Welcome to One Word Suggestion.
Most people think improv is just for comedy or jazz music. But, really, it’s a tool for life. For each article in this series I use a single word, suggested by you, as a leaping off point to explore how having an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level, both personally and professionally, whether you have a career on or off the stage.
One Word Suggestion: Editing
This week’s word, editing” was suggested by Monica.
One of the most famous improv schools in the world is UCB, the Upright Citizens Brigade, and when you walk into their New York offices, one of the first things you’ll see is a giant poster that says: Don’t Think
They’re famous for coining this expression and it’s important to understand that they’re not saying turn your brain off, they’re saying trust your instincts. Say or do the thing in the moment that feels right because it probably is. At least, that’s how I interpret it.
Looking at this from a behavioural science perspective what “don’t think” really means is don’t edit.
Editing is that little voice in your head:
“Should I say this? If I do will people get it? Will I look stupid? What if I’m not funny? What if I get it wrong? Maybe I’ll just stand here and keep my mouth shut.”
And that little voice will mess you up every time. As David Razowsky once said, “Fuck your brain, it’s a liar and an asshole.”
Or, as I say: trust your gut.
The opposite of editing is auditing, and again from a behavioural science perspective what this means is just being present and aware in the moment, observing what’s going on around you, listening actively and taking it all in, looking for opportunities to add your own perspective when appropriate.
Put more simply: Get out of your head and get into this very moment.
And improv training can help you get better at doing this. Whether you want to perform on stage or perform at work, learning not to edit can help you move forward, build self-confidence, and get better at trusting your gut.
As for editing scenes on stage, I’m going to assume if you’re watching this you have a good idea already of what it means and how to do it. If you don’t… come take a class!
And in the meantime, stop listening to that voice in your head… unless it’s telling you something important, like put on some pants, or that might be a shark, or ice cream!
So that’s my take on editing. Thanks for the great suggestion, Monica.
If you want to suggest a word for next week, or add your perspective, drop me a note in the comments or in a review. I’m making one of these every week, for a year, so definitely subscribe, like, share, and all that jazz.
Or better yet, listen to the podcast.
And in the meantime, if you’re interested in improv for personal growth, professional achievement, or just for fun, my suggestion is to get yourself into an improv class or book a corporate training workshop for your team.
You can learn all about PowerProv’s programs at powerprov.com.au
About One Word Suggestion
The One Word Suggestion series is your personal toolbox full of ways to help you use the power of improvisation to craft a more mindful and meaningful existence. Available as articles, a podcast, and soon, a book filled with powerful exercises for teams.
The One Word Suggestion Podcast with Eran Thomson
In each 3-minute episode, Eran uses a single word, suggested by listeners, as a leaping off point to explore how developing an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level personally and professionally.
Whether you aspire to be better on stage or on the job, this quick hit of improv inspiration is sure to bring you some insights, perspective, and joy.
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