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by Darren Held

Please stop yelling at me. Sometimes I have to work, you know. Sheesh. It’s not like people pay me millions of dollars for these brilliant nuggets of improv wisdom I dispense.

Speaking of brilliant nuggets of improv wisdom, I’m reading Bossypants by Tina Fey at the moment. Yes, finally. Gosh, you’re critical this morning. Anyway, I love love love this book but it’s frustrating me, and I’m going to tell you why. Because that’s just how I roll, people.

First of all, the brilliant improv-y nuggets that Tina shares are identical to the ones I’ve been sharing with you, about how learning to listen and agree and all that stuff will help you in real life. I understand why people don’t listen to me – I’m not rich or famous or friends with Alec Baldwin. But still. I do know some stuff about improv and I’m happy to pass it along, even without a big ol’ royalty check. So I guess that part isn’t really frustrating. It’s actually more gratifying that Tina Fey agrees with me.

(Excuse me, I just have to wonder aloud here why there’s a weird guy in the parking lot behind my house howling. Like a wolf. At 9 a.m. Seriously, try some other animals. I’m so bored with the wolf.)

Um, okay. Evidently I have a lot of issues with frustration this morning. So the thing that frustrates me from reading Tina’s brilliant book is that she talks about her time at The Second City, where they were doing improv FIVE NIGHTS A WEEK. I would LOVE to do improv five nights a week. I honestly think I’ll never get decent unless/until I am doing improv five nights a week. And the reason this frustrates me is that it’s virtually impossible for grown-ups to do improv five nights a week because unlike twenty-something actors, we have responsibilities. So even if I could somehow make that happen, there’s little chance any of my troupemates or classmates could also make it happen. And, by its very nature, improv is impossible to do alone.

Well, that’s really all I’ve got today. So to summarize: Sometimes I have to work, occasionally I read books, Tina Fey and I agree on 100% of things, howling like a wolf is irritating, and I am now determined to somehow do improv five times a week. Doesn’t have to be nights. I’m flexible that way.

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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