I Improv my way through life

I improv my way through life.  What I mean is that when I speak aloud I am usually thinking aloud and making it up as I go along.  I secretly go into almost every conversation hoping that everyone else does that too and will want to play with words along with me.  I assume that others think as they speak even though I know very well that not everyone thinks that way – or do they and just not realize it?

I took an improv class at Upright Citizens Brigade a few years ago because I love the concept that in speaking to others, either formally as a speech or lecture, or informally in conversation, what you are really doing is making it up in the moment and playing with the other person real-time.  I love the dance of letting words spill out really quickly as I speak to another person and see what spills from their lips in turn.  The faster the interaction the more fun it is and the more that I get fed with ideas from the other person that I can build upon to create more interesting thoughts and enjoy the play with language.  It is improv but it is also just talking in everyday life.

I am easily cheered by plays on words, puns, idioms, double entendres, anything that uses language in playful ways but that ultimately is used to communicate.  This is so second nature to me that it should not be a surprise that I studied linguistics and psycholinguistics and philosophy of language even though I haven’t formally been in the field for some time. Language is a fascinating external manifestation of our human capacity to improvise how we communicate with others.  We are so amazingly apt at being flexible and pliable with words; we really do improvise our way through life.


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