I am certain that many of you are asking yourself the same question. Was that a typo in the title of his blog post? Did he mean to say “live” instead of “life?” Yes, the “F” and the “V” are located right next to one another on the keyboard. But I assure you, my choice of words in selecting a title for this blog post was intentional.
To my way of thinking, improvisational comedians are the epitome of brilliance. With no preparation beforehand, they are presented with a situation and asked to perform a comical skit. The beauty of this scenario is how the actors lead one another down a hilarious path of mayhem and play off the reaction from their “live audience. Comics like Robin Williams, Ryan Stiles, Drew Carey, and Colin Mochrie are the underappreciated heroes of the television airwaves.
That all said; let us get back to the title of this blog post. Our entire life can be simmered down to an improvisational performance. Most of the events and situations that we are asked to confront on a daily basis come with little warning. Typically we find ourselves having to perform in front of a group of complete strangers. If we are fortunate, there is a fellow actor on stage with us; somebody that we can use as an inspirational foil.
The question becomes, “How are you going to react to the challenge that has been tossed at your feet?” Will you quietly let the situation steamroll you? Will you despair and crawl into your safe little cocoon of denial? Or will you stage a performance that will surprise and inspire your own personal audience?
The formula for improv success is relatively simple. First, appreciate that the challenge you have been given is not going away. Remember that your goal is to put a smile on the faces of your audience. Affirm that your counterparts on stage are your best allies. Acknowledge that there is not necessarily one single best approach to the evolution of your skit. Depending on the twists and turns that take place, the conclusion to your performance can take on many faces. Finally, realize that making yourself laugh in the process is the ultimate reward!
The improv artist has one trait that we could all aspire to. That is simply confidence! They bare their souls for the entire world to judge, but they perform primarily to satisfy themselves. They are confident enough in who they are and what they believe to take the challenge head on. In the process, they have fun and make sure that all around them do too! I am certain that in doing so, they also discover valuable things about themselves.
Is today one of those days? Are you facing an entire slate of unexpected challenges? Does it seem like you just do not know where to start? I just have one thing to say to you. “Lights, camera, action!”