Now Reading
5 Ways You (and Your Teen) Can Improve with these Improv Classes in Huntsville

5 Ways You (and Your Teen) Can Improve with these Improv Classes in Huntsville

Growing up during my teenage years, I was a nervous Nelly, anxious Annie, basically all the names for a stressed ball of hormones in a human shape going through high school. It wasn’t until I started acting, and later doing improv, that I learned that sometimes you just have to lean in and go for it.

When I started with my first theater show, I found my people. They were goofy, funny, and burst into song and dance at the drop of a hat. I wondered why I felt at ease with this particular group of people and not all of my classmates.

As I learned about characters, I could slip into a character and talk with anyone or give a presentation with my voice not shaking like crazy. It wasn’t shy little Beth talking and trying to find words to say, it was a character named “Prudence” who thinks her stuff doesn’t stink and is confident as all get out.”

“SNL”, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, and stand-up comedy were my jam. As much as I loved musicals and theater, they were a lot of work. So finding out about improv was like finding a hidden gem. I still had my people and comedy without the multiple late-night rehearsals. Improv changed my outlook on life and has honestly made me a better parent, friend, and person. How? Keep reading.


Advertisement. Content Continues Below.

1. Yes, And

If you know just one thing about improv, it’s probably the motto of “Yes, And.” It takes the principle of accepting a situation that your scene partner creates (yes) and adding to it with your own thought (and). People in leadership positions need this skill in their back pockets. If you constantly say “no” whenever someone brings you a new idea, people will stop bringing you ideas even if they are amazing. Sure some ideas can be stinkers, but instead of just blocking them, try working on a solution together. Be open to new ideas around you and be collaborative. You get a team win if you get rid of the “me” ego.

2. Everyone looks goofy

When you take an improv class, you are going to feel uncomfortable. That’s a fact. You may do weird moves or strange things saying zip, zap, zop, but guess what? So is everyone else. You are all going through something together. Learn to feel ok with feeling out of the box for short bursts of time. So when the time comes that you need to stand up and stand out, you know that feeling and can deal with it.

Players work together on stage to create a scene. That’s me on the left looking goofy 🙂

3 Listening and Responding

One of the best skills you acquire at improv is listening. You aren’t just hearing what someone is saying. You are listening, processing, and responding. Taking the time to stop talking enough to let someone else have a word is a skill. Your friends will thank you, and you will learn when you hear something that doesn’t quite make sense that you’ll want to unpack that with them. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that whoever you are around will also learn this skill. That’s why it’s fantastic to have friends take improv classes together. You’ll both get it.

4 Fake it Until You Make It

Remember how I put on that character? Creating characters and leaning into how that person would act is part of the fun. Sometimes you just need to act confident until you are, some of us are still doing that as we near 40. Sometimes you know what to say, but you edit yourself. Just let it fly (most of the time unless you are angry) and own it.

When I started with my first theater show, I found my people. They were goofy, funny, and burst into song and dance at the drop of a hat. I wondered why I felt at ease with this particular group of people and not all of my classmates.

5 Having Fun While Being Creative

Everyone needs a chance to blow off steam. For me, that’s being goofy once a week with like-minded people. I’ve used the quirks of past coworkers or even random people in the grocery store that I thought would be fun to embody on stage.

See Also
teen holding Halloween pumpkins

If this sounds fun to you, check out the classes offered at local theaters. It’s great for adults, teens, and kids.


Advertisement. Content Continues Below.

Details

Who: All ages but Teen Classes (ages 12-16) start up this fall. Details here.
When: Thursday nights, Aug 25-Sept. 22 | 5:30-6:30PM
Where: 2650 Leeman Ferry Road, Ste. A, Huntsville

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Note: Shenanigan’s is hosting a one time free class catered to people with disabilities and anyone needing accommodations to participate on September 24th from 10:00 am – 11:30am. They will focus on improving communication and interpersonal skills through improv from 10:00 am to 11:00 am with a  short performance at 11:10 for caregivers.

You Might Also Like…


Advertisement

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top