UPDATE – Special Post – Cleansing My Soul

At last!  I had a breakthrough in improv!!!

In my post, “Cleansing My Soul,” I resolved to break though my fear of being vulnerable so that I could have break through in my improv class. It’s been a year in the making. I knew I could do it. I grew frustrated that this breakthrough hadn’t occurred yet. “Why can’t I do this?  Why hasn’t it happened yet?” I thought. I even talked about it at length with my improv instructor. “What are tools I can use to push forward on stage?”  I’d asked. At first it felt like a mini breakthrough, but in reflection it was THE breakthrough I desired and needed. I made it past “the dip”!!!

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I was the last one up for the first set of scenes in class. I was one of four improvisers on stage. Our location was a medical waiting room. I felt nervous and my improv brain came into play, which never happens. Usually my mind is blank when I am on stage. “Why am I nervous?” I thought. “I think I have a terminal illness.  And the doctor is giving me the results today.” I continued to think, “Why is this important?  I just had a daughter.  I want to be there to see her grow.” Playing off of my fellow improvisers they started to irritate me with their personal concerns in the scenes, which felt minor to my health concern and it fueled my nerves. Finally, when I spoke I said the best monologue that I have improvised to date. In the moment, as I spoke, tears rolled down my eyes at the back-story I created was becoming more and more real with each word spoken.

The next half of the class we created mini stories. The suggestion we were given was a snow globe. I boldly started the scene without fear, just pure trust. In my mind I saw the interior of a craftsman style home with a snow globe on a table in reading room. I picked up the snow globe and started talking about its significance of the object was to my character. As the story progressed I trusted my instincts. I had so many creative hits or ideas at where the story needed to go, what characters needed to be added and what scenes needed to be next.  It was glorious.

I know this breakthrough was the breakthrough I wanted and needed because of what followed the weekend after.  I will touch on that moment in my regular scheduled Friday post.