TAKE A Chance To (Play &) Fail
Find Your Voice
I reflect often on the wisdom of Robert Frost, "In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life — It goes on." I have failed, many times. I have experienced significant professional and personal setbacks, failures that could have felt like the end if I let them, but they were not. Life did not end. Life kept coming. Life, explains Robert Frost, goes on. How you approach failure, when it happens, makes the difference. Practice mindfulness and resilience. Embrace uncertainty in the face of "failure" — I have, and you can too.
My adult life has been dedicated to sharing the philosophy of improvisation and the art of comedy. I have created from scratch and have helped inspire curriculums for five different theaters over the last 20 years, comedy schools which have instructed more than 8000 brave students in the arts of improvisation and standup comedy writing.
In addition to touring as a speaker and trainer I offer public classes and private workshops in improvisation and comedy writing. Reach out. Tell me what you're looking for and we can see if you are in the right place, together.
Stephen Colbert famously spoke about improv and life saying, "Life is an improvisation. You have no idea what's gonna happen next." None of us get a script when we wake up, but there are rules of engagement and patterns of behavior. You can train to improvise. Tina Fey explains that even if you are not naturally wired to say yes! you will learn to read the room, give and take, collaborate, to take more risks and commit 100% to whatever you are doing in the moment.
Improv has become an outlet for people dealing with all forms of anxiety, veterans suffering from PTSD, and scientists. ComSciCon, a national conference for science communication, invited me to speak in 2017. Improv? For Science? Check out what the New York Times, PRI, the AAAS, and Science Friday have to say.
If you feel interested and want to take the plunge, I would be thrilled to make recommendations on classes where you live. There are amazing instructors and coaches all over the country ready to help you unlock your creativity, to share tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the precious few minutes you might have on stage (and make sure you have fun in the process).
Emma Stone | Vogue 2012
"Comedy was my sport. It taught me how to roll with the punches. Failure is the exact same as success when it comes to comedy because it just keeps coming. It never stops."
JK Rowling | Harvard 2008
"Imagination is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared."