- Trusting your instincts
- Being seen
- Acting without knowing
- Engaging with the moment
- Having fun 🙂
Children play instinctively. They find out “What happens if I do this?” or “What feels most fun?”
As adults many of us forget. We get stuck in being “right” and knowing what to do. We self-edit to present the “right” version of ourselves. We forget how to be with not knowing. The idea of being our spontaneous natural selves often becomes scary.
That’s such a shame.
It’s vital to figure out the “right” way to launch a space rocket.
But what’s the right way to have a relationship, spend a Sunday, live a life?
“Right” keeps us in what is safe and known. It leaves no space for discovering something completely new.
“The best surfer is the one having the most fun.”
I like this phrase because it’s a reminder of a different approach. One where you’re not defining success by an external measure like passing an exam, balancing the books or avoiding disapproval. You’re measuring it in terms of what feels good, what brings you alive and what’s opening up possibilities. You’re reconnecting with yourself and exploring not knowing.
We use improvisation to help you
- Reconnect with your free, spontaneous side
- Loosen your self-editing
- Commit to the moment
- Listen and engage deeply with others
- Surrender to what’s really happening, not what you thought would happen or should happen
- Explore what it’s like to follow the fun rather than trying to get it right
If it sounds terrifying, I understand.
I found improvisation scary too. I’m not from a performing background at all. I got through life by staying in the background and getting things right. The idea of improvising scared me witless. But I knew that the fear was pointing towards some buried treasure – getting back in touch with my playful, spontaneous self.
I’ve now been improvising for eight years, performing with a variety of troupes including improvising songs as well as performing improvised tributes to Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. It’s helped me be more spontaneous and have MUCH more fun in life. I’ve taught improvisation to doctors, management consultants and more.
I’m also a hypnotherapist and embodiment coach.
We will have maximum fun. But we will also spend some time loosening up, relaxing the “deer in the headlights” reflex and picking out what you can take into the rest of your life.
There’s nothing you have to do and you can participate up to what feels like a good edge for you.
There’s also half an hour after every session to hang out, chat and decompress if you need or want to.
You don’t need to be “funny” or clever or quick. It’s not about entertaining. It’s about learning to engage with others, open up to the moment and allow yourself to be seen.
We don’t love your cleverness, we love your humanity.
You don’t have to be confident. If you’re feeling anxious – I love you! You’re my favourite kind of improviser. Because, like me, you probably have the most to gain
Sessions are in English so you need good enough English to follow along. We’ll use lots of movement and won’t be doing anything that’s language-intense like rhyming. If you can read this comfortably then you’re probably fine.
What Happens in a Class
- Arrivals: Stretch, move, say hello and settle in.
- Improv Tools – I’ll sketch out some of the tools that make improv work and help you have the best fun. We’ll do a couple of quick grounding techniques you can use to stay present and flexible.
- Games and fun – We’ll play some games to start flexing your muscles. Mostly I’ll demonstrate something then you can play in pairs or small groups. We’ll check in after each one. You
- Closing and sharing – Checking in with how you found it, what you took from it, questions.
- Official end at 2 hours.
- Hang out space – Part of the improv experience is spending time with great people. So this is part is like going out for a drink together. Chat with each other or with me. It’s also a way of making a smoother transition from “improv world” to the “normal world.”
Sessions are on Zoom.
I usually stand up so I can be more mobile. We’ll do several movement-based activities. If you’re able to stand up and move then that’s great. But don’t worry if you can’t.
How to Join
To join, use the link at the top of this page.
Choose the time you would like from the dropdown, click “add to basket” then check out.
You should receive a confirmation straight away then I’ll send you the link to join shortly before the event.
Only twelve places per session to make sure there’s plenty of space for you to share if you want to.
If you really want to come but can’t afford it, let me know and we’ll sort something out.
Any questions or problems, email me, Andy, at firstname.lastname@example.org
“This week I hosted my first, “Inner Play Lab,” where I helped others play around with different ways of defusing our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and judgments. It’s had rave reviews!!! Your class helped me to have the confidence to be spontaneous, to tolerate being in the space of the unknown, and feel into what’s alive in the moment – and in doing so, you are helping me to support others in doing the same.”
“If Mister Rogers, Ted Lasso, and Wallace (of Wallace and Gromit) had a baby, the result would be Andrew Cain. Andy is kind, compassionate, patient, safe, and inviting…and he’s really expanded my definition of what it means to be human. Over the course of three months, I’ve cried, laughed, smiled, and surprised myself more than I ever thought possible. What started as a mission to lighten up instead turned into a deep acceptance of self. I’m not perfect, and that’s OK. And as Andy points out, that might even be what makes me amazing. Thank you, Andy.”
Debbie talks about overcoming her initial fears and how it’s helped her in her coaching business.
“I can’t tell you how much I’ve loved this class. Andrew’s teaching, the games we’ve played, and my new friends from all over the world. I think the title for the class is perfect because you do end up surprising yourself and just plain having fun! I never would have dreamed of signing up for an improv class a year ago, but Andrew makes it so joyful and so safe to be as you are, to try things out, to take chances! This class has been the highlight of my week for 9 weeks now. I get to play and laugh and be human with others who are doing the same. I always leave with a smile on my face!”
“I was everything Andy said he liked to work with – uptight, perfectionist, stiff, and self-judgmental. The 8 weeks of his course was nothing less than transformational for me!
