Turning No into Yes

When I lived in Chicago I never made an improv team. I had two good auditions and two bad auditions. Directors and coaches just didn’t like the cut of my jib. I felt a lot of rejection when I was there. But I also had a great independent team that played where we could and had a great time doing it. Because of that team and my grad class shows at iO I’m proud of what I did in my time in Chicago even though I was very much under the improv radar.

Most improv lessons are also life lessons. In improv we are taught to say yes and to accept what other players give us. We are taught in improv to avoid arguements and problems. No(s) and conflicts inhibit the scene’s capability and are road blocks to discovering our characters. In life saying yes and avoiding conflict also open more doors for us in the “real world.” But what about other players or people? We can’t control what they will do on stage or in life. When players set up a problem solve it and move on. We usually don’t have 22 or 90 minutes to discover a solution like something scripted. It’s more fun to watch an improv scene or show where we discover everything together. Let that No someone says to you open another door. “No, you can’t have the peanut butter I’m eating.” “Fine, I’ll have some of this jam, now we’re both eating, isn’t this (more) fun?”

“We’re not going to hire you.”
“I’m not going to go out with you.”
“You didn’t make the improv team you auditioned for.”
We hear a lot of rejection in our lives. But these “nos” can open doors for us. I’ll get a better job, meet another girl/boy, start my own improv team. It requires a little more creativity and effort.