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by Darren Held

I didn’t run in the Long Beach Half-Marathon yesterday. For one thing, I didn’t train for it this year. And b, there was an Intro to Improv workshop. I have priorities, you know.

I can totally run a half-marathon, FYI. I did it last year and finished in a very respectable 2:28:46. And I will definitely run another 1/2 someday, because I think I’ll probably need an excuse for eating many angel food cakes at some point and running a lot provides me with that.

But it’s safe to say I won’t run a half-marathon on a day that coincides with an improv class. And I’ma tell you why, because… well, because.

At the race last year, there were lots of people lined up at different points of the route, shouting encouragement to their friends and to random strangers. That was very cool and naturally we fed off their energy. Sometimes we literally fed off them, as with the totally awesome people who stood on a corner and handed out donut holes. And we had friends come out and cheer us on with signs and balloons and loudness, and that totally rocked too.

But there are two reasons the improv workshop yesterday was even better than that. First of all, there were people in the class who were trying improv for the first time and loving it. And seeing the benefit of it. And struggling with it. And all those wonderful things that improv elicits from people who have never tried anything like it before. I swear, I will never get tired of seeing people fall in love with improv.

And secondly, a couple people told me they were big fans. Of me. Too soon to tell, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never get tired of that, either.

So while the half-marathon has its advantages (mostly pertaining to angel food cake and donut holes), I’m going to go with the emotionally uplifting and ego-building qualities of improv classes. Cuz, you know. That’s just how I roll, people.

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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