Walking on a high wire without a net is not my idea of fun. The high wire image comes to mind when thinking of performers who do Improv. Today I was very skeptical and didn’t know what to expect when planning to attend a workshop at the National Comedy Theatre.
Comedy professionals, Steve and Casey, taught about 25 aging Baby-Boomers some of the basic exercises used in Improv comedy. We learned the Yes, and; Dr. Know-It-All; Categories; and the Dad Jokes exercises. Of course audience participation was a requirement. As a general rule, I have been the person who avoided sitting on the front row in order to decrease the likelihood of being called on. Our professionals made it feel safe and non-threatening which fostered the why not? attitude. I found myself volunteering to go on stage for one of the exercises. Whaaaat??? (Me, the person who hears the funniest-laugh-out-loud joke, and promptly forgets the punch line when telling it the next day.) Today, I found my mind racing as I tried to predict where the story was going and what I would say when it was my turn to speak. Yikes! My life is one that has been so scripted! Breathe! Let go! Life without a safety net can be entertaining!
Well, I’m in search of more fun in my life and I can find more fun when all brain synapses are firing. Researchers have found that improvisation is a skill that is a whole brain experience and when followed by laughter it is a win-win situation. The Improvisation Workshop field trip that I attended is part of the course, Brain Healthy San Diego, a new class offered through San Diego Continuing Education. Kudos go to the teachers, Debbie Flores and Mary Burns, who are leading the free class for seniors. Another big shout out goes to the staff and comedy professionals at the:
National Comedy Theatre
3717 India Street
San Diego, CA 92103
I’m definitely going back there for more fun!
Brain fitness is important for all learners, no matter what age or stage in life. You stimulate creativity and engage several areas of the brain at once when using Improv techniques. Why not give Improv a try?