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by Darren Held

Some of you who know me as a person know that I’m not always all sweetness and light. I know it’s totally hard to believe, but it’s true! Sometimes I actually get a little cranky.

Usually my crankiness has to do with hunger. What? I’m a pretty simple girl.

But other times my crankiness has to do with not getting my way. I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak; I simply like to know what’s happening and when. And where, of course. Oh, and if at all possible I like to be in charge of it. I don’t think that’s asking a lot, personally.

So you can imagine my dismay when I learned that improv requires you to let go of your agenda. Um, what? My agendas are awesome, people!

But after a little practice (okay, a huge, ginormous amount of practice), I learned that holding on to my agenda strangled my scenes. That’s because a scene can’t unfold naturally if one (or, god forbid, both) players are determined to steer it in a particular direction. Sure, you can have a vague idea at the beginning of a scene, like we’re hicks or what have you, but if you are hung up on getting your way, you are killing your scene.

Oh, okay, fine. I see my own point. Being hung up on getting my way in real life makes me miss out on all the potential wonderfulness of other peoples’ ideas. (I said “potential” on purpose; I’m still not too sure about some peoples’ ideas). Trying to be in control of every situation is not only pointless, it’s also stressful and pretty much sucks all the fun out of life.

The good news is, after a few improv classes with Held2gether, I learned to let go of my agenda. You know, most of the time. If my agenda involves food, though, it’d probably be a good idea to let me have my way. Just sayin’.

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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