Do you feel self conscious in front of people - be that 1 or 100?
Are you afraid to truly express yourself?
Do you find yourself dreaming about or imaging yourself on stage and in front of hundreds yet given the opportunity would turn and run?
Ahhh....that was my story for sure. I spent the most of my life very self conscious and afraid of being up in front of people, truly physically ill at the thought of an oral book report in school, and very nervous giving presentations in my corporate life.
Then, enter stage left, Improv! Oh my! Now, granted at first, this was NOT the case. My first experience of theater Improv was not exactly fun, nor transformative. It seemed silly and so out of my comfort zone. How could this be something fun for me?
It all changed with a weekend workshop in Houston, TX in March, 2000. The structure was to learn the rules of Improv, play games, and ended with a 'show' on Sunday night where we would perform Improv games, invite friends and family, charge $5 a ticket, and have fun doing it.
This pushed all of my resistance buttons. Why a show and why did we have to sell tickets for others to come? Why did we do games all day long? What's the real outcome of all of this?
Little did I know that my Heart Desire Angels were at work on this one. I ended up really enjoying the class, had a great time, really got out of my comfort zone, and felt so happy and bright at the end of the show...hmmm..we might be on to something. The facilitator for the class gave me feedback after the show as to how bright and beautiful I looked 'on stage'. And the rest is history...
From that moment forward, I was constantly seeking ways to get that feeling in my body, my spirit, my heart. I created workshops which included Improv for coaching, for conflict resolution, for change management, for influencing, for presentation skills. I've coached and trained, and I had a great opportunity to perform with others in Houston on stage in a totally unique mostly unscripted show.
This show launched me onto the path for stage performance -- my first show, the crowd was over 500 people, and I had the time of my life. I still see the stage lights and the look of the crowd from the stage. WOW!
From there, I studied more Improv and was a part of many Improv shows, as well as original productions of Bawdy Brawds Broadway Bound and Crossroads, in the creation, development and delivery. As a troupe, we took Bawdy Brawds to off, off Broadway in New York City for performances. What a ride!
I also have spoken to many groups on many topics, many times incorporating Improv into the content. I've been on local, regional and national stages at conferences, have been published in a national journal on Improvisation as an Organizational Intervention.
I now have my practice in Santa Fe, NM and have launched a series of workshops on Improv 4 Life!, Improv 4 Relationships!, and soon an Improv 4 Parenting! session.
For me, Improv has been and is a catalyst -- a way to allow yourself to play, be spontaneous, be with people differently, be more self expressed, and get better and more fabulous results in your life.
It's all about saying YES to life! Let me know about your YES to life!