Just press Play.

We all need a little unscripted time in our lives. It’s good to practice letting go and living in the moment…to respond in the nanosecond versus agonize over the future. In other words, play time.

Lately I’ve been attending the occasional improv class¹, which is offered weekly by a local group. There are usually some ice-breaker-y games that everyone plays together, followed by scene-ish² exercises that smaller groups perform in front of everyone else.

I originally took the class because I wanted to learn how to be funny. But, realizing that funny is either innate or takes years and years of honing one’s craft, I have found a different reason to keep coming. It turns out that I like playing. I like having the freedom — the duty, even — to act silly, to say inappropriate things, and to follow a scene wherever it goes. And, importantly, to not worry about what anyone else thinks. (The improv class is truly a safe space. No joke too blue!)

We are all there do act dumb. In my life, and perhaps yours, that as liberating as it is rare.

¹I would attend more regularly if it didn’t stretch till 9:30 p.m., which is when I am usually already in bed. Related: some day soon I will tell you about the wonders of an early and regular bedtime. It is wonderful, but it does cramp one’s social life.

²Clearly I haven’t attended enough classes to absorb the actual terminology.

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When I searched the stock photo site for “comedy,” the only result was a terrifying closeup photo of a woman wearing clown makeup and smiling maniacally. I love you too much to subject you to such a photo. So this one, vaguely suggestive of spontaneity, will have to do.

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