I just graduated from improv comedy school. 🙃

Here’s what I learned from the last 12 months.

The very nature of improv comedy is that it is improvisational, unscripted, and has zero predictability or certainty. This alone would strike fear into the hearts of most people.

While most people talk about “stepping out of your comfort zone” by sharing memes and inspirational words about the topic, enrolling in comedy school actually best exemplifies practicing what you preach.

Compared to public speaking, Toastmasters, standing on stages with thousands in attendance, doing improv is far more challenging and uncomfortable. That’s why I signed up!

Here’s why improv is more challenging than public speaking.

When you practice public speaking, you get to plan your opening statement, plan your stories, and plan your closing segments. You also are continually refining your voice, your character, your persona, thus your brand.

While these exact same things exist in doing stand-up, scripted comedy, none of that exists in improv.
With improv, you don’t get to pick your character, your persona, your voice, or the storyline. Most of those get assigned to you by your stage mates, and then you must build the story together, on the fly. Sometimes you might play the role of an elderly grandmother, a small child, or even an inanimate object… and have to act those roles out.

Improv forces you to become an effective listener. You must listen for details and clues from your stage mate, and be able to weave those details into a narrative and expand upon them. This alone has made me a better podcast host. I actively listen for details when guests speak, and expand further on topics or ideas.

As with any skill, there are too many strategies, tactics, and lessons to share in a simple post, but my main takeaways are that improv will force you out of your comfort zone, force you to become a detailed listener, force you to think quicker, force you to be more creative and think abstractly about ideas others won’t see.

The end result is that when you know you can become confident stepping on that comedy stage, owning whatever character gets thrown your way, embracing uncertainty, this makes it much easier for you to accept your true self and who you are, in the more scripted/planned areas of your life.

If the thought of this scares you, that’s the reason you should do it.


If you are in the Houston Texas area, this is the school I attended: Station Theater