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by Darren Held

Welcome back to H2G’s amazing, world-famous Long Beach improv classes, my friends. I hope the break wasn’t too traumatic, and I hope you’ve made peace with the amount of fruitcake and vodka you consumed.

Oh, right, like I’m the only one who did that. Pshaw.

I have mixed feelings about classes starting again. On the one hand, I live for improv, so I suppose you could say I’m “happy.” On the other hand… Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t have mixed feelings at all. In my perfect world scenario, I would do improv 5 times a week, and there wouldn’t be this annoying anxious feeling in my stomach after a long break because there wouldn’t be a long break.

Nevertheless, the break happened and my stomach hurts. Not as much as Andy, Co-Dependent’s hurts, but that’s a whole other story. I don’t get nervous before a show, but I get nervous about a new class. Weird, right? But I have a theory about that, and I’m gonna share it with you because, you know, I really love my theories.

See, in class, I’m nervous because I know I’m going to try things I’m not so good at. And I know I’m not always going to succeed. And, like most normal Americans, I don’t like that whole not succeeding thing. In fact, it pretty much sucks.

But I’m not nervous about performing because I know I’m going to give it my best, play to my strengths and have a great time with my troupemates. By the time a show rolls around, my mind has settled down into “I’m going to do the best I possibly can, and that’s all anybody can do,” and I somehow trust that and don’t get nervous.

Why I can’t adapt that thought to class is anybody’s guess. I’m gonna eat another piece of fruitcake and ponder it for a while. In the meantime, don’t worry about it if you’re nervous for the start of another (or your very first) improv class – it just means you’re willing to try something that’s out of your comfort zone, and that’s the best way I know to start a new year! Yay you!

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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