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August, 2013

Improv Classes Will Change Your Life

At the risk of sounding grandiose, I’m here to tell you that taking an improv class will change your life for the better, give you a positive philosophy for navigating the world and quite possibly get you laid. These are undeniable FACTS.

Over the last decade as an instructor and education director for the Hideout Theatre I’ve seen thousands of students introduced to improvisation and thousands of lives change course in small, large and epic ways. Check out this long list of testimonials.

Now, you might argue that any new hobby is a potential horizon expanding experience, and that picking up a guitar or taking a pole dancing class could be the beginning of a wonderful journey of self discovery, and just what makes improv so damn exceptional?

That’s the thing. Improv isn’t just any hobby. It isn’t so much the art of learning to be funny on stage as it is the meta set of skills and principles that sits on top of EVERYTHING  and allows you to have fun and be more effective at ANYTHING. If you take an improv class at the Hideout, you’ll end up improvising comedy on stage, but you’ll also find yourself improvising at work, in your relationships, in creative pursuits (possibly with a guitar or on that pole). Improv is a life philosophy that can be applied anywhere anytime, and it’s incredibly simple:

Embrace risk. One of the first things students figure out in our classes is that graceful, joyful failure is just as satisfying as and EXPONENTIALLY FUNNIER THAN careful success. In the classes we invite you to take managed risks and feel the overwhelmingly positive feedback from your fellow students (and eventually audiences). Why waste time with planning and stressing about the unknown when you can bravely jump in and sort it out in the moment?

Don’t try so hard. Trying to be funnier, more clever, more impressive or more whatever is the fastest way to reek of desperation and effortfulness. Through games and playful interactions you’ll really start to believe that chilling out and getting out of your own way is the fastest way to the funny. It’s a zen thing.

Say Yes. Improv proves again and again that the more you fight for control, the more you say No and shut other people down, the harder it is to make anything happen, and the less people are going to want to play with you. A wise man once said “People who say ‘No’ are rewarded with the safety they achieve, while people who say ‘Yes’ are rewarded with the adventures they have.”

Be in the Moment. There are a million places other than right here and now that you could be – regretting the past, planning for the future, freaking out about what you “should” be doing – but none of them are going to help you effortlessly take that next step.

Have fun. We could beat ourselves up and work really hard to get good at just about anything, but why not enjoy the ride?

See what kind of transformation improv has in store for you. Check out our upcoming Level One classes starting this month and next: http://www.hideouttheatre.com/austin-improv-classes/levelsonetothree

Best wishes,
Andy Crouch
Education Director

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