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by Darren Held

By Sonnjea Blackwell

I did a terrible scene in improv class last week (sorry again for that, Lisa) that meandered all over the place and had no point, no relationship and, um, did I mention it had no point? Not only did I not pick up on information Lisa threw out, I even somehow managed to deny my own information.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into detail. Trust me, it’s not something I want to rehash in public. But the one bit of information that my lame-o character had that was funny was that she kept saying “there’s no ‘I’ in teamwork” as she typed a report without using any Is.

Look, I already warned you it sucked. Don’t be mean.

Unlike in class, right now I actually have a point. Which is, improv, while technically spelled with an I, is all about teamwork. You have to trust your partner, and you have to be trustworthy yourself – if the scene is tanking, you are going to sink or swim together. So you can’t bail. And trusting your partner doesn’t mean you expect them to be perfect. You simply trust them to stay in the scene with you and not throw you under the bus in a desperate attempt to save themselves.

You’re probably sick of me comparing improv to life, but it’s the same, I swear. If you can learn to give others the benefit of the doubt, and try your best to give 100% in whatever “scene” you have with them – work, family, bowling league – you’re going to get a lot more out of it. Even when the scene doesn’t go the way you’d both hoped, you’ll be happy in the knowledge that you both gave it your all and did what you could to support one another. And then you can have a beer together. There’s no “I” in beer, you know.

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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