I feel more comfortable in my own skin in a way that I haven’t before. I trust myself in the moment. I have already noticed my anxiety go down when things don’t go according to plan. I laugh and play in a way that I haven’t for years.
He built connection and a sense of trust, ease and fun in the group. I felt connected to everyone and it was great to meet people from around the world! I highly recommend any of his courses and can’t wait for the next one!”
“I come to class feeling like a boiled zucchini and leave feeling like everything is possible.” 🙂
“I always felt welcome, no matter how I showed up. The course has helped me to notice many patterns and train new ones in a safe and fun environment. I absolutely recommend it, even if you are slightly terrified of improv and you’ve never done it before (like me). Andrew will inspire you, with tact, enthusiasm and kindness.”
“Andy holds a beautiful container for the people in his groups. He helps with his own presence to bring connection between his participants so we all felt relaxed with each other. I originally signed up as the last 1.5 years made me forget easiness and lightness. Doing the course, I remembered this crucial side of myself, which I consider in the end one of the strongest gifts a person can have and share with others: Creating ease and fun in the present moment. I don’t believe we’re here to worry all the time about the future… I already signed up for another class!”
“Andy has this phenomenal capacity to meet you exactly where you are and welcome you safely and gently into a journey of discovery filled with joy, lightness and connection. The sessions are fun, supportive and insightful in the most organic way. As a therapist, what I appreciate more than anything about what Andy shares is how deeply therapeutic it feels in its invitation to playfulness and curiosity.
I can’t recommend improv with Andy highly enough!”
“I was very reluctant to try improv at first. I imagined that I’d be put on the spot to tell jokes and that sounded like the opposite of fun. I was afraid of doing it wrong or looking silly. Little did I know that these would be two of the things I would find utterly joyful about the classes. The penny quickly dropped that this is exactly what I need to work on as a recovering perfectionist who uses seriousness as a comfort blanket. I soon found that the impact went way beyond the two hours in class, into how I face uncertainty in my day-to-day life, how comfortable I am to follow the flow in coaching, and the way I converse with people.
Andrew is a marvellous teacher – through his gently encouraging facilitation and the community he builds around the classes, I felt really at ease and able to step into the limelight more than I’d ever imagined. It really feels like you have a whole team cheering you on every time you give it a go. Wonderful stuff!”
“I am so glad I took the plunge to do the course. I love the sessions. I have really found another side to myself.”
“I really, really enjoyed it! It was fun, connecting, revealing, challenging and liberating.”
“Andrew’s class was an invitation to explore myself on a deeper level. I’m glad I went.
Being able to feel at home within the gentle, playful and somewhat stretching environment meant that I could explore more of what has been holding me back from showing up as myself in the moment, and that need to get it right – that being me wasn’t or hasn’t been enough could pass on through.
It’s so much more than what my understanding of improv was. It’s like a game in which you get to play lots of different aspects of yourself.
It’s definitely designed with fun and laughter in mind. If you allow yourself, you will not help but laugh.
Andrew is a gifted host and facilitator and brings so much fun energy to the space. Worth exploring if you haven’t been!”
“I’ve just completed ‘The Delight of Surprising Yourself’, Andy’s beginners’ improv course, which I hugely enjoyed. Andy was great at helping us all develop as well as connecting us together as a group. Apart from being great fun it has helped me to slow down, really listen, be more comfortable with uncertainty and more spontaneous. I would hugely recommend it and am looking forward to the follow on course.”
“I absolutely loved your introductory class! Improv is definitely outside my comfort zone, but you created such a welcoming environment, and you very skillfully calmed everyone’s nerves. I had a lot of fun, and it was wonderful to uncover a playful aspect of myself that had been buried for a long time.”
“It was a very safe and playful environment that you created during the workshop. I really appreciated the care you took with all participants.”
“I had always been terrified of improv. When I finally took the plunge in Andrew’s highly safe and encouraging workshop, it was a joy to meet my playful side. I amazed myself at what I did and how much I enjoyed it.”
“I love how you are so open and honest about yourself. The sessions are so helpful on all sorts of levels, as well as really fun. Would love to do more!”
“I joined Andy’s Play / Connect online session without any experience of improv or even knowing what to expect. I just knew that I needed a healthy dose of playfulness, laughter and connection. Andy and his session did not disappoint. He was able to bring strangers together in an online format with ease and grace. We all had the luxury of being with each other in such a fun way and forget for a short time the current perils. I highly recommend him and his fun-loving work.”
“I was nervous but Andrew skilfully led the session which was really fun and flew by. It left me wanting more and I’ll be back as soon as I can!”
“I enjoyed it a lot and it opened a window to the world of improv. There are opportunities for us to get out of our comfort zone yet it remains fun and safe. I left the session energized, proud of my journey through my fears and slowly accepting and taming my troll(s).”
“I loved today so much. The timing was perfect for a zoom session although I actually really wanted it to go on longer in many ways! To have two hours of freedom from mind talk and a sense of play was heaven! You facilitated it like a true craftsman.”
“Thank you for providing such a warm and welcoming spot to explore.”
“I wanted to give it a go as it seemed fun and I was not disappointed! Andrew is a wonderful host with a great sense of humour. Everyone feels welcome. Looking forward to play and connect again :)”
“It was really fun – very supportive and encouraging 🙂”