When first learning improv here in Cedar City (in 2003), I was presented with one very important rule. I would later learn three more...and would later learn that it is more of a tool than a rule, but I digress.
'Yes, And' started out as merely a way to navigate an improv scene. Your partner on stage offers up an idea and you accept it. It doesn't matter what that idea is, or how silly you think you will feel if you suddenly find yourself acting like a moose, you say yes. And, then, you add more to the idea. You build. You are a moose that takes two sugars in a cup of tea.
Montage through my life about nine years...I graduate from college, I'm still terrible at parallel parking, I move all over the place, I swim with dolphins, and BAM! I live in China teaching English to kids ages four to sixteen. And, one day, I find myself realizing that all my improv lessons were life lessons.
Yes, I'm mildly ashamed that it took my nine-ish years to realize this. But, it's not as bad as how high my bangs used to get teased, so let's calm down.
I had a real moment when it all sunk in that Yes, And was an everyday thing. One can choose to be miserable/grumbly/stubborn/angry/peeved/indifferent or one can accept the situation and use it as a building block.
It's not an exact science. Sometimes I totally crash and burn through acceptance straight into a fiery field of 'hell to the no'. But, I'm trying to take everything as a building block so that I can try to stop being my own road block. (See what I did there?)
So, who wants to join me? Let's all have a Yes, And moment today....and everyday! Accept the situation. Add to it. Make it awesome. Build. Repeat.
And if you see me in the booth on a Friday night, say hi! Give me parallel parking tips and high fives!