Hello beautiful people,
Last Saturday night I was reminded of how important it is to let your hair down every now and then and just be playful in the moment.
The local theatre troupe was entering a team in a theatre sports competition and since I had dabbled (dabbled being the operative word here) a bit in Improvisational Acting with the President of the troupe a few years ago, she invited me to be part of their team and what a night of fun and frivolity was had by all, if I do say so myself.
I don’t think there is much out there in this world that is as beneficial for you than that of a good old belly laugh and being totally in the moment. Okay maybe a slight over exaggeration, then again, maybe not! I’ll let you decide for yourself.
As one of my fellow team mates so beautifully reminded me (and the rest of our team) before we headed backstage to begin our descent into the unknown – when it comes to Improvising you have to ‘Be Present, Let Go, Be Average, Accept Offers, Make Mistakes and Do Something!’
I was amazed at how quickly and easily I could do this, especially in front of a paying audience, whilst managing to be entertaining as well! Woohoo!
This experience led me to thinking how wonderful life would be in the everyday if we could apply these same golden rules that exist in the realm of Improvisational Acting. I wonder what it is that stops us from doing so.
Let’s investigate these rules further shall we?
‘Be Present’ – clearly this means being in the moment. You can’t be anywhere else except in the moment when it comes to Improvisational Acting. There’s no time to be anywhere else!
‘Let Go’ – this one sounds a bit trickier, although it’s not. To keep things flowing, you simply must let go of the past and be in the present. You can’t hang on to anything, as to do so will block the flow and stop the show!
‘Be Average’ – this one is all about the power that comes from being average. Trying to be something bigger can easily screw things up as trying too hard can come across looking a bit lame or not funny at all.
‘Accept Offers’ – to keep the scene moving forward offers are continually being presented. If you reject them then the scene is blocked and has nowhere to go, so you must continually accept offers.
‘Make Mistakes’ – this is the best part, as to make a mistake in Improvisational Acting is a gift in itself as these little beauties are often greeted with a cheer and a clap of well done, congratulations! Therefore one cannot help but love ones mistakes.
‘Do Something’ – if you’re doing all the above then you are doing something and the scene has somewhere to go. If you’re not, the scene has absolutely no where to go, it’s as simple as that!
Thinking again about what it is that stops us from doing this in our everyday life, I had a look for myself and this is what I have come up with.
‘Be Present’ – I can do this, maybe not all the time, although with a little more awareness and some practice, it’s highly achievable.
‘Let Go’ – I can do this too, sometimes much easier than at other times although again with some awareness and practice, once more highly achievable.
‘Be Average’ – that’s easy. That’s me to a T!
‘Accept Offers’ – Now this is where things start to get a bit hairy. There are risks associated with this one, big risks too. In Improvisational Acting when an offer comes your way you have to say ‘yes’ all the time, usually followed by an ‘and’ so that the offer can keep moving forward, ‘yes, and’. Did you get that one? You have to say ‘yes’ all the time! Hmm, even the thought of this one has me feeling squirmy in my stomach! How do you know one good offer from the other, or even if it is a good offer? It could be a bad one. Then what?
‘Make Mistakes’ – again another hairy one as who wants to look bad? I know I don’t. Mistakes in my real world are full of embarrassment. No-one cheers or congratulates me for making mistakes.
‘Do Something’ – this one is definitely doable! And the more I think about it, the more I realise that this one counteracts the uneasiness I felt towards ‘Accept Offers’ and ‘Make Mistakes’. As long as I ‘Do Something’, anything, I am always learning, evolving and moving forward with my life no matter what the offer is. As for ‘Make Mistakes’, there may not be cheering or congratulations on the outside, however there can always be cheering and congratulations on the inside as an opportunity to learn and evolve has presented itself. And really, if I’m feeling embarrassed or bad about a mistake I have made then that is my choice, right? For no-one can make me feel anything without my permission; therefore I can feel wonderful when I make a mistake.
Wow! So life can be played the same way as Improvisational Acting, who’d of thought! I hadn’t realised until I went on this little exploration.
What about you? How do you play your life? Would you be up for playing life the same way as Improvisational Actors do? Do you think you could ‘Be Present, Let Go, Be Average, Accept Offers, Make Mistakes and Do Something’, on a daily basis?
I now know that I can, and will practice doing so each and every day.
Love & hugs,
‘practice what you passion’®