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by Darren Held

Have you ever noticed that when you are in desperate need of inspiration, if you just sit still for a moment and be calm and patient and listen to the universe, you’ll get what you need?

For example, I was just sitting here, unable to come up with anything to say. I had nothing. Nothing funny, nothing helpful, nothing about improv or life or chickens. And so I sat patiently and waited for a sign.

After about 15 seconds, there was a knock at my front door. I swear, I’m not making this up. I was hoping for opportunity, but it was even better: Girl Scouts! There’s something so fantastic about ordering Girl Scout cookies from the Brownie down the street sometime in late January and not knowing when they’ll arrive… and then, just when you need them most, there they are! It’s so much more exciting than the instant gratification of going to Von’s, purchasing Oreos and snarfing them down in the car on the way home.

And after my Thin Mint high had a chance to kick in, I realized that I learned to be patient in improv class. Sometimes a scene is going nowhere, and you’re just standing there, unable to come up with anything to say. The natural instinct is to panic and babble on and throw out meaningless information and flap about randomly. But if you stay calm and patient instead, there will be a knock at the door and you’ll see that just when you need it the most, your idea appears.

Of course, learning to stay calm and patient and in the moment takes training and practice. But we teach it to people all the time! So sign up for a Held2gether improv comedy class. If it can attract Girl Scout cookies, just think of all the other awesome things improv can bring into your life!

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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