We at The Maydays know that improv classes can have profound effects on people’s confidence, self respect and social skills in general but can they work for someone who identifies as an introvert? Well we found out recently as one of our students, Jacqui Moorhouse, was moved to write a blog on the subject. Here is a taste of her insights.
Improv and Introverts
The words ‘introvert’ and ‘improvisation’ don’t naturally go together – do they? Surely you have to be an extrovert to walk out onto a stage, in front of an audience, with no idea what’s going to happen or what you’re going to say – don’t you? Yet for the last few years I have been doing exactly that – in the form of comedy improvisation classes – and I would recommend it to any introvert!
How I have said ‘yes’ many times and lived to tell the tale
On a Maydays course, the first thing they say to you is: ‘You can’t get this stuff wrong’ – there are no lines to remember and no ‘right’ way to do it. The second thing they say is: ‘you don’t need to witty, clever or quick’ – in fact, if you try to be, it will probably fall flat. The third thing they say is: ‘make your partner look good’ – the group relationship is more important than individual egos, you have each other’s backs.
Why I recommend comedy improv classes to introverts
Improv can help you to grow in confidence and stretch your comfort zone in a supportive environment. As introverts, we generally like to prepare everything in advance as much as we can, and this is another of our strengths. But life doesn’t always allow us this luxury, so learning to respond to things in the moment and think on our feet can help prepare us to be more flexible in those moments when we need to be. It’s also a good way of making ourselves more comfortable with ‘putting ourselves out there’ – something that introverts usually find quite difficult, but which we often need to do in order to progress projects that are important to us.
Oh, and did I mention, it’s also hilarious…
In my view, the only bit of comedy improv classes where extroverts have the advantage is after the event. Extroverts, of course, are always ready to carry on the party afterwards somewhere else, whereas I, after a couple of hours improvising, need to head home for some restful quiet time! But hey, that’s just par for the course for us introverts…
You can read her full article here.