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by Darren Held

We’ve had one of those unfortunate breaks between improv classes the past couple of weeks. Sometimes it can’t be helped – scheduling conflicts, holidays and whatnot interfere. I especially blame the whatnot.

So now that classes are starting up again (with the exception of Saturday, which will be on hiatus until September), people have been texting me that they’re sure they’ve forgotten everything they ever knew about improv.

To which I reply, “Eh. It happens.”

Don’t get me wrong. I actually don’t think everyone has forgotten everything in a couple of weeks. But improv – like any skill, art, craft or sport – requires practice. And without practice, you get a little rusty at the skills you’re actually pretty good at… and you definitely may forget the rules and skills and things that you were struggling with.

There’s nothing wrong with taking an improv class every once in a while when the mood strikes or the stars are aligned just so or whatever. But to continually improve and develop skills that will last and carry over into your real life in a meaningful way, it’s helpful to take several 6-week classes all in a row. That way, your skills build and multiply and you’re not always swimming upstream to re-learn what you’ve forgotten. And when there IS a break, at least you and your classmates are all in the same boat.

Anyway, I’ve had a little break too (although I did go to the drop-in class last Wednesday; where were you?) so I may struggle with having big stakes or taking action in the moment. I probably won’t forget to cry, though. And I’m pretty sure I’ll remember to call my scene partner Frank.

Some things you just don’t forget.

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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