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by Darren Held

By Sonnjea Blackwell

We (and by “we,” I mean “Darren”) got an incredible compliment at the end of the Held2gether Level 2 improv class last Thursday night. A student who has improv experience elsewhere but is taking H2G classes for the first time told Darren that they’ve never been in an improv class, group, setting, what have you that was just so darn nice.

She wasn’t referring to the venue. I mean, the Recreation Park social hall is spiffy and all. But she was talking about the people.

That’s what’s so special about H2G classes. They are made up of totally regular people, all from different walks of life and with different reasons for taking improv, but with the common denominator that they are all eager to learn improv and help support one another in that process.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s brilliant post all about me, last week’s class was the hard one where each person works on their weakness. Of course it’s uncomfortable – who enjoys addressing their shortcomings, in improv or anything else? But every student gamely gave 110% in an effort to overcome those shortcomings, and the rest of the class cheered wildly and genuinely rooted for their classmates to succeed. And when Darren gave his always-uplifting-yet-honest critiques, every single student smiled while being told what they still needed to work on. No one argued, blamed their scene partner, pouted or insisted that “that’s how they do it at [insert other improv school name here.]”

It’s such a privilege to take classes with people who are so open and giving, who come to class after a hard day at work and still keep their energy up and their attitude positive, who welcome new people as if they’ve been there all along, who give the other students their undivided attention and the instructor their heartfelt respect, and who laugh and laugh and laugh.

So I just wanted to pass that compliment on to the rest of the Level 2 class. You guys are a wonderful group of people to work and play with, and you should be proud of yourselves. Muah!

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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