The world is full of No's: “No, I don’t have time for you.” “No, that’s not a good idea.” “No, I won’t help.” When you’re faced with the same answer day-in day-out, it can become incredibly difficult to think optimistically and develop confidence.
Bitter realities begin to cloud out any sense of positive outcome and train you to expect the worst, or worse, condition you to stop trying entirely.
So how do you learn to say – and expect to hear – yes again?
Enter Improv Haven, a program taught by improvisation troupe Notorious, whose goal is to develop skills that breed confidence, openness, positivity, and optimism in Haven Toronto clients. For the past two years, this program – a weekly drop-in class culminating in a fundraiser performance – has been a welcome addition to the services offered through Haven Toronto.
The core tenant of improv is to receive everything that comes your way with enthusiasm and openness, which allows everyone to work in an atmosphere of unbridled acceptance. There is no room for judgement, criticism, or negativity.
An environment like this builds up confidence that begins to unleash a well-seasoned sense of humour in each of the guys.
The class atmosphere is so relaxed and open that each guy slowly comes out of their shell and sometimes discovers a side of themselves they didn’t know they had! After a few weeks of classes, the men are invited to showcase their skills during a fundraiser with a directed improv performance that is both silly and hilarious!
For many audience members, this is a unique opportunity to see these guys in an incredibly positive light: as sweet, creative, and hilarious performers.
When the show is over, the guys that performed will have a fun, empowering experience to look back on and a set of improv skills they can add to their toolkit. The show also raises money for core programs at Haven Toronto, giving clients the support they need moving forward.
There are a lot of “no”s in the world, but there are a lot of “yes”s too.
With an enhanced skillset, finding, and taking advantage of those “yes”s becomes easier. On the other half of the equation, the more people that see Haven Toronto clients in their best light, the more likely they are to open up and turn their own “no”s into “yes”s, leading to a situation where EVERYONE is better off.
This story can also be found in Haven Toronto’s September 2018 Magazine.
Improv Haven Fundraiser returns Spring 2019 at Comedy Bar in Toronto. Follow Notorious Improv on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook for more details or watch for event information in Haven Toronto’s communications.