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Take Risks

The best 'GIFT' I want to give to you is to 'not fear failure'. The fear of failure holds so many of us back, not only in the arts, but in all walks of life. It can stop us from becoming the best version of us in so many ways. 

Society imposes upon us, from a very young age to avoid being the adventurous one, the imaginative one, the one who speaks up when we have a question or an unusual idea.  As we shouldn't be, or be perceived to be, rocking the safe societal boat.


Why?  ALL of development, both personal and the world we live in, comes from those people who do put themselves into a position of potential failure and realise that failure isn't just that but turn it around and call it a tool for learning.

As Thomas Eddison when he was inventing the lightbulb is reported to have said after a reporter asked him what it was like to fail 10,000 times in his attempts: -

"I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.  When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."


This gift of not fearing failure, or worrying how it will be perceived by others, is what doing Improvisation and Improvisational Comedy has given me.


So, to teach the first 'Comedy Improvisation' course at SAVVY THEATRE for their 'Acting Up' Company has been both a joy and a privilege.  We all come at new ventures from different starting points, experiences and capabilities, yet the grounding this group already had from all the staff (especially Sheree and Alice) made this one of the most fulfilling and rewarding teaching Impro Comedy experiences I have had.  As a group, their willingness to do, have a go and learn, and, the encouragement they gave to each other throughout the 10 weeks was such a great energy to be around.

There are different skill levels that people started from but everyone improved through their own efforts throughout.  Teachers can only open doors to new places it's the students that have to decide to go through them.  (There were some who had English as a second language for example, so to be brave enough to have a go at Impro AND it not to be in their first language was , quite frankly so INSPIRING and AMAZING.)  By the same token, many of us hold personal baggage that may have to be addressed when learning something new and having to push beyond our own comfort zones. Yet again, watching the positive development of EVERY individual and the group as a whole, as they tested themselves and went beyond where they started, was an honour AND we had a bloody good laugh as we all learnt and developed along the way.


I am lucky enough to be doing something I really enjoy for a living, performing and teaching Impro and Impro Comedy for a wide and varied set of contexts/ criteria and in many different settings. As so many of the skills you learn doing Impro are not only great to help you initially become a better, more team orientated and fearless performer, BUT, they will transfer over into the rest of your life too. 


One of the Savvy Company members said to me after the last week of the course and they had just performed in a Impro Comedy Showcase, "Thank you, it has been life changing." And that, that is one of the best gifts I get. 




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