No offense, but Union College loves improv

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First off, a little bit about myself. I’m an economics and French double major with no prior experience in the theater and my public speaking could use a lot of work.

I have the acting capability of a walrus in July.

I love laughing because it’s a universal action that makes people happy.

This, and my love for the show “Whose Line is it Anyway,” led me to give No Offensive Improv Club a try.

The group is a recent addition to Union’s list of clubs.

Brad Leavitt ’16 is the president of the club.

Seven people showed up to the meeting, three of us newcomers, and my lack of experience didn’t help me open up much.

But Brad’s icebreakers and the club’s overall friendliness helped me feel more secure and willing to speak up during the exercises.

After warm ups, which forced everyone to interact, we started some improv routines called “bus,” “park bench” and, my personal favorite, “freeze.”

The routines lent themselves to variety of crazy scenarios, from people perching on chairs and cawing like crows to a spontaneous and somewhat aggressive workout routine.

Emotions ranged between sadness and utter confusion.

It moved too quickly for me to spend any time getting nervous.

There were moments when I refused to jump into the exercise because it was too funny to ruin.

But every time the performers ran out of ideas, people would tag themselves in to keep up the momentum.

It took us newcomers a bit longer to jump into the exercises, but when we did, everyone was eager to take our ideas in surprising directions.

I hope to grow there in my public speaking and my on-the-spot thinking skills.

After one meeting, I already feel more comfortable in front of a crowd. Sure, the meeting kind of forced me to be more comfortable doing things on the spot, but I was too caught up in the moment to care.

I would recommend this club to anyone who has trouble speaking during presentations, or anyone who likes to laugh or make people laugh.

I have trouble presenting pretty much anything in my French class because my accent is rough.

I’m hoping improv meetings will help me grow out of my skittishness.

This kind of thing would definitely help calm my nerves before a job interview.

On my way out of the club, I spoke to one of the other newcomers, who loved the event just as much as I did.

I could not imagine a more secure environment or group of people to work on improv with. The people made me laugh and helped to turn my awkward jokes into something amazing.

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