Eric Caroca Sepúlveda (ESR1)

How Improvisational theater makes you a better professional (and person)

Usually, it is thought that theatrical activities are reserved for actors and people linked to the artistic field. However, this is an incorrect idea, as these activities can be performed by anyone at different levels of depth and commitment. A form of theater that is dynamic, playful, and accessible to everyone is theatrical improvisation (or improv). In this type of theater, various activities are developed, and the benefits extend beyond enhancing the actor’s facet. They can also be applied to the professional and personal world.

Improv is a form of theater that is based on the spontaneous creation of stories and characters. All the elements of a play, such as the script, characters, stage, and props, are created at the same time of presentation. The improviser must create the characteristics of their character and their lines while telling them. It may sound complicated, but it is just a reflection of everyday life. Conversations with friends or reactions to unexpected news are not rehearsed. This connection with daily life involves skills that can be used in work, social relations, and life in general.

Skills you can develop with Improv:

1.         Play: Improv is a game, and the principal goal is to have fun. You can see how kids play being superheroes, doctors, and they improvise all the elements. They do not worry if something goes wrong or if someone does not respect their role. They transform the situation and continue the game.

2.         Public speaking: One of the common reasons for starting to do improv is to overcome the fear of speaking in public. Improv is an excellent tool to achieve that goal. Many exercises focus on developing voice, posture, and speaking without fear on stage.

3.         Social abilities: The main element for an improvised story to work is listening. As it is a collective creation, you must be attentive to every word, action, and gesture of the rest of your partners to respond coherently to the plot. This ability is useful in daily life to increase and facilitate empathy and understanding of others.

4.         To lose the fear of not having control: The story is created every second, and it can change drastically at any moment. So, you ca not plan for the far future; you must react to the present. Many people want to be always in control of every element of their life. Improv helps you realize that one is not in control all the time, that you can get carried away by this uncontrolled and that you can develop without problems. This is a magnificent feeling that improv can give you.

5.         De-stress: You can detach yourself from your routine life or channel your problems through improv. It is an instance of liberation, of dealing with topics different from your daily life, of dreaming, of forgetting, of creating, and, above all, a space of emotion and a lot, a lot of laughter

Improv offers a dynamic and playful approach to theater accessible to everyone. It allows people to develop a variety of skills that can be used in their personal and professional lives, including public speaking, and social abilities. With its emphasis on spontaneity and collective creation, improv offers a unique opportunity to connect with others and explore creativity in a fun and engaging way. It is an adventure of having fun and learn new skills.

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