6 Reasons to Take an Improv Class

Samantha Jacobs Acting, College, High School, Performing Arts, Performing Arts, Student Resources

Do you have an extra two units in your class schedule? How about a few extra hours after school or work, or even on the weekends? If you’re looking for a way to fill some time while acquiring new skills and having a great time, look no further. Take an improv class! Improv comedy is a form of live theater that has you think on your feet and create unrehearsed scenes out of wildly different situations. And it’s a blast for participants and audience members alike.

Need some convincing? Here are some reasons why you should take an improv class:

1. You’ll Learn How to Think on Your Feet

Photo credit: Exploding Fish Improv (via Creative Commons)

Photo credit: Exploding Fish Improv (via Creative Commons)

This skill is one that will come in handy in the classroom, a work environment and just day-to-day life. In improv you can’t over think your reaction, weighing the pros and cons of how you should respond to a situation because you have to act NOW, in the moment while you are on stage. That’s what improvisation means! Training yourself to quickly size up a situation, make a choice, and react with confidence is an awesome ability to have (some would say it’s a super power.)

2. You’ll Learn How to Say Yes

Photo credit: Shannon Hauser (via Creative Commons)

Photo credit: Shannon Hauser (via Creative Commons)

The first rule of improv is to always say yes. Though this may be a fun challenge in the classroom, this skill will help introduce you to things outside of your comfort zone outside of the classroom as well. Let’s face it, in life there are plenty of times when its easier to say “No” to a situation. Learning to say “Yes” almost always opens up doors to new experiences and helps you grow and learn new things.

3. You’ll Laugh…Hard

Photo credit: NBC Television (via Creative Commons)

Photo credit: NBC Television (via Creative Commons)

Laughing is good for your soul…and your abs. It releases tension too. Chances are if you are stressed out about something before your improv class, after a good laugh, you’ll feel better about whatever it was that was bothering you.

4. You’ll Make New Friends

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey met in an improv class…just saying. Improv classes require a sense of trust and intimacy. And the no judgment zone helps you to open up and really get to know others, and yourself. Professional relationships can flourish as well with friends from an improv class because you know they’ve got your back. Working together is a logical next step. Trust is key when you’re working without a script.

5. You’ll Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

Learning to perform in front of a class will help you to give presentations and speeches in any sort of setting, casual or professional. Research has shown that public speaking is one of the top ten phobias of the general population, yet it is also one of the necessities of life. Training in improv will help you overcome that fear and teaches you to be a more effective speaker in almost any situation. Improv class teaches you to recover from mistakes, learn to laugh at yourself and put others at ease.

6. You’ll Become More Open-Minded

Photo credit: Jon Sullivan (via Creative Commons)

Photo credit: Jon Sullivan (via Creative Commons)

This applies to everything: people, opportunities, risks, etc. Nothing bad will come from a more open mind. Along with gaining a more open mind comes flexability and a willingness to face difficult situations instead of avoiding them.

So follow the first rule of improv and say yes!

Samantha Jacobs
Samantha Jacobs is a senior studying Public Relations and English at the University of Southern California. Samantha has writing experience with Neon Tommy, the Daily Trojan and College Social Magazine. Additionally Samantha has worked for the Pollack PR Marketing Group, the Annenberg Innovation Lab and is currently interning for Teach For America. During her rare free time, she enjoys hiking, exploring Los Angeles with friends, showing people pictures of her dog and reading or watching anything that has to do with Tina Fey or Amy Poehler.