I’ve been saying that this would be a goal of mine for a while, but yesterday I officially started improv classes at UCB! I was able to save up the money for the class in August, but I had to wait until there was a class time that worked with my schedule (I wasn’t going to quit my job to attend a class that lasts 8 weeks).
Finally, there was a Monday mid-day class on the registration list and I paid right away to guarantee my spot. I signed up a little while ago, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about going back into an improv class.
This is my first improv class since my beloved acting coach, Kip, passed away 5 years ago. Maybe if money and the schedule wasn’t an issue that I would have taken a class earlier this year. But before this year, I wasn’t ready to do an improv class. Kip was very influential in my life and I was scared that doing improv was going to make me sad.
Fortunately, the class didn’t do that to me yesterday. There were times that made me think of him because the lessons we were doing were identical to things I used to do in Kip’s class (which I found ironic because Kip was a founding member of a different improv company), but I think that overall the class was great and I’m looking forward to the next 7 weeks.
Besides my classes with Kip, I’ve done a couple of years of improv training with a different troupe. But because it wasn’t very well-known (even though it’s based in LA), many casting directors are asking for actors to study improv with one of the big schools. So taking this class at UCB is helping me accomplish that.
In the first class, it was a lot of introduction to improv. There are some people in the class who have never taken improv, and I needed to learn the style and rules of the improv games that UCB does. And it was a good refresher course for me to make sure that I’m the most supportive team member that I can be.
I have to say, I was very impressed with the UCB setup. I’m used to taking improv classes in a casting room (after hours) or at the theater where the shows would take place. But at UCB, they have a big building with dozens of classrooms, a theater, and a cafe. It was more like a school than a theater, and I really liked that.
I have a bit of homework to do before my next class on Monday next week, and I’m really going to try my best to get it all done plus do a little extra. Just because this is an introduction to improv class doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off. I’m taking this seriously and maybe after completing this class I will feel at home here and will continue to take the next set of classes.
I’m glad that I was able to get together the funds and a class worked out with my schedule. After taking my first class, I don’t feel the same pull holding me back from taking classes that might “replace” Kip. I’m aware that that was a weird issue to have, but because Kip was such a huge part of my life, I had trouble moving on. But I feel like I’m finally at that point and I’m excited to see how I can use what he taught me over the years in a new space with new people.