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by Darren Held

For the record, I am the worst girl EVER. I’m not sure if that makes my husband incredibly lucky or incredibly unlucky, but it is what it is.

It’s not my fault, honest. I’m pretty sure I was born without the girly gene that makes most women like things like flowers and candy and ridiculous made-up holidays like Valentine’s Day.

(Yes, I’ll make this about improv, I promise.)

Let’s look at the evidence, shall we?

  • I like fresh flowers around the house as much as the next person, but my practical nature abhors the expense. I prefer flowers cut from the yard.
  • I don’t like chocolate. To me a box of chocolates = a paperweight. And if the box is in the shape of a heart, I can’t even re-gift it. Wasteful.
  • I never wanted kids.
  • EVER.
  • I’m not big on jewelry. I like to work in my yard, and rings get in the way. And jewels are expensive! No matter how much money we have, I will always have something I’d rather spend it on than shiny metal and rocks.
  • The way to my heart is through my stomach. I know, that’s a guy thing, but see above about the worst girl ever. I was never the girl who didn’t eat on dates. I like food.
  • Some people laugh inappropriately at funerals. You know, nerves or whatever. I laugh inappropriately at romantic gestures.

Good thing I’m already married. I don’t think this bio would do me much good on Match.com.

Anyway, enough about my obvious shortcomings. My point is, we all have foibles that we take for granted – but those quirky tidbits can be used to great effect in improv. Label your scene partner (or yourself) as too practical to enjoy a bouquet of flowers, and then see what else this character is too practical to enjoy. Maybe you also make handmade greeting cards or you stock your fishtank with fish you netted yourself at the creek. Find out what else the girl who’s all about food might also like. Monster trucks? Football? Culinary school?

It doesn’t take much to create a character if you start with a quirk and a strong point of view to back it up. You’re welcome.

Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day. Whatever.

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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