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by Darren Held

I know it comes as no surprise that I think improv is the best thing since sliced bread. And that’s saying something, given my penchant for bread.

I also know I throw around the improv for life phrase pretty freely. But it’s our slogan for a reason, peeps.

See, one of the reasons I think improv is so friggin’ amazing is that every time you go on stage, you get to start over. It’s a fresh start, because it’s a whole new scenario and you get a whole new opportunity to be brilliant. Maybe you forgot to label your scene partner, or have an emotional reaction or be a character the last time you were on stage… so what? Since improv is all about being in the moment, nobody is holding you to what you did the last time around – ALL there is, is what you do right now.

And guess what? It works the other way, too. Maybe you did the best scene ever last week (or even 5 minutes ago)… yay you! But it means nothing now, in this scene.

If your goal is to do the best improv you can, you can neither beat yourself up over past mistakes nor rest on your laurels. Look at those failures and successes and learn from them, by all means. But then move on. Wallowing or gloating or whatever puts you in the past, and that is by definition, uh, not the present.

And as for the improv for life part: why not look at every day as a fresh start? Yesterday’s gone, and with it the day’s successes and failures. Today’s a whole new opportunity to be brilliant. I dunno about you, but I think I’ma take that opportunity. Right after I eat this bread.

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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