Your friends tell you you’re funny. You make your roommate or boy/girlfriend laugh all the time. And whenever you go to improv comedy shows you secretly wish you were on stage, trading silly remarks and funny faces with the other comedians.

Alright, maybe that’s not you: It’s me. Summoning all of my courage, I tried out a “mock” Groundlings class. Oh, what fun!

The Groundlings offer comedy courses and workshops for all different levels (from one to four). One of the first things you should know about the Groundlings is that the players write their own material. So in addition to building performance courage, you’ll also be sharpening your writing chops.

As my teacher, hilarious Groundlings cast member Lisa Schurga, told me at the start, “Writing is a big part of the Groundlings school. In writing lab (the third level), a teacher works with the students to write monologues and scenes that they will later perform in a writing lab show. Then in the fourth level (advanced), the students write material for two shows. And lastly, in Sunday Company (the final level of the school), you write new material every week for a new show every week.”

OK, so you don’t actually want to BE a Groundling. Taking a class or workshop can be rewarding in its own right. Not only does it boost your all-around confidence and improve public speaking skills, it allows you – even encourages you – to act like a goofball, like a kid all over again.

One of the most important tips I learned from Schurga was: “When doing improv, listening and 'yes anding' – building off of what your partner just said or did – are probably the most important things to remember.”

I walked away from the Groundlings Theater having completed various exercises that caused me to maintain eye contact way beyond my comfort level, act like a machine and make up a hopefully giggle-inducing story on command. An hour I will never forget.

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