Monday, June 8, 2015
How the rules of improv can help us lead better lives
I went on another library emptying spree the other day. One of the things I did was put a few audio books on hold because it's SO much easier to listen to a book than read it sometimes... especially right now when I got my crip hands.
One of the audio books I picked up is Tina Fey's 'Bossypants' and I'm loving it. I get a little confused about some things because it isn't exactly chronological but hey it just keeps me on my toes!
As I was listening to her read her own book (yes, it's everything I want it to be), she started talking about her improv experience with Second City in Chicago. She started to discuss the rules of improv and for some reason they really hit home for me. It seems like they're honestly great rules for life!
To do anything, you have to agree to it. You can't go forward if you aren't participating. In improv, she talks about that your partner might hold a 'gun' at you. If you say 'no, that's just your finger,' the scene has nowhere to go.
However, if you agree and ADD to the conversation, then things can go forward - 'the gun I got you for Christmas??' is her example.
The idea in these first two is that you have an open mind, respect what your partner has created, and contribute. Don't just rely on someone else to answer the questions or make up the scene for you.
Something Tina feels is especially important for women is to make a statement. This goes along with not asking questions all the time. Above all, ladies especially, don't have apologetic questions. Her example is a surgeon consulting with their patient and the conversation goes something like this - "Hi, like I'm gonna be your surgeon?"
You need to make statements with your voice AND your actions.
And this last point is just SO Bob Ross:
There are no mistakes. Take the accidents as opportunities. Maybe that means you wind up being a T-rex going through the obstacle training to be a cop or whatever. Maybe that means your original idea isn't valid or going to work anymore. Guess what? That's okay.
Now, we do need to be careful with some of this. When you don't always have spoons to use, saying yes to everything doesn't exactly work. When you have poorly defined boundaries, saying yes to everything doesn't work.
I think the point is more to keep an open mind about what's out there for you and about what you can accomplish.