Updated: Apr 8, 2022
You know that feeling you get when you think you should've said or acted differently than you did in the moment. That one that nags at you while you shampoo in the shower or circles your head, keeping you up at night.
That all could be avoided if you learn and embrace the skill of improv, the ability to trust your authentic self in the moment and know for certain that you're showing up the best that you can, which makes any reaction perfect.
Flexing your improv muscles through constant practice, be it movement like dance or free writing, will only help when life throws you those gnarly curve balls. In the moment, you'll be ready to clearly express yourself because that situation won't be as foreign to you than if you haven't strengthened those improv muscles.
Sure, the addition of a second party changes the dynamic a bit, but just like learning how to improvise at all, over time, the other person won't really be a factor.
So what you do is show up regularly -- I do this through scheduling myself weekly space in a dance studio and writing every morning, even if I don't have anything to say -- by scheduling this time to do the uncharted. Whatever comes out of the session, whether you "like" it or not, will be perfect because you've met yourself where you are in that moment, in the present, and the present is always perfect.
This blog right here is a fantastic example. Right now I'm sitting on a patio chair at a family-friendly resort in the sunshine writing this blog on my phone. Sure, I'll go back and re-read for grammatical edits, but in the spirit of walking the walk (I believe all teachers should do what they preach) I'm keeping this as authentic and genuine as possible.
Trusting yourself is key to improvisation success. I trust that my knowledge and experience with this topic has been marinating just long enough that it's ripe for the picking so that you can digest it and implement it in your own life.
Now, in what ways will you show up for yourself? Will you take up improvisation dance, journaling, in-the-moment conversations with strangers, filming more live feeds, or something totally wild that hasn't been done yet?
Expressing yourself authentically in the moment will blow doors open and shatter ceilings, and I wish you all the best!!
- Jeanette, Founder & Creative Director of Stellaria Creative Company