by Charla Hathaway
I showed up for my first improv acting class feeling like a fish out of water. What was I doing with all these brave, hip youngsters who ‘stream consciousness’ from iPhones and now, the theater stage?
I feared I didn’t share the same TV shows, movies, music, or pop idols–how would that work for improvising together? Our two improv teachers (not yet thirty, I guessed) were enthusiastically sharing the rules for theatre sports at our first class.
Be willing to FAIL! “Fail Big, and Succeed Big,” they chanted. “Take a risk and trust your instincts, they may be smarter than you.” They taught us fun games to help us “pay attention, commit to the game, and bring out our deeper physical, vocal and emotional energy.”
Wait a minute, I’m a sex and intimacy coach and these chicks were stealing my lines. “Don’t worry about the rules or being concerned with GETTING IT RIGHT,” they went on, “Be willing to give up some control.” Whoa, I thought of my men coaching clients here. “Don’t self-censor,” whoa, here I thought of my women clients seeking more intimacy.
These neat young teachers spilled out their passion for improv, “Make eye contact, open your awareness, say yes, and make your partner look good!” Hooray, I thought, are we talking improv acting or good sex here? Then they landed what I thought was the clincher, “Listen to the group mind, and get quiet…you’ll know what is needed of you.” Now there’s a golden lesson for a good time on stage or in bed.
OMG, these two groovy teachers could be great sex and intimacy coaches just teaching the principals of improv theatre! This class was right up my alley. For the next two months, we had fun with improv games that reminded us to give up control of ‘what-we-thought-should-happen’ and go with the group mind. Again and again, we practiced being in the moment, knowing that the last thing said or done was the most important, co-creating, supporting and connecting with each other.
I’m a cheerleader for Shana and Lauren’s SEX 101–err, I mean, Beginning Improv Acting class. In class…like in bed, I trust that my partners and I always have what is needed in each moment, and SHARING the creative process is spontaneous, spunky, and never routine! Check boredom at the door. And check out these chick gurus and their improv classes at www.merlin-works.com You may even become a better lover!