Anna Manages Stress and Takes Creative Risks  

The Brave New Workshop first came on my radar last fall when I saw the BNW Comedy Theatre’s main stage show The Lady and the Trump with a couple of friends. I was so impressed with the high caliber of talent I witnessed that I knew instantly I wanted to participate in something similar. When I was browsing the Brave New Workshop website, I stumbled across their improv classes. I saw there was an upcoming free improv class for adults and decided to check it out along with my friends.

At the free trial improv class I was inspired by the spontaneity that improvising allowed and the out-of-the-box thinking that improv encouraged. I signed up for an Everyday Improv course immediately following the experience. I have enjoyed every second of my improv journey. Because of studying improv, I have not only grown as an improviser, but also as a person. It is interesting for me to reflect on my growth throughout the different levels of the Everyday Improv program.

Early in the program you play games and exercises which encourage exploration of the principle of “Yes and,” making declarations and applying these skills in various ways like stories and your life. Initially, I was more timid at the beginning of my improv classes and hesitant to put myself out there. Now that I have advanced in practicing improv, I take more creative risks. I allow myself the opportunity to make mistakes instead of fearing them. I use them as learning opportunities.

Since I started improv, I have noticed that I manage stress better than I used to. Before studying improv, I would constantly fret over the inevitable ebb and flow of daily life. I am now able stay present and relish the uncertainty in life. Improv has presented me a toolbox of skills that are applicable to my daily life, whether it be public speaking, interviewing, or just ordering a coffee.

My advice to people who are considering trying improv is to just do it, because it will change your life if you let it. It unlocks a creative part of your mind that is not typically utilized in everyday life and can offer you new ideas and perspectives. Improv for life is not just a mindset but a reality.

– Anna, BNW SU Student