Improv Thanksgiving

Full Disclosure. I 100% ripped off Jimmy Carrane on this post, so thanks Jimmy.

Every November, when my family gathers around the Thanksgiving table, we are not allowed to eat until everyone has said what they are thankful for this year.

It doesn’t have to be big. It can be as simple as “the health of my family,” but for some reason, talking about what you’re thankful for in front of others is not only difficult, but also terrifying.

This Thanksgiving, my girlfriend will be joining me at my parents’ house (at her own risk), and when I casually joked that she should start thinking of what she’s thankful for, she got a little uncomfortable. Admittedly, going through this exercise each November makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

I assured her that it didn’t have to be anything big, that everyone has a ton of things to be thankful for, but that didn’t help. It’s the act of saying what you’re thankful for, not the content, that makes us feel queasy.

For some reason, I have no issue telling people things I don’t like about myself – I’m too selfish. I don’t listen as well as I should. I’m stubborn and set in my ways. I have trouble empathizing.

It’s nerve-wracking, however, to tell people what I am proud of or what I am thankful for. Today, I am going to try to be better at that.

On Jimmy’s post (which I’m sure a lot of you have seen), he challenged us to write down 10 things we’re thankful for in improv. Here are mine (in no particular order).

I am thankful for:

  1. The growing St. Louis improv community.
  2. Exceptional, high-quality longform in the city that challenges me to push myself and grow as a performer.
  3. This blog, which has garnered a ton of support from the community. I’m incredibly grateful for the people who read it each week, volunteer to be interviewed, and give me positive encouragement as well as helpful feedback.
  4. The supportive and positive members of my Harold team, Bluebeard, as well as my Minstrel Blood partner in crime, Lindsay Lutz, who continues to put up with me.
  5. Nefarious Bakers, the independent team thst took a chance on me last summer and still allows me to coach them.
  6. Anyone who has trusted me enough to sign up for my workshop about two-person scene work.
  7. My growth as a performer over the past year.
  8. Those who continue to provide motivation and mentoring as far as the blog is concerned.
  9. The opportunity to be featured on Storyteller last month and the opportunity to play in One Night Stand two weeks ago.
  10. And Also With You, an independent team that made me feel confident and valued last week when they asked me to guest coach.

Now you try. Leave 10 things you’re thankful for in improv in this comment thread.

One Comment

Michael Barrows-Fitzgerald November 28, 2014 Reply

1. The chance to perform with Major Major Major – these are some of the nicest/strongest players I’ve had the chance to play with this year – the cherry on top of this sundae is that we are coached by John Langen
2. Getting the chance to coach Timequake – I really love sharing improv with people who love it as much as I do and feel honored that I was given the chance
3. The fine gentlemen of And Also With You – Zack, Matt and David – they are excellent in their craft and push me to try harder
4. The Improv Shop – where would any of us be without this wonderful place we all call our second home
5. The people of the Improv Shop – Kevin, Andy, Katie, John…. the list could take all day, but it’s all of the people who work to make the shop work
6. My husband, Jerry – he knows how much this means to me and supports my endeavors
7. My cast and crew of the Halloween sketch show – so much fun, so much fun!!!!
8. The upcoming improvised game show Let’s Make a Scene – game shows and improv…. together? Sploosh!
9. Getting to reunite with Magic Ratio for another fun set!!!
10. All of the wonderful people who are now in my life because of improv!

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