Living a remarkable life in a conventional world is no small task. Even so, every year the streets of downtown Portland are teeming with people from around the world who do just that. Brought together by the World Domination Summit – a gathering of creative thinkers who value service, community and adventure – these like-minded souls have made alternative choices in life. Because of these choices, various corners of the world benefit.
As a four-year WDS veteran, I came home with new friends, new swag, new memories as well as the same information overload that happens every year. However, in those pages of notes lay a few key questions that jumped off the notebook. For me, these five questions are the foundation for navigating a remarkable