Like I said last month, I really want to start sharing the awesome stories of CSz Houston players from past and present. This story comes all the way to you from the capital city of Prague in the Czech Republic. Jared is an alumni of CSz Houston and we are grateful to have him come play ComedySportz matches whenever he makes it back to little ol' Texas. I personally met Jared when we performed as dancing trashcans with the "Don't mess with Texas" Campaign! He's as talented as he is thoughtful and kind (very) and I always imagine him without shoes and eating a mixture of baby carrots and celery out of a plastic bag. So without further adieu, here is a Jared's story:
Improvisation has helped me train my ability to live in the moment on stage and on the stage of life. The family of ComedySportz Houston was a loving environment which nurtured me in the power of positivity. Throughout my experience in the United States and abroad.
I began ComedySportz as a senior in high school in Houston, Texas. I strengthened friendships with like minded people and strengthened my confidence on stage. More than 10 years later, I still value these friendships although I don't see many of these people weekly or even yearly. More than 10 years later, I see the impact of improv in my life off the stage. In all non-theater work I worked in, and in every experience I experienced. Improv and good humor accompany me everywhere. I hope my foundations of positivity and character work cultivated in ComedySportz Houston continue to grow for the next 10 years.
For the past few years, I've been based in the Czech Republic working with the Prague Shakespeare Company and working in TV and Film. Most moments in acting are meant to seem as if the moments are happening now. As if the moments are improvised. Listening and reacting. A cascade of reactions flowing through a stream. And being attractive with perfect hair doesn't hurt.
Even before setting up camp in Prague, I traveled around the United States and Berlin visiting other ComedySportz families. Seeing the different styles of team work and different tastes of games. I even ended up playing baseball with some expats in Berlin with new ComedySportz folk. There can be a certain stress when traveling, and making new friends in ComedySportz is a wonderful release.
If Laughter be the best medicine, then improvisation be the best medical school.
I think Jared's story a great example of why a lot of us get into improv and if you ever got a chance to meet him, you'd see he really embraces the positivity and good humor he talks about. For more info on Jared you can check out his website or IMDB page.
It can't be said enough...
No matter what you are trying to accomplish, when you surround yourself with positive people who make an active commitment to work together and say "yes" towards a common goal, there is very little you can't achieve. I think that's why our workshops and classes are so fun. You're not going to become some robot that just says yes to everything, but you're going to upgrade your own personality to make it a part of you everyday language. It's these types of soft skills that will make working on projects/ideas/goals easier and better**!
** "60% of the time, it works every time" - Brian Fantana in Anchorman. Meaning I don't have all of the answers to life, but I'm trying! :)
Self reflection and the "Do as I say rule"
You'd think that having this knowledge and knowing it so well that I teach it means that I'm perfect and I accomplish all of my goals with smiles and high fives. AND I DO!! haha..No, no I don't. However , it reminds me that I can figure out a way to solve my problems by relying on my friends and teammates who I know follow the same guidelines.
Most recently I think of my friend May Smithwick. A few of May's everyday hats include: mom of two beautiful children, wife, High School League Coach, player, ref and top Improv for Business trainer. That last one most is the one I'm thinking of today. May has been teaching improv for business workshops longer than I could correctly say the word for multiple people who do improv, which is improvisors not IMPROVers**. Anyhow, May saw that I have been struggling with a certain aspect of what we do and she had the grace to sit me down and help me figure out how to fix it. I won't go into the many ways people deal with things when things don't always go right, but having a friend a teammate who will directly and openly communicate, assess an issue and help you figure out how to solve it...that's when you know something is going right AND that's what we did/are working on. If you're reading this May, thank you. Like, totes forreal bad grammar thanks.
** See last post where I promised I'm a certified dumb dumb
ALRIGHT. I'll stop typing now. Thanks for the friendly feedback from everyone so far. I hope you guys have a wonderful few weeks and I'll talk to you soon!