Improvisational comedy has been a way of life for me from the moment I met husband. It was the summer after high school, and this guy named Heath would get a group of us rolling with laughter with his silly, improvised, hilarious bits. Little did I know, then, that I would be spending the rest of my life with him.
By 2009 we were married and decided to do improv together. We were at a place in our marriage where we wanted to “spice” things up a little and instead of doing what most couples would probably do - dance lessons, dinner date nights, etc. - we chose improv. We never fit the mold or follow the path that most do anyway so we thought, “what the heck!?”
We had a crew who’d come over to our house once a week and we’d play in our garage.
Our neighbors loved it. No really, they did! We lived right next door to an elderly couple, and we had several young couples on our street. People would come outside and even bring their lawn chairs over and sit and watch us be complete idiots.
I was out of my league. I was a mom of two very little ones, Preston and Zoey. Zoey wasn’t quite a year and Preston was two and a half. My body still hadn’t recovered from the birth of my daughter, I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin, and I cared WAY to much about what people thought of me. Yet, I had agreed to “BOND” with my husband by “making stuff up” on the spot.
I never felt comfortable. I tried, and even had moments I let go and had fun, but insecurities, mommy guilt, whatever else you want to call it got the better of me and I eventually stopped joining in the improv as a player. But something about it still intrigued me. And though I wasn’t in a place mentally where I could push out of those limits of my comfort zone, improv had still done it’s work on me. It started me on a path of breaking out of “caring what people think” to “caring about people” and about myself.
Fast forward to 2012: I had gone through A LOT. Marital troubles almost resulting in divorce, making some awful life altering mistakes myself, and just generally creating quite a mess of things...but I was FINALLY on a better path. I’d done a lot of personal growth and again found myself wanting more. That’s when Heath and I joined ComedySportz in Boise, ID.
Heath had already been a ComedySportz player back in the day, and was anxious for me to try it. There I went, really nervous to put myself out there again when it had been so hard for me the first time. But ComedySportz was different, and what’s more, I was different. I was still a wife, a mom, had built a great career as a hairstylist, but was I still as self conscious? I thought I would be.
That first practice I stepped in just hoping I wouldn’t look like a complete fool. Well I did... But you know what? No one cared. In fact, they respected me for it. Maybe they always had, even before, but this time I was actually able to see it. I still cared what people thought but improv comedy, and ComedySportz was a place I could go, and just be silly, and that was ok. Actually, not just ok, it was now a requirement!
Improv comedy does something to a person, if they allow it; It let’s you get so completely present with the here and now. It puts you in this space where you can be and do whatever you want and the people around you will support you. Who couldn’t use some of that in their life?! Improv comedy brought me back to life that way.
When I started ComedySportz in 2012, I had gotten to a place where my life was so SERIOUS, it was suffocating. I was a working mom, my husband traveled a lot, and all the day to day things fell on me a lot. The minute I walked into Improv with ComedySportz that night in 2012, something set free inside me, and I don’t care how cliche it sounds. Everyone needs laughter, and some silly in your life. If you don’t have it, try IMPROV!!! It will wake up your senses; the community of “YES AND-ERS” is incredible. The only rule in improv is there are no mistakes and I think I’d made enough mistakes in my life that having a place where there weren’t any was just what I needed.
As I began to REALLY get more into improv comedy, I started paying attention to all the things I was learning: how to listen, accepting offers given, making agreements naturally, how making someone else look good makes you look really good and so many others, I came to realize “Wow you can use these principles in everyday life!” With a background and certifications in Personal Development, and on a quest to care about others more than I care about what they think of me, I took this information to my husband and we started doing team building for companies, sports teams and even couples based on how to communicate and connect better through Improv. After all, it worked for us!
I can confidently say improv was one of the things that gave me a thriving marriage, made me a better mom, and communicator in general, and taught me to connect and care about people. It also helped me live my truth and care more about living my life for me, than for other people. But one of my favorite lessons it’s taught me, is to remember to be SILLY! It works, and it all started with a silly game of Zip Zap Zop, in the front of my garage.
I really do recommend ANY person wanting an excuse to bring out your inner silly, and surround yourself with positive YES AND people, to join an Improv class, go to Improv shows, just FIND yourself some IMPROV! I know a great place! ;)
ComedySportz has always been that place for me. From day one with ComedySportz I felt that high and I’ve always returned to it. If it speaks to you I hope you will to! After all I think everyone on the planet need to do as I’ve heard Heath say so many times: “Live funny and die laughing.”
-- written by Mollie Harmison
We're happy to say Mollie is alive, well and laughing with ComedySportz Las Vegas. Come see our Mother of Dragons at one of our upcoming matches. Or, if you'd like to follow her advice into giving improv a shot, our next classes are starting up very soon!