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by Darren Held

How do you feel about those people who cruise along, taking up the whole darn sidewalk and refusing to make way for you, forcing you to walk in the grass and get your new Skechers wet and muddy? Or the folks who block the entire grocery store aisle, aimlessly staring at boxes of cereal while yammering away on their cell phones? Do you think Twilight is the literary equivalent of, say, Gallo wine from a box?

Whatever your pet peeve, and we’re sure you have one because even calm, mild mannered people like those of us at H2G occasionally get slightly irked by things, you can likely go off on quite a colorful, animated rant about it given the right opportunity and sufficient alcohol, are we right?

Okay, calm down, I have a point. We did a fun exercise in the all-level drop-in class last night where you get to totally go off on whatever your pet peeve is. The more energy and drama, the better. So it’s like therapy.

Only then, you switch pet peeves with someone else and now you have to argue IN FAVOR of their pet peeve. Suddenly, there’s nothing you love more than traipsing through the mud, or spending extra hours at the grocery store or the idea of a tortured, angst-ridden story that romanticizes high school, of all the ridiculous things to romanticize. And you can’t be sarcastic. You have to take on the point of view of a person who genuinely enjoys getting out of the way for other people, feeling the wet grass on your toes, etc. You simply love getting to know people vicariously through examining the contents of their shopping carts while you wait for them to mosey on to the next aisle. You are absolutely sure that Twilight is a story for the ages, with undying (literally) love that knows no bounds.

In improv terms, it’s an exercise that forces you to take on a whole new point of view that you would probably never have thought of, and it helps you come up with kooky characters. In life, it helps you look at petty annoyances in a different light and hopefully not let them get to you quite so much. Which is a good thing, and we at H2G are happy to help.

Although seriously, people, do you really have to call your spouse/roommate/significant other for input on what kind of chips to purchase? Hang up the phone, reach out and grab a friggin’ bag. It’s chips. What’s the worst that could happen? It’s not like they’ll make you fall in love with a 200 year old vampire or anything.

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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