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by Darren Held

A new round of Held2gether improv classes starts this week, which always gets me thinking about my first time. In an improv class. C’mon, peeps, it’s only Monday.

Fortunately, I didn’t know enough about improv to be scared or nervous or anything. Even though I was taking improv to help me be less shy and to push myself out of my comfort zone, I didn’t find that concept scary, per se. I don’t know if that means I’m braver than I thought or the blonde is more natural than I thought, but either way it was a good thing.

What I discovered when we all got in a circle and introduced ourselves was that everybody was taking improv for some big reason in addition to the obvious reason of having fun. Here are some of the common ones, in case you wondered…

  • Overcome shyness
  • Improve public speaking
  • Build confidence
  • Improve interpersonal communication/relationships
  • Learn to work better as part of a team
  • Improve acting ability
  • Thought improv was stand up

Except for that last one, improv really does help with all of those things – and in a way that is totally fun.

Improv can also be totally scary, because learning new things and being incredibly goofy in front of a bunch of strangers is outside most peoples’ comfort zones. But the good news is, at Held2gether, we are all about making the scary UNscary. Two hours of people laughing and clapping and encouraging you takes 99% of the scary away, so you can focus on the fun + whatever other reason you had for coming to class.

Unless you came to learn stand up. That’s a whole different class, people.

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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