According to the Harvard Business Review, when we start a new project, we tend to be cautious. It is when we start to get good at something that we get overconfident, and mistakes happen. If that sounds counter-intuitive, think back when you started driving. Researchers call this the Beginners Bubble. My bubble burst after taking one improv level 1 class.
First a little background, I spent the ten years working in morning radio in Boston. I'm used to keeping my head on a swivel. The first exercise was no sweat. We first had to pass an imaginary red ball, then a green ball then, Lucille Ball. It was a great way to warm up and pay attention to eye contact. The next exercise is a favorite of many a sports commentator: “You’re The Expert.” The purpose of this drill was to be very comfortable to say whatever is on your mind. I manage to be a producer in sports media without having known anything about sports; so, I am very used to talking a lot about something without any research or prep like many other hosts.
At this point, I was already planning to make my big move to LA and be the next great regular on Comedy Bang Bang. Things begin to turn when a decade in communications failed to prepare me for what comes next, relationships. When you work with people with strong opinions, building relationships can be complicated. We focused on the foundation of a scene, the who, the what and the where. The most significant takeaway for me was how to communicate without asking questions. I did a lot man-on-the-street interviews, and all I did was ask questions. Expressing how you feel instead of asking not only made the conversation flow much better; it's also such a great to understand empathy.
After my first class, I felt exhausted but refreshed. I know I've got a lot to learn, and I am excited to see where it takes me. If you always wanted to try a class, but you were too afraid: the rush you get after outweighs the doubt.
Adolfo Gonzalez is a Level 1 Improv Student at DCH and was a former radio producer for the number one sports talk show in Boston. He has come back to Dallas to start training as a comedian and a content creator. You can follow him on twitter @AdolfoGonzalez and Instagram @AdolfoGonzalezJr.