The Delight of Surprising Yourself
When we let go of all our planning and thinking, we can enter into deep connection
- with ourselves
- with each other
- and with the moment.
And when we do that we step into the land of delightful surprise.
This is an improvisation course for complete beginners.
Anyone who wants to will do a show at the end but I’m much more interested in what improvisation can help you discover in yourself. It could be
- confidence and courage
- loosening up
- letting go
- being seen
- connecting with yourself physically
- making deeper connections with others
You don’t have to be a natural ‘performer.’
You don’t have to be clever or witty. I don’t teach that kind of improvisation. I’m much more interested in the magic of what happens between people.
If you’re nervous but feel like there’s something in it for you, that’s PERFECT! Fear in the absence of danger can show us where our treasure is buried – the parts of ourselves we lost track of along the way. I would love you to come. Though if you’re confident, that’s OK too. 🙂
Your best gift is YOU and your willingness to show yourself.
Here’s what we’ll dive into during the eight weeks.
We’ll explore how improvisation works.
- What helps scenes go well.
- Stepping boldly into the unknown
- Serving the scene not yourself
- Surrendering to our scene partners’ offers
- Letting go of our plans for what we thought would happen
- Discovering rather than inventing: Noticing what’s already happening and building on that
- Jumping first then justifying later
Using the Body
A lot of improvisation – especially online – can involve too much talking. We’re not going to do that.
Instead of trying to ‘think of something’ and you’ll begin to listen to your body to discover what’s already happening.
Instead of being a ‘talking head’, you’ll practice inhabiting your body expressing yourself and being seen physically.
You’ll practice embodying characters – trying on someone different to you.
Real life applications: Body confidence, embodied awareness and self-expression.
Fun, Laughter & Play!
Seriousness is often a way to hide. We’ll cultivate our sense of the ridiculous, not taking ourselves too seriously, letting go and having fun! That can be challenging if you’ve had a background of being serious and having all the answers. Think of like a muscle that might have got a bit stiff or tight. We will loosen it up.
Real life applications: Loosening our masks of seriousness and ‘knowing’. Having more fun!
We’ll have a Facebook or WhatsApp group to play in during the week with support, bonus fun and activities. There will be occasional optional “School Trips” to other classes, jams and shows (some of them might charge).
Nerves & Hot Buttons
If you’re a nervous, overthinking or perfectionist then I love you! I totally get it. I was terrified of improvisation. We will specifically work with loosening up and managing nerves.
If you’re not from a playful background, it can feel scary because it’s part of you that you’ve not connected with for a while.
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. But I will encourage you to stretch yourself outside your comfort zone. And we and everyone else will be there to encourage you.
Real life applications: Confidence, reconnecting with playfulness, presentation skills.
For me improvisation is far more than performance. The most important thing is your experience and discoveries.
BUT… Sharing yourself in front of others can be great fun and a wonderful achievement. And a great way to practice the centring skills we’ll be doing!
We can do whatever the group decides. Previous groups have had an online show to invite family and friends. Some others have had an improv party with other PlayConnecters, which has also been wonderful.
Real life applications: Respect, honour and bragging rights forever!!!!!!
If you’re interested, contact me at email@example.com.
If you’re not sure try any of these
- Have a look at what other people say and see if they sound like you. They’re all genuine comments that people wrote.
- Read a bit more about my take on the power of improvisation on the home page. There’s a short video at the bottom.
- Read a bit more about me here.
- Email me to ask a question firstname.lastname@example.org
I really want to come but I can’t afford it
Not a problem. Ask me – we’ll sort something out. If you really want to come and you’re a good fit, then I want you to come too. I don’t turn people away for lack of money.
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 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 🙂”