I won Maestro. (Maestro is an elimination improv game show played every Saturday at 10:00 pm at The Hideout, a mainstay of Austin Improv.) Those words keep ringing in my ears because I still can’t believe it. I’ve always said that I’m a mediocre improvisor but now I feel I’ve graduated to a good improvisor. Don’t get me wrong. I still have a lot to learn but I feel like I’m making strides. And you know what finally did it for me? Letting go, allowing what ever happens to happen. The entirety of my life I’ve controlled every word that’s left my mouth, looking for that perfect word to fill in that perfect sentence. It’s hard to communicate that way and even harder to improvise. So Saturday knowing that I do this I made a pact with myself… Don’t. Just have fun. Don’t worry about the right word, don’t worry about appearing smart, don’t worry about being funny. Just let what happens, happen. It’s what I did. And I even surprised myself and had one of best times I’ve ever had on stage.
I also think that taking Improvised Singing has helped me to let go because, as I’ve mentioned before, when you’ve been studying music your entire life allowing yourself the option of failure is frightening. Improvised singing has allowed me that option more so than any other improv class I’ve taken. It’s broken through many of those barriers.
So the lesson, don’t force it. Don’t worry. Don’t try to be funny. Just be. (And take an Improvised Singing class) All those rules you’re taught, practice, practice, practice, but when the time comes trust your instincts and throw out the rules. It’ll all work out in the end. And if you have a bad performance, you’ll try again… and again… and again, like I did.
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