Would you like to hear a secret about how to increase the adventure in your life? (Hint: The answer is “Yes, let’s!”)
Tonight and for the next two nights in Cape Town I am going to be part of an Improv show at the Alexander Bar called ‘Two Parrots and a Sandcastle’. Each night two actors from the Improguise crew (Cape Town’s longest running Improv troupe) are going to make stuff up for close to an hour. No script, no rehearsals, no idea of what’s going to happen.
We might ask for some suggestions from the audience before we start (a style they’d like to see or an interesting job perhaps) which we will weave into our performance. But otherwise every single thing we do will be completely improvised.
For some of you that will sound like the most exciting idea you’ve ever heard, while I imagine others of you might find it completely terrifying.
I have been part of the Improguise (formerly called TheatreSports) group for close to twenty years now. And it really is the story of, “Yes, let’s!”
Say for example I run on to stage and my first line to my fellow actor is, “Hey, do you want to come to the beach?”
If they respond with, “No!” the story dies immediately. Now we have to start again from the beginning and hope to find something we agree on.
If, however, my friend gives their best “Yes, let’s” and adds their own flavour to the suggestion, something like, “I heard they are about to judge the Sandcastle competition” then suddenly you have a story.
“Yes, let’s” opens up the possibilities of story and of adventure.
NOW TO LIFE
I have always said everyone in the world should do the Improv course we run at least once, even if only for that one lesson.
Because “yes, let’s” is not just something we need to use when we are on the Improv stage, but it can be a tool for life.
Too often we are faced with an obstacle or a problem that can feel overwhelming. The temptation can quickly become, “It’s too big for me” or “How can I do anything about this?” and so often we give up and move on.
The A.I.D.S. crisis in South Africa, the orphan problem, education – all of those can be a mess and when we look at them as a whole, it really does seem like we are powerless to make a difference.
But what about volunteering at a local clinic, or choosing as a family to adopt a child, or giving some time at a local school that is struggling to help with extra maths classes? Suddenly that great big giant thing has been broken down into a more manageable chunk – especially if you can inspire others to do the same.
GIVE IT A GO
For you, the idea of standing on a stage in front of a small audience and making things up for an hour might literally make you want to run and hide. For me, it is such an exciting thing and I cannot wait to be there.
But my challenge and encouragement to you today, in whatever context you find yourself in, is to look for the “Yes, let’s” that might be presenting itself to you.
Let 2017 be a year of becoming creative with your responses to the opportunities that come across your path. More climbing mountains than hiding behind them. More swimming through rivers than waiting for boats to carry you across.
Make this the year of “Yes, let’s” and let us see what we can build and grow and start and encourage and create together.