250 Improv: Don’t Call Yourself Stupid

There are a couple of phrases that I’ve heard people say when working on improv. Variations on the theme of not being good enough. Phrases like; “I don’t know how.” “I can’t think of anything.” “I’m so dumb when it comes to…” “I can’t do that.” etc. etc.

 

Certainly these phrases have a place in real life, and probably in improv too. We all start out not knowing anything and sometimes you have to tell people you need help so they’ll help you. However, I’ve found that when this comes up in improv it’s not that they don’t know what to do next, but they’re afraid their answer won’t be “good enough”

 

Which isn’t true. In improv every idea is “good enough.” Sure, some ideas are better than others, but every idea has some merit. Once we get an idea out there the rest of the group will “yes, and” the idea and we’re rolling.

 

The phrase I say often is “Do something rather than nothing.”

 

Don’t call yourself stupid, or dumb, or any other put down. Especially don’t say it out loud. Here’s what happens: 1. You think the thought. 2. Your brain makes your mouth move and say the thought. 3. You hear the thought spoke out loud (even though it’s your thought, you still hear it.) 4. Your brain hears the information and re-thinks it again. So, something that’s not even true (“I’m stupid” ) has now been re-enforced four times!  
No wonder people lack self-confidence. Trust yourself.

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