On the first day of the level 1 improv class I’m taking, several of the other students mentioned better communication and confidence as their reasons for being there. Improv courses are not only for comedians. People are going to improv classes for all sorts of reasons. Companies and colleges are getting in on the action too, as they realize that the techniques learned in improv create well-rounded employees.
Improv techniques are designed to improve creativity, risk-taking, and teamwork. This article mentions three essential improv lessons that help on the job: “Yes, and…” “Collaboration,” and “Failure is OK.”
I’ve been surprised how much I’ve learned already in the short time I’ve been taking improv. Many of these lessons I hope will carry over into my comedy writing — how to be more creative in scenes… awareness of pacing and timing… and just how essential honesty and emotion are to an audience.
And regarding the idea of failure, one of the best things about improv I’ve discovered is that failure is not only okay, but it can also lead to a more creative outcome. I think we can all use that life lesson.