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by Darren Held

Somebody asked me recently if Held2gether would ever do those improv competition-type shows that you see at certain places in Hollywood and the O.C. They also asked if I was going to finish my drink.

Uh, boundaries, people.

We’ll start with the question that’s actually appropriate. While I can’t say for certain that we’ll never do a competition show, the likelihood is extremely small. Teeny, even. We’ve been invited to do competition shows with other troupes over the years, and we’ve always politely declined. Not because we don’t play well with others, but because when your whole business model revolves around the concept of “improv for life,” it’s antithetical to have losers.

Our premise is that anyone can do improv and benefit from the skills it teaches. Our goal is to help each student become the best they can be by fostering an environment of support and encouragement in our classes. We don’t want to then do shows where one team has to “win” and another team has to “lose” because the point is that, when you do improv, you automatically win. Our shows consist of everybody on the same team, working together to make everybody look as amazing as possible. That’s what makes us happy.

There’s nothing wrong with competitive improv. It’s just not how we roll at H2G.

Oh, and it’s safe to assume that if I have an alcoholic beverage in my hand, I fully intend to finish it. That’s what makes me happy.

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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