You hate the Macarena but you know every movement. You do the YMCA and don’t know why. “Everybody clap your hands!” (You just did, didn’t you? I saw you!)
Why do we do it? Why do we participate in these inane dances?
Participating is the only way to have a good time even if what you’re doing is the stupidest thing in the world (you remember that one time you and your friends started doing that one thing? that was awesome!).
I’m taking improv classes at Second City in Chicago. Improv is the art of living in the moment on stage (or the art of participating). No script. You make it up as you go. Why is it that everything is funnier/funner when it’s improvised? Even watching improv live is better than watching Whose Line Is It Anyway on TV. What makes it so special?
The actors are creating a new moment right in front of your eyes. It’s exciting! All you did was give one little suggestion (plumber with short term memory loss) and they created this completely new person (he forgot he already checked the toilet so he bends down and shows you his plumber’s crack for the third time) dealing with whatever situation he’s put in (he must save the world’s water from being turned into Jello).
There’s a certain wonder/awe factor associated with watching a live improv show. You know they are making it up which makes it that much more entertaining, that much more incredible, that much more creative.
Furthermore, the fun and joy of improv comes through the relationships created between characters. The interaction of different characters brings about comedy, not what’s said. What is said is irrelevant. The scene could be about cheese but we know it’s not really about cheese. It’s about the relationship between the characters.
You sit there in the pew, but you’re not really participating. You see the man sitting on the sidewalk with a cup full of change, but you don’t see the worry lines on his face. You see the kid sitting off by himself, but you don’t see the hurt in his eyes as others laugh at him. You see the old woman at the grocery store, but you don’t know the loneliness she feels since her husband died. You see the Bible on the table, but you don’t read it.
It’s time to truly witness creation. It’s time to participate in God’s creation: your life and the lives of others. It’s time to find joy in relationships.
Because joy comes from participating in creation. Live in the moment: the moment God made specifically for you.
The above article is a guest post by a friend, Van Wilson.
Van Wilson is an actor living in Chicago. You haven’t seen him in anything…yet. Up until recently he worked as a Youth Minister in southern Ohio. Feeling a different call on his life, Van left Ohio for Chicago to pursue new ways to spread the good news of Jesus through film and acting. Follow Van on facebook here, or twitter here.