When I was a young actress in training, I specialized in comedy. Now, as every funny person knows, comedy isn’t a major. It’s a minor. It’s a chord that strikes and lingers. People without timing revere the comedian for their wit. Those who get it, repeat it. Some people shake their heads at how simple it seems. But comedy is a lot of work. And like the rest of the human body the funny bone needs exercise. Stretching and strengthening; a funny bone needs the calcium of dedication. As I progressed into comic territory, I realized how many lessons I could apply to my daily life. Active listening is important. Be open to change. Think big. But the most important lesson I learned, was in Improv 101. YES!….and?
The most fun moments I’ve had came from me saying YES! The most beautiful things I’ve seen were when I said YES! YES is a gateway word. It opens options otherwise ignored. The ….and? is how you can take the best decisions and make them better. Do I want learn the ukulele? YES! and I want to write cute uke music for people to fall in love to. Do I want to write a blog? YES! and how about a series of books? Sure, why not. I am always the first to say yes, even though sometimes it’s after a bit of a fight. Do I want to learn pole dancing? YES! and I want to be able to show off a little. What’s the point of doing something partly? It’s no fun being no good at something you like doing. But like comedy getting good at something takes dedication, motivation and effort. Prodigies aren’t born knowing how to play the piano, they were lucky that somebody put them in front of a piano. Imagine being a xylophone prodigy and all you were taught was ballet. At some point it’s up to you to find your xylophone.
I laugh to think that saying yes is such an obstacle for people. But how can I be surprised, when no is among the first words babies learn. The first concept we’re taught is not to do things. No! Hot. No! Leave Momma’s purse alone. No! There’s no more. It’s been drilled into our lives everyday. Transaction Declined. Time Expired. Application Denied. No Parking. Just think how nice it is to hear when your local coffee shop has your favourite scone. There is just one plane ticket left, just for you. Yes, I can do that for you. Yes, we can. Saying YES and being open to the idea that somethings will change; makes making the better decision even easier. So, I may not be the actress I was training for, but I think that learning how to act also taught me how to live. Or at least fake it convincingly.