The Course That Changed Me

Back in the college there was an improvisation drama course among the optional courses. I thought quite long and hard whether I could actually take the course, because I was (and still am a bit) so painfully shy! I had heard some weird rumors of what happens during those lessons, and the teacher had quite a reputation (being a totally nuts in a positive way) among the older students. I don't know where I got the courage finally to mark the course as one of my optional course choices... I guess I surprised everybody, myself the most.

So lessons started at some point and wow, what kind of lessons those were?! I guess one of the first things that we learned was to laugh at ourselves and get used to the idea that other people are laughing at us too and if we're really good, the audience is laughing with us. It was amazing to notice how incredibly funny stories we were able to create out of nothing or just from couple cue words. We learned to burst out the first thing that crossed our minds and noticed that it usually lead to even more funny situations. We learned to how to listen to what exactly the other person is saying and then reacting to it immediately. We were laughing so much during those lessons that we had stomach aches when we left the classroom!

We had no books, all the learning happened through the drama exercises that got harder as we progressed. One of the final exercises was a "thinking" -monologue (where you tell every thought that crosses your mind in that imagined situation, but you try to keep the actual subject as a secret as long as you can) about a random subject that was drawn out of hat just couple minutes before it actually was performed. When I unfolded my ticket, it revealed my subject: "you see someone attempting a suicide". After-wards I heard that it was the most difficult one of those subjects, but somehow I was able to keep on going for over 5 minutes and the others were laughing with me in the end. On that moment I felt like I had won a world championship or something similar - I guess I mostly conquered myself and my silly fears.

Fennella Fennella
31-35, F
6 Responses Jul 7, 2008

It certainly was... my sense of humor has never been the same after that! :)

It really sounds like something that would be life altering in a very good way.

I still don't know where I found the courage to do that, but I'm so glad I did it... my life hasn't been the same after that! :)

Wow!!! I'm sure I wouldn't have had to courage to do something like that in college. I've heard that a lot of people take classes like this at various Second City locations. Even some corporations send their people to improv classes to help with team building.

Yeah, I would say that this course was much more useful than any of those serious (compulsory) courses; believe me, we had plenty of those too. :) I can still see every day the positive influence it made in my life.

Interesting story ... it sounds far more useful than some of the classes we had. latin for instance .. I have never ever used it - and cant even remember any of it.