How would you like to do something that would result in never being afraid of anything ever again? Sound impossible? Well, that is exactly what someone told me would happen to me if I bit the bullet and took the Improv classes at Second City. And, much to my surprise, it is not that far from the truth.
Once hooked, I also signed up for the four levels of acting classes at Second City, which I actually enjoyed even more. These experiences have allowed me to grow in ways that were unimaginable before. I have a confidence and a self assurance that serve me well both personally and professionally. None of this is to be mistaken for ego or arrogance, but, rather, an honest sense of my worth and the awareness of my talents and gifts; and the best use of them for the purpose of passion, happiness and joy for myself in the service of others.
The result of my “training” is that I now have a job that allows me to be in front of people all of the time. I teach exercise classes, do seminars, lectures and programs, and even get to do “open mic” occasionally. I’ve never met a microphone that I didn’t like. We sure do know how to have fun every month.
While my job allows me to actually be on “stage” in a manner, thereby using the skills learned in those classes, having an audience is not the only reason to sign up.
Recent studies have proven that brain fitness depends on practicing six important dimensions of healthy living. These are:
Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Nutritional, Social, and Spiritual.
Classes in Acting and Improv fall under the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and even spiritual umbrellas. In terms of the intellectual module, it is important to diversify one’s learning endeavors. That is, if you are into art, take piano lessons, for example. Do or study something that is completely out of your comfort zone; some new field of study for you.
Not only that, but you will never have more fun! I can remember so fondly the classes where there was nothing but laughter ringing through the auditorium as we spun our wild tales and made them come to life. Your inhibitions become a distant memory that seems silly once you are able to discard it. Everyone else in class does, so you finally realize how little others care. You begin to realize that most people are so worried about what others think of THEM that they are too busy to notice you. So, you begin to ask yourself, what difference does it make, anyway? I saw the transformation of plenty of quiet, shy people into self-confident, assertive and strong individuals who can now stand up for themselves and fear little in their lives. It’s a beautiful thing, and I HIGHLY recommend it.
Here is a video of older adults doing improve: