Keep On Moving
There’s no time for uncertainty
Earlier this year, I started taking improv classes, and successfully moved from the “beginner” group to “the group that’s on teams and does shows.”
I realized a few main things from my experience with the more advanced group — and it’s not just “they’re better.”
a.) There’s a huge difference in the quality of the scenes; it’s not that the players are funnier, but rather that they’re faster. They jump in rapid-fire, including knowing when to jump in on or join or edit a scene, and it’s awesome to be a part of.
b.) They also are v funny. Of course.
c.) I typically like to jot down a quick note of the biggest lesson I learned from each class. I wasn’t even sure what tonight’s takeaway was going to be while I was in the moment, because I was too immersed in the scenes, but afterwards I walked out with the instructor and asked him for feedback, and what he said was,
“Keep it moving.”
Jump in, and once you do, move things faster. Don’t meander or pander. Especially in long form. Shit gets boring. Get us there faster.
You are effectively dead if you do not jump in. But you’re dying a slow deathon stage if you don’t move things along.
This is why I joined improv, and I this is why I like it.
Look, a lot of people don’t like improv.
A lot of them openly grimace when I tell them I’m taking classes, even people who are closest to me (i.e., my mother) and even when I add how much I freaking like it. And that’s fine. I didn’t like watching it either before I started.
Our aversion to it is perfection and certainty. We want things right. We don’t want to see how the sausage is made.
But life is how the sausage is made. If you’re not willing to see it done, you’ll never see anything. You’ll just be waiting around, hanging back, waiting of everything to be perfect. And the saddest part? It never is. This is life.
I’m not saying I’m perfect at executing on this myself — I’d be the first to say so, and I’m sure many would agree.
But that’s the whole point. Everything that we do in our heads in terms of “plans” or “process” is not the thing. Messiness and doing are the thing.Getting as close to possible to where the thing happens is the thing.
Jumping in is the thing. Keeping it moving is the thing.
and let’s keep moving.