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by Darren Held

I’ve seen this happen to people (including myself) over and over: they start out just taking an improv class for the sheer fun of it, not worrying about doing it right or being good or anything other than having fun. Then, over a period of weeks or months, while still ostensibly enjoying the sheer fun of it, they begin to feel like the goal is to be funny in class.

That is not the goal.

Even if you decide, like I did, that improv is the best thing since sliced bread and you absolutely want to become the best you can possibly be at it, being determined to be funny in class is an excellent way to slow your progress.

Class is not a performance. Sure, part of the fun of improv class is the non-stop laughter – but that happens whether you are actually funny in your scene or not, it’s just part of the magic of improv. Class is about pushing yourself and trying new things and being bold and brave and downright weird, and sometimes those bold, brave, weird choices don’t work. So what?

Class is about learning. Doing what you already know how to do is NOT learning, it’s showing off. Not only that, it’s hiding out in the safety of your comfort zone. Guess what? The minute you decide to stay comfortable, you’ve decided to stop growing. Trust me, I like being comfortable as much as the next person, and I have a strong desire not to fail publicly – but if I want to ensure that I’ll be funny as much as possible when it matters (in a show, for example, or at a dignitary’s funeral), then I have to be willing to be downright UNfunny in class.

Luckily, H2G improv classes are totally safe and encouraging places to be bravely, boldly, weirdly NOT funny! And we have a whole new batch of classes starting in a couple weeks. Register at the website right NOW if you want to make sure you get a spot. If you come check out the 1/2-day Intro to Improv Workshop, you’ll recognize me as the not-very-funny blonde.

(In my defense, if you come check out the Last Laugh Saturday show, you’ll recognize me as the only blonde).

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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