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by Darren Held

This year, I’ma do improv more from my body and less from my head. People often tell me they are taking improv to learn to think faster on their feet, or listen better, or not judge themselves or others. And those are all awesome reasons to take improv. And improv will help you with those sorts of mental goals, because it helps take you out of the part of your brain that strategizes and plans and plots and judges, and helps you focus more on the part of your brain that listens and accepts and responds.

Yay!

But that’s still your brain. I want to get out of my brain. One of Darren’s goals for me is to have bigger stakes, to make things matter more in my scenes so I can have bigger reactions. The thing is, stuff DOES matter to me in my scenes, but in real life I’m so good at reacting calmly and “appropriately” and being a peacekeeper that I literally don’t know how to have a huge reaction to stuff. Well, my brain doesn’t, anyway. (Don’t feel too sorry for my brain; it’s good at plenty of other stuff, like justification and thinking fast and not going to Crazytown).

So I’m actually going to try to just respond to stuff in my scenes with more physicality. Maybe I’ll slap people, or fall to the floor, or scream or… who knows?? My brain is throwing out the options IT can think of, but we’ll see what I do when I let my body be in charge. This is a whole new, terrifying experiment for me. But hey, that’s what improv’s all about, right? I’ll let you know how it goes.

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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