Hillary Reframes Challenges as Gifts

I first discovered Brave New Workshop Student Union by word of mouth and the name of the organization really resonated with me. One of my favorite books of all time is “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, the namesake of my dog, Huxley. I’ve done some comedy in the past, but what I really wanted was a sense of community in the arts as opposed to being a one woman show. I moved to Minnesota last year and was looking for some fun things to do as a young professional and meet others who might be in a similar situation as me. I’m hoping to get more exposure to the Minnesota theater scene and the skills of improv are giving me the confidence to put myself out there. Doing improv has given me the courage to pursue interests that I’ve considered for awhile but needed a little extra push to feel ready.

When I was in school I studied film acting, but I didn’t have a lot of hands-on experience with improv. I’m really comfortable being the silly one in my social circle, but I will say that doing improv and opening up to people who aren’t necessarily friends or family is a big step. By creating a safe space in our class, we are able to accomplish a lot of things and grow together. One of my friends from another class was doing a make-up session with our group and was surprised at how advanced we seemed since our group had such great chemistry together. I think that the mutual trust we’ve built with each other has allowed us to take more risks while still being mindful of the fact that we’re all basically strangers playing together.

I finally decided to take a class at Brave New Workshop specifically, because I was really attracted to variety of resources that Brave New Workshop had to offer. The tools of improv have helped me tackle tough situations and go into ones that seem confrontational with a clear head. I’m more easily able to  jump in and say yes to things in my life as they arise. Overall, I am finding that improv has helped me re-discover old interests and cultivate new skills. The act of doing improv for me is profoundly liberating. Now that I have a taste of improv at BNW SU, I definitely think I will continue to make time in my life for improv!

–  Hillary Wells, BNW SU Student in Intro to Improv Elective Course
Be Brave. Do Improv.