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by Darren Held

By Sonnjea Blackwell

There are times in life when you should stick with what you’re good at. And there are times when you should push yourself to do stuff you suck at.

It’s good to know the difference.

For example, if you do the samba better than everyone on Dancing With the Stars but you trip over your own feet when you do a waltz, it make sense to do the samba when you’re auditioning for a job as an Arthur Murray dance instructor.

Of course the same is true of improv. There are things each of the Held2gether troupe members rock at. And there are things that we struggle with. During a show, when people have come out to be entertained, we are going to do our best and trot out the things each of us excels at. If you come to see Tag Team Improv next weekend, you’ll see: Paul will have outstanding characters, Viet will take care of every scene he’s in, Robert will having amazing energy, Barbi will be hilariously inappropriate, Andy will justify anything and everything and I will spew information. That’s what the audience wants to see us do – be our collective best by each individual being his or her best.

But in class – that’s a whole other story. In class, the best thing to do is focus on the things you know you struggle with. I know I’m not going to have trouble coming up with information when I need to, so in class I should just let go of that and go balls-to-the-wall with characters and emotion.

Easier said than done, of course. But the great thing about H2G improv classes is that they are uber encouraging, providing a totally safe place to experiment and try stuff you know you’re not so good at. Yet. The whole point of class is to learn, after all, and it would be silly to spend all your time in class doing the stuff you’re already good at. So come on out to a class and f*ck up with the rest of us. You can be perfect on your own time.

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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