On my way to grab my morning soy latte, a little girl skipped her way into me with no apologies. She was singing nonsense lyrics at the top of her lungs, again, with no apologies. She was effortlessly enjoying life with no fear.
Yesterday was my grad improvisation show at UCB. Now, it was only level one, so…it can only get better. But it got me thinking. I wanted to write about it from a spiritual stance, and explore it from the idea of approaching greater self-awareness and freedom. Improvisation really captures a lot of what I strive for: the ability to take a step out on stage, or into life, with complete trust that sh*t wont hit the fan. Or if it does, everything will be okay and the chips will fall, as they should.
Before the show started our team had to decide on a team name to introduce. Our chosen name was “team Grandpa Witchy Whore,” which ironically, I had nothing to do with. I enjoy improvisation for many reasons, especially because it gives me that same rush I felt back when I was playing basketball, softball, and soccer. It has that same feel of not knowing what the hell your teammates are going to throw you. You have to be hyper aware of the space, on your toes, and ready for what comes your way, anticipating your next move, without telegraphing. Within the anticipation, though, there needs to be a freedom to let that go and be open to what comes at you, reacting spontaneously AND accordingly. It’s a group effort of jumping off a cliff and trusting the support system of teammates being there to catch you.
You can’t apologize about where you move, how you move, or what comes out of your mouth. Improvisation asks you to commit to a choice, say yes to what your teammate offers, and run from there. I posted one of my scenes from yesterday’s show (excuse the amount of negative space…). You can literally see the hesitation before I step on stage, waiting to see if anyone else is going to step forward. It took a little before we found the niche or “game” of the scene, but as soon as we fully committed, matched each other’s energies, and went with what we fed one another, it started to flow and find its momentum organically. A lovely reminder to carry over into day-to-day living…