What Is Improvisation?

Improvisation is an art form

It is a life-long journey of exploration and discovery. Although it is not something you ever master, its riches are constantly being unfolded as a reward for committing to and preserving with the art form. And most importantly, it is a fun way of traveling on the journey to self-actualization and feeling comfortable in one’s own skin.

Why Improv?

Improvisation sets up a safe and fun environment for a person to undergo experiential self-directed learning. This personal growth results in not only being a better improviser, but a person is able to transfer this learning to every area of their life, whether it’s personal relationships, professional work or school.

Improvisation is the wonderful vehicle for leadership development, whether it’s self-leadership or leadership of others, as it imparts crucial life skills that every person needs.

Is the Improv for Anxiety Class Right for Me?
Does being nervous or uncomfortable around other people keep you from doing things you want to do?
Does your fear of public speaking or talking to teachers get in the way at work and/or school?
Is being embarrassed or looking stupid one of your worst fears?
Do you limit how involved you become with people because you are afraid of letting them get to know you? Do you worry that if people really knew you, they wouldn’t like you?
Do you find yourself turning down invitations to social events because you know you would feel uncomfortable if you went?
Does being the center of attention make you feel very uncomfortable and self-conscious?
Do you worry about blushing or looking nervous in front of other people?
Do you have trouble stating your opinion or asking for something you deserve because you worry about what others will think of you?

Overall Benefits:
The experience and knowledge that you gain from participating in the improv troupe will enrich you in many unique ways. Some of the common benefits are:

-Increased Confidence.
-Improved Public Speaking Skills.
-Enhanced Acting Abilities.
-Gained Comfort in Social Settings.
-Refined Brainstorming Abilities.
-Improved Listening and Observation Skills.
-Enhanced Creative-Thinking Abilities.
-Improved Decision-Making Skills.
-Team Development Skills.

Additional Benefits:

-Self Intelligence
The exercises and activities in improvisation act as a mirror. They enable for the person participating in them to see him or herself and notice their thoughts, emotions, behaviors and capabilities. It is in this way that they can achieve what every philosopher and spiritual teacher has said throughout history – know thyself.

Improvisation develops one’s:
Confidence and self-acceptance.
Ability to focus and concentrate.
Ability to adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
Awareness of how one thinks.
Awareness of the quality of one’s inner voice.
Awareness of one’s emotions.
Awareness of personal responsibility from choices made.
Awareness of one’s strengths and areas of opportunities to develop.
Sense of fun.

-Social Intelligence
The exercises and activities in improvisation require people to interact with others to achieve a common objective – usually to tell a good story. The objective cannot be met if people don’t work harmoniously together. In order to reach this goal, people develop the skills and understanding of what is required to work effectively together and how to enjoy it. Every person has a basic human need to be involved in something bigger than them. Improvisation meets this need, as people are able to have creative expression and work together to achieve something they could never create by themselves.<

Improvisation develops one’s:
Trust with team members.
Ability to create and sustain rapport.
Ability to empathize.
Ability to see things from new perspectives.
Ability to influence.
Ability to accept other people’s ideas and points of view

-Physical Intelligence
Improvisation develops an awareness of one’s body, how it moves through space and read other’s body language. The mind and body are one; you cannot affect one without affecting the other, so you can influence your thoughts and action through the way you use your body. An awareness of physical expression is also very important for effective communication.

Improvisation develops one’s:
Confidence and assertiveness through physical expression.
Ability to communicate non-verbally.
Ability to exert dominance when needed.
Ability to relax others non-verbally.
Ability to build rapport non-verbally.
Ability to physically blend in and feel comfortable in any environment.

-Verbal Intelligence
Improvisation imparts essential communication skills that have a positive effect on daily life. As a human being you can’t not communicate, for everything you say and do reveals something about you. Improvisation that focuses on narrative and different ways of telling stories helps people realize the elements that make a good story.

Improvisation develops one’s:
Narrative ability and how to engage hearts and minds through story.
Empathetic listening skills so that one truly understands others.
Ability to express oneself more effectively.

-Spatial Intelligence
In improvisation people create imaginary objects, environments and even people in the space. In order to acknowledge and honor the things created, one must be aware of where they are in space. Sharing the stage means that people must know where others are and what they’re doing.

Improvisation develops one’s:
Awareness of space.
Ability create and share focus in space.
Ability to create imaginary objects and environments in space.
Ability to hold imaginary objects in the mind.

Human beings have a basic need to grow as people. Creative expression, in any shape of form is fundamental to our physical, emotional, spiritual wellbeing. The result of creativity is personal growth. Creativity is like a muscle; it needs to be worked in order for it to be developed. Improvisation develops one’s creativity, mental flexibility and thinking skills in numerous ways.

Improvisation develops one’s:
Imagination and ability to generate new ideas.
Spontaneity and ability to present without preconceived ideas.
Ability to take risks and overcome fear of failure and being judged.
Ability to detach from any expectations and set ways of thinking and acting.
Ability to embrace and explore ambiguity and different ways of doing things.
Ability to tap into one’s intuition and trust one’s natural creative instincts.
Ability to delay acting on one’s judgments of others and the situation.
Ability to be open to other ideas, support them and build on them.
Ability to justify which creates new things by putting them into a context and giving them a reason to exist.
Ability to solve problems in new and different ways.

Leif’s Improv. and Acting Playhouse is now at Aviator Sports every Tuesday and Friday – for a variety of Improv. and Acting classes 

Categories: News, Motivation, Acting

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