What I learned in My First Improv Class at CSz

From Eric Earle:

  • Mistakes are good. Mistakes are an offer to you and to the world. We love mistakes.
  • People are always making you offers -- and you have to listen to them. Listen closer.
  • Don't plan. Act.
  • Break the rules. Or at least, bend them. 
  • Don't take life too seriously. It's a game. Relax. Have fun. 
  • Don't live your life always trying to avoid mistakes. That's silly. Embrace them. Use them. 
  • Pay more attention to life.

Improv woke me up. I'm alert. I'm focused. I'm alive. 

Life is happening all around me. And I have to be there for it. Creatively. 
But most of all improv is just fun. Life is fun. And I think sometimes we forget that. Improv reminds you.

Improv gives you presence because it puts you in the present moment. It teaches you that you have to focus and listen harder than you ever have... yet softly, with a sense of fun.
After improv I went shopping. 
There were these huge jars of fruit. (Normally there are smaller ones out there.)
"I don't know if I can eat this whole thing," I said, picking up the big jar and showing it to the worker. (I normally would have just been quiet and left.)
He laughed.
"Oh I can bring you one. The cooler is off ... let me run to the back and get it," he said. 
Earlier in my shopping, I had been thinking about an Odwalla juice, but I had forgotten.
Then I walked by and saw this girl getting one. 
"Oh! You reminded me I was going to get one of those!"
Then she asked me a question and we started chatting. Improvising.
I've started conversations in the past, countless times. But this felt more natural. I wasn't trying to start a conversation, I just did
This one I didn't think about. I just did. It's like I was living in real time and just flowing. Shopping was improv. 
Life is improv.

Eric Earle started our CSz 101 on April 7. His blog is here.