Why you should take improv lessons at university

By Kushal Kark on 03-05-2018

Now, the thought of displaying your vulnerabilities in front of everyone can be a daunting experience for anyone. So, it’s understandable why improv might be so off-putting – but it doesn’t have to be!

Nearly every university offers an improv course, through either societies or university-led services and it's significantly cheaper and convenient than private services – but of course, you all know that.

The great thing about improv is that you don’t even have to be a Marlon Brando or Daniel Day-Lewis, rest assured you’ll be safe from the dangers of method acting. Improv is quite the opposite of method acting actually, in that it requires little thinking and a lot of doing!

What are the benefits of improv?

Think faster than you blink

Your brain is like a muscle – don’t expect to get those gains if you don’t exercise your mind. The point of improv, as the name suggests is to think fast and improvise in any given situation. Why is this useful?

Let’s take interviews as an example. The job market is changing, interviewers are looking for innovative methods to screen their candidates. This can include task-based interview days to asking outlandish interview questions where you have to think on the spot –and this is exactly the type of scenario where you would apply your improv skills.

Failure, for the lack of a better word, is good.

When all the partying is done, and when students have managed to get themselves home at 3 am, they generally are academic people (hopefully for the sake of society); however, sadly, multiple studies have shown students also have the tendency to fear failure.

Perpetual thoughts of failure can be debilitating to the mind – not ideal when dedicating 3 or more years of your life for qualifications you’re trying to attain. Improv can help you channel those negative thoughts, why?

Improv is all about trial and error in short bursts – there’s no guarantee your act will engage the crowd, but that’s the beauty of it! You will soon embrace your failures and constantly learn to improvise and develop new act – this can easily be applied in other scenarios!

A spark without Tinder.

While social media is a wonderful platform to share your stories to the world, it also has had a significant impact on how you socialise; dating, making friends, networking etc.

It’s very easy for us to be seduced by the convenience of social media – and ignore social interaction completely. Dating apps, for example, are great for meeting new people, but it’s easy to be hooked onto them, this generally requires less creativity and spontaneity than approaching someone in person, and the same goes for making new friends or finding networking opportunities in person.

Approaching in person is obviously more overwhelming than talking behind apps, but this is where improv classes will be a benefit. You will be exposed to people with different backgrounds and personalities bringing in their own version of creativity.

So, improv is a fantastic opportunity to build your conversation skills and be spontaneous ‘in the moment’ – so you won’t have to be overwhelmed about what to say when approaching that cute girl/guy in your class (although it’s easier said than done).

Here are the reasons why you should take improv. The only thing left to do is take action! If you’re really feeling confident, roll right in an improv class in character – and enjoy the hilarity of the outcome.

Kushal Kark writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs. 


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