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Yesterday I went to see an improv show and it was all beginners, meaning they had never performed before an audience yet. By far the best were the folks, in particular one woman, who didn’t let their fear of being silly spoil what they’re doing. The ones who were less fun were the ones holding back because they didn’t want to look silly. They didn’t manage to let go of our natural everyday instincts of trying not to stand out and to be perceived as serious.
To be clear this doesn’t mean the entertaining lot weren’t nervous or had no fear. They probably did. However they somehow managed two things:
- To let go and give their all despite knowing that people would judge them. They were okay with that, probably because while they want to improve they are not willing to be harsh to themselves. Therefore if nobody liked it but them, they were still okay with it.
- They understood that within this context goofing off was not only okay but actually improved performance. They showed flexibility adopting different personas because they understood that they don’t have to be the same person all the time.