I studied improv under Amy Poehler at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater for two years before she joined SNL. While she’s the most brilliant improviser I’ve ever witnessed, she’s also one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, following only Ms. Reed, my sophomore Latin teacher in the stack rankings. She has the gift of encouragement, and when you’re learning to perform The Harold — a long form improv format where a troupe perform a 30 minute show based on a single audience suggestion — encouragement is needed.
Some of the most terrifying moments in my life occurred in my early days of improv. After learning a few simple principles, I began to feel comfortable stepping out on stage in front of a full audience with nothing but trust for my team and an empty mind, ready to discover the show. I reluctantly began to understand what Del Close meant when he preached, “Follow the Fear.”
In the world of corporate communication and content marketing, it’s fear that keeps us from our best. Fear to be different, fear of not getting promoted, fear of failure. When I’ve applied the rules I learned in my corporate life, it’s lead to my biggest successes. I’ll talk about three of these rules at #INBOUND13, Wednesday 12 noon, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Swing by if you’re in town. I’ll post the video when it’s live.