BNw SU BE BRAVE Merideth

Meredith Lives Better with an Improv for Life Mindset


I teach 5th grade, and I’ve been doing that for one year and I taught second grade for eight years before that. I decided to take improv because I wanted to do something for myself, just me, where I was able to do something with adults. I had read Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and I had always seen adult classes advertised when I went to Brave New Workshop for shows and I decided, I’m going to do it! It’ll just be for me. As a graduate of the Everyday program, I’ve seen some great changes in myself in these past 32 weeks. I’m definitely more of an introvert, so this has definitely helped me in social situations; listening to the other person, asking them questions, they might say something and you might not have a huge interest in it, but you can always ask them more questions about it and active listening has become a big help. I usually worry about things that haven’t happened yet, and with this it helps me think that if something happens you’ll deal with it then, there’s no reason to worry about the millions of things that haven’t happened yet, because you can just say yes to it later and deal with it later. It’s helped me confidence too. I started improv just to do it, and now I can’t see my life without improv in it.

If I were to talk to someone who was afraid to try improv, I would tell them just do it. I think that it’s a healthy fear because I’ve told a lot of people I’m doing this and they’ll say, ‘Oh, I don’t know how you do it,’ but I think just like something I was told by a teacher here, I’m nervous about performing in front of people. I want to, but this teacher told me, if you say something funny and the audience doesn’t laugh,…you live. You move on and I think that I have found that here. Some nights I come and I had pulled out some really cool, fun characters and some nights I leave thinking, ugh I wasn’t feeling anything tonight, but I’ve moved on and it’s a new thing every time. I’ve just met so many awesome people that I would have never met before and I’ve learned so much from them. It’s just been awesome.

– Meredith Shafer, Everyday Level 4 Graduate
Be Brave. Do Improv.