Creating Community Through Comedy
When I took my very first Level 1 Improv class at The Second City, I thought I was going to be awesome at it. In fact I distinctly recall telling a friend I was going to “rule improv.”
Somewhere around the middle of my second class I realised that by trying to be funny I was not only ruining the experience for myself, but also making it less fun for everyone around me. And it was in that humbling moment that I fell in love with it. I realised how much I didn’t know, and how valuable what I’d already learned was, not just in terms of making people laugh, but in terms of just being a good person. And that’s one of the many things that’s so great about improv – it makes you a better person.
In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that every person who ever took an improv class at LMA is better for it. And what’s truly inspiring to me, is that while every member of a class might be having a similar physical experience, individually all sorts of internal magic is happening. Some people find self confidence they never knew they had, others become more empathetic and accepting, some just learn to listen, or how to adapt to new situations with ease. For others it could be about letting go of ego, or getting comfortable in their own bodies. And pretty much everyone is learning to stay present, aware, and collaborate like crazy. And yes, a few even discover their inner comic.
All of this is part of what make an improv class such a wonderful place to spend time, meet great people, play, and learn. Whatever it looks like is going on in the classroom, there’s so much more going on inside our collective brains. The key to it all is creating a safe, welcoming, warm space where everyone feels comfortable, wanted, and supported. And from the very start of LMA back in 2012, this has been our number one goal: Create community through comedy.
And while there is so much more we want to do as a school, I’m proud of what we, as a community, have been able to achieve. Heading into Term 4, we’ve got more classes in Sydney and Melbourne than ever before, more shows, more House Teams, more indie teams, more venues, more Teachers, and best of all, more wonderful students.
There’s more good stuff coming too. As we head into 2018 we’re working towards getting our own space and grouping classes together so we can all hang out more. We’ll be putting on more shows, and creating more sketch comedy content at the monthly Sketch-a-Thon (to be announced soon). We’ll be introducing a whole new way to learn Stand-Up, and continuing to make LMA the home of comedy in Australia.
Comedy brings people together emotionally, energetically, and physically. In fact, humour and laughter have been proven to break down barriers, foster dialogue, release emotions (good and bad), and is widely agreed by medical professionals to be good for our mental and physical health. Some say laughter is one of the greatest human pleasures, and shared laughter even more so.
And sharing laughter is what we’re all about. If you’re already part the LMA community, I want to thank you for jumping in. The best is yet to come. If you’re not yet a part of it all, welcome! We’d love to have you join us.
Especially if you think you’re going to “rule improv.”
Eran Thomson is the Founder of LMA and may or may not be wearing a fake moustache.