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by Darren Held

I posted a “Happy Monday” post on FB today, and somebody asked what was wrong with me. It’s a fair question, and one that I get a lot. In this case, however, I would argue that there’s nothing wrong with me.

I know that’s gonna require some explanation, so hang on while I get my thoughts in order…

See, I was thinking about improv and kids. Not kids doing improv, which is something I encourage but is not something I’m speaking about at the moment. I was thinking that kids, until they go to school anyway, totally grasp being in the moment.

They don’t pre-plan what they’re gonna say – when they want a cookie, they just announce they want a friggin’ cookie. When someone speaks to them, they respond to what that person just said, with whatever response comes to them and without editing it and censoring it to death. When they don’t like what someone says or does to them, they have a HUGE emotional reaction – again, without self-censoring.

Hmmmmm….

Of course, I’m not saying we want to play kids in improv scenes. What I’m suggesting is that we might considering playing like kids in improv scenes. You can totally start a scene with, “LOOK BILLY!! I finished the report!! Yay!! Woohoo!” with high-fives all around. You can respond to your partner with foot stomping, pouting and a teary, “But I HATE spending the holidays with your family.” You can walk right up to your scene partner and stroke their hair and say, “I like your hair. You can be my friend.”

Anyway, the Happy Monday post was what made me think about being in the moment. Sure, if I think ahead to the busy week, maybe I’ll freak out; but if I just focus on the fact that I woke up this morning and now I get to write some stuff, of course it’s a happy Monday. And then I thought about how easy it is for toddlers to do squats. And then that made me think that toddlers don’t care if it’s Monday when they do their squats and ta-da! Here we are.

Now I’m gonna have a cookie. Because all this talk about doing squats has made me hungry, and that’s just how I roll.

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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