I recently had a wonderful experience as one of the coaches for Masterclass 8. I received first hand insight into this great group of individuals, who six months ago didn't know each other.
After classes, the students would jump onto Facebook and share their experiences. As well as trying to keep spirits up for those who may have had a tough night.
However it was this past weekend, a few short days before their first ever show, that student Lisse shared her story of how Improv has changed her life.
"Putting myself out there with this but..it is fb..and we are always posting other people’s quotes and thoughts so why not some of my own thoughts...
I have never had an easy time connecting with people..making friends is not my forte although, I do have a few tried and true that are true friends..I have always been a fairly private person..if I don’t call or txt or email it’s not because I don’t consider you worth my time..I just am not the kind of person to socialize, no matter how much or how little..if there is something wrong and you need my help, I will be there in an instant..if there is something to celebrate and you invite me, I will be there..but I don’t go out of my way, at all, to connect with others..I suck at small talk, I don’t ask those key questions to keep a conversation rolling..I just don’t think like that..I have a bad habit of saying what’s on my mind..no filter..it can make me sound like quite the bitch at times..even after I say things I don’t always realize that I have offended someone..I do not even clue in to it in the slightest..I have a ridiculous sense of humour that others don’t always get..and to those people I look nothing less than weird..so I guess, in writing this, I am not really putting myself out there..I am just stating who I am..like it or not..
I have waded through a lot of shit in my life and it has been my God given sense of humour that has kept me afloat..my kids have commented on how fun our house is because we can be silly and make each other laugh..I guess we are just a weird family and laughter is our connection..
When I speak with no filter, it is me literally saying whatever it is that I am thinking..my sense of humour though works in quite the opposite way..I don’t say what I’m thinking..I just open my mouth and out it comes, no thinking involved..last August, I found a group that is very accepting of that..in fact, they all share that same sense of humour..they didn’t walk away from me and roll their eyes thinking I am weird..well, who’s to say what they were thinking but..they didn’t walk away..our group started with twelve..over the weeks and months it whittled down to five..five different people from different walks of life..we have likened ourselves to the Breakfast Club (although we don’t really have a criminal)..and with a behind the scenes joke, that name evolved into the English Breakfast Club..our five has been joined by three that have been through this before us..they have grown through improv with their group before us and have come back to join our group of five..with all of these people I am able to be myself..and I am not the odd one out because of my sense of humour (okay, yes, I am the basket case of our EBC) but it is a good weird..I actually fit..and connect with people that laugh about the same things as me..we have bonded over our insecurities about being on stage in front of others..and we high five..or air five as the case may be..at a job well done..we are there to cover each other’s backs and step up when one of us just can’t find the words..we are all about epic fails and yet not letting each other fail..with my improv group I can truly say I am comfortable to be me..as I meet new people that are slowly becoming regulars in my life through monthly improv get togethers I am learning to connect..I am still different from the average person but different is good..without differences the world would be a really boring place..laughter is where it’s at..thank you Shut The Front Door Improv team for the fun and laughter but most of all for the friendships..thank you for opening the door (well that’s ironic) to a world where I can still be me.."
This post not only moved their group, but ours as well.
Lisse's story is the fibre which STFD was built on and is the highest compliment we can receive.
Four little words.... You changed my life.
Tonight, this group conquers their first public performance. Myself and the instructors could not be more proud and excited for these students who have come together to make magic both on and off stage with improv.
Brandon Rudd is the Artistic Director of Shut The Front Door Improv, located in London, Ontario, Canada. He loves comedy and his idol is Chris Farley.