too obvious a leap to be interesting, but that’s what I’ve got today. Take it or leave it.

Sometimes in improv, you start a scene doing spacework that involves laying bricks, only to discover your partner is shooting basketballs. Some way or another, you have to make those things work, which means you have to instantly let go of your idea and accept a new one. It happens all the time – I mean, really, what are the odds that, based on a suggestion like tadpoles, you and your partner are going to have the exact same idea at the exact same time? Pretty small.

But in improv, you learn to make those adjustments, until finally you make them so seamlessly that the audience really thinks you both started out on exactly the same page. Neither of you is still focused on that other thing you might’ve done, because you’re both fully committed to this thing you’re doing now.

It’s a good skill to learn if you’re going to be, you know, alive. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to turn ALL of my attention to napping.

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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