Deep down I had always wanted to try Improv comedy, but it wasn’t until life had settled down after my marriage ended and life had returned to some sort of normality that I gave it more serious thought.
I’d always enjoyed watching Saturday Night Live (SNL), Whose line is it anyway and the myriad of television comedy shows developed over the years by the various improv comedy schools.
The Second City was world famous and fortunately for me had an Improv school based in Toronto, with many star alumni including Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and John Candy to name but a few.
Initially I had signed up for the introductory 8-week course, and definitely felt nervous and a wee bit intimidated on my first night, in fact for most of this first course I was shit scared each and every week…
However, it occurred to me that I was not alone and that everyone else in this first class were in the same boat as me.
The further I delved into the course the more enamoured I became…I was hooked! ❤️
The underlying concept of Improv is “yes, and…”
The underlying assumption and acceptance of taking the scene on face value and just going with what has been presented to you is the first thing you learn.
It’s both powerful and exciting because you had no idea where this starting point would take you in the scene, often to rather unexpected outcomes. Strangely, trying to be funny was not part of the teachings of improv, but to recognize that the humour lives within the everyday response rather than being manufactured.
The course was so different than what I had first imagined.
After graduating 12-months hence from what ended up becoming the entire Improv course, I realized that what I took away was more than greater confidence in standing up in front of an audience, but rather a new way to thinking about life.
I also decided to adopt this approach to life in general and embrace the “Yes, and…” approach to living. 🙌🏼
In 2008 Jim Carrey made the movie “Yes man“, and although he goes to extremes, he changes his life from resisting life and saying no to saying yes and accepting everything presented to him as it comes. It’s a pretty funny movie!
I’m not going to try to change the storyline to what’s presented to me, but rather, accept and move forward in the best possible way each and every day.
Going with the flow also alleviates a significant amount of stress.
What it doesn’t mean is to abandon your values, beliefs or judgement but rather use those as your foundation and move forward with accepting life as it comes to you.
Clearly, your personal safety is paramount, so not suggesting that you forego that just for the sake of saying yes to everything. So being smart about saying yes is also important.
I’ve found it to be an exciting way to life. Perhaps not for everyone, but for me it’s been like a breath of fresh air and opened me up to all sorts of new possibilities.
It also helped me relax and not focus on worrying about what the future would bring, as I felt confident that I would go with the flow no matter what was presented to me and be okay.
This convergence of “living a life of yes, and” has ultimately led me to producing my OneLife podcast series. Taking the lessons that I’ve learned along the way and sharing with my audience each week is part of my journey of discovery. 🙌🏼
Adding and introducing special guests to the series who have their own point of view on what it means to live your best life adds some spice and variety to the episodes as well.
I truly believe its this amalgam of ideas, thoughts and concepts from lots of people, all of whom approach life slightly differently that make it so appealing to my audience.
Strangely I’m fast approaching my 1000 download milestone which is awesome, but not the reason I wanted to create and produce this weekly podcast.
Much like this essay that is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary in August 2021. For me it’s about sharing my life and the things I’ve learned along the way rather than meeting specific milestones. 🙌🏼
I suppose deep down I’m open to trying new things and creating new adventures when and wherever possible…without worrying too much about what the future may hold.
Not that I can do much about it anyway…but will do what I always do, say “yes and go with the flow” when the time comes.
Interestingly the concept of living a life of yes has rubbed off on both Zach and Sam as well. And I accomplish nothing more in my life, then I think I’ve led a successful life just on this fact alone. ❤️
Imagine the impact if they teach this concept to their children…
It definitely makes you think, doesn’t it??
Until next week
SCJuly 25, 2021
You are simply put, a fantastic person, Terence! I wholeheartedly enjoy discovering a bit more about you with each newsletter. I share your ‘yes man’ approach to life and it has taken me to new corners of a life that I could only dream of. Thank you for the weekly inspiration ✨
TerencewallisJuly 25, 2021
Thank you so much Sophie! I appreciate your message and knew from the outset that we had a lot in common - you are my tribe. :-). I hope you have an awesome week - all the best!