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How It Really Feels Stepping Into Your First Improv Class

I am trying to summon back how it felt stepping into an LMA improv class first the first time. It would be easy now, knowing how I’ve come to love the class and the legends in it, to blur any recollection of apprehension on that first day.

But I had absolutely no idea what to expect, and as exciting as that was, it made me supremely uncomfortable. Here’s a celebration of what’s gone down since then.

Stepping into improv class this evening, still, I didn’t know what to expect. But this didn’t make me feel remotely uneasy.

“Not knowing what to expect is what keeps me coming back. The absolute inability to rehearse or predict is what makes improv so fun and life affirming. Hijinks that ensue with your scene partners are completely in, and only for the moment.

A fabulous surprise that will only ever exist once. I am yet to find another sphere in which planning and self-censorship are so strongly discouraged. It is a complete joy to be encouraged to do away with those things.”

It’s only after trying to let them go that you become aware of how much they can constrain you in other areas of your life. If you delight in comedy and the spontaneous, this course can equip you with all the tools you need to create and nurture it.

Perhaps the best part of the experience at LMA is the people you get to work with. Improv attracts a brilliant cross-section of people. From bricklayers building confidence to full-time actors improving their craft, students out to try something new to accountants looking for a bit of fun. It would be intimidating to be experimenting with new improv exercises in front of a group of people you didn’t trust or like. By the end of the very first class, I felt completely at ease around both my tutors and classmates. .

By the end of my first term, I had a marvellous new group of mates. I’m certain that the way we have bonded is a rule, not an exception. In an improv class, despite varied interests, you find the kind of people who don’t take themselves seriously to be afraid of being stupid for an audience’s enjoyment.

I reckon just about anyone who’s willing to take that risk in the hope of creating something hilarious is a person worth getting to know. It is such a pleasure to rock up to class on a Monday night, I’m already looking forward to next week!

 

Ella Lawry is an Arts student living in Melbourne. Hailing from Adelaide, her passion for theatre was kindled by six fabulous years with Urban Myth Theatre Company. A love of singing led her to cabaret, performing in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival as well as Gospo Enterprises’ Gospolicious (2014) and Cabaret and Cupcakes (2015). For the 2016 Adelaide Fringe, she devised and directed STRANGER STRANGER, an immersive, interactive show in a Laundromat. Always favoring comedy, it has now become a focus. She performed in the Melbourne Uni Law Revue and is directing the 2017 production, did a sketch show in the 2016 Melbourne Fringe and this year devised and performed comedic play You Blew It. (Adelaide Fringe). She took up improv at LMA last year, where she merrily remains.

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