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… Doing a show can be great fun and a wonderful achievement. And a great way to practice the centring skills we’ll be doing!
So I would love for the last week to be am online show and party you can invite your friends to. I have plans! Of course you don’t have to, but I think you’ll be SO pleased you did.
Real life applications: Respect, honour and bragging rights forever!!!!!!
If you’re interested, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com
- Really want to come but genuinely can’t afford it? Ask me – we’ll sort something out. Not a problem. If you really want to come and you’re a good fit, then I want you to come too.
I have some diary clashes – can I switch between the two groups to work round them? Yes! That’s not a problem. I’ll keep the activities in each class similar each week. Just let me know.
“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’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 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 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.”
“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!”
“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 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 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 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 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 🙂”
“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. “