FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT THE THROUGH LAUGHTER PROGRAM
What exactly do we do in the Through Laughter Program?
The corporate world is finally learning what improvisers have known for a long time, that profound learning and growth comes from practicing the exercises used to train improvisers. In the THROUGH LAUGHTER program, we practice important skills for professional and personal growth through easy-to-learn improv comedy exercises, completed in whole groups and pairs interspersed with powerful debriefing discussions. This program is not a performance experience, and participants won’t ever be “onstage.” Throughout the class, participants are up on their feet in a group circle and usually moving a bit, so key ideas are immediately put into active practice to provide deep learning experiences. Most of all, every effort is made to help participants feel safe, supported, and successful. Oh, and we have A LOT OF FUN along the way too!
Check out the video below to see a THROUGH LAUGHTER workshop in action
What is Improv Comedy?
Improv comedy is a script-free art form where everything - the characters, environment, plot - is discovered on the spot. Inspired by the audience suggestions and the truth of the moment, improv comedy showcases an exciting form of theater where the show is being revealed as its being played out. TV shows such as as "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" have popularized one branch of improv comedy, and you can find improv comedy theaters in most every big city and college campus in America and beyond. In the THROUGH LAUGHTER program, we use easy-to-play, non-performance improvisation exercises conducted in a circle and pairs to practice key skills for getting ahead in work and living happier lives.
How Can Improv Bring Professional Growth?
The tenets of improvisation just so happen to parallel those of good work and life practices. For example, the main tenet of improv is to say “Yes, and…” That is, to accept wholeheartedly another person’s offer and to add to it with your own special flavor … which is a great way to approach work too, don’t you think? Enhanced communication, team work, and risk-taking all begin with saying yes first. Those are the muscles we strengthen in the THROUGH LAUGHTER program.
Improvisers also are taught - and spend many years practicing - these key skills:
As you can see, all these guideposts make for a lifetime of excellent practices for living and working cooperatively and collaboratively. In the THROUGH LAUGHTER program, we take the learning offstage to practice honing these same powerful muscles in easy-to-learn improvisation exercises conducted in circles or pairs.
"Improv’s low-stakes training increases the likelihood that team members will feel comfortable communicating in a variety of work situations. 'Yes, and' is the key."
-"Why Improv Training is Great Business Training"
"Through improv...we can work on anything from leadership, to influence, to adaptability, to crisis management. We can help people’s communication skills. We can show them how to stay focused, in the present moment, at a very high level.”
"Getting to 'Yes, And...'How Improv Comedy Skills Became a Must-Have for Entrepreneurs"
"Improv can improve teamwork, collaboration and innovation in a workplace. Use of the "Yes, and” technique means team players build on the thoughts of others, rather than shutting down the ideas of their peers by presenting problems and roadblocks."
"How Improv Comedy can Seriously Grow Your Business"
Can I do this if I'm a Shy Introvert?
Yes, introverts welcome! Afraid of being shoved into the spotlight? Please put your mind at ease. That’s not our style in the THROUGH LAUGHTER, which is a gentle, positive, affirming environment of non-judgment and total acceptance. All exercises are conducted in a circle or pairs and are totally voluntary - you will gain many lessons from watching until you’re ready to join the group and try it out for yourself. Though hams are welcome, this is not a program for aspiring performers. (If you're interested in learning improv as a performance art, might we suggest the Zen of Improv classes?) Introverts are surprised by how much they get out of these workshops, all in a non-threatening style that feels comfortable and supportive.
Do I have to be Funny to take this Program?
Funny not required; in fact, it’s besides the point. We will laugh a lot together, but THROUGH LAUGHTER is not about making jokes or forcing ourselves to laugh. While we’re focusing on professional and personal growth, the funny will find us. Laughter is a healthy side effect of this practice, but not the goal we work to achieve. You don't have to be funny. You are enough just as you are.
I don't want to Embarrass Myself!
That's not a question, but we'll answer it anyway. The culture of all THROUGH LAUGHTER programs is one of abundant positivity, uncompromising support, and joyful acceptance. Furthermore, all activities are 100% voluntary. You will gain from observing them until you're ready to join in. (Spoiler alert: 99.5% of participants readily join in all activities from the get-go!)
What are the Benefits of the Through Laughter Program?
That’s a crazy long list of fantabulousness! Here are just a small selection of the many benefits:
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the benefits of improvisation include: Overcoming fear, getting comfortable with chaos, trusting others, honing your authentic, honest voice, improving communication and self-confidence, team work, your ability to get out of your own way, plus so much more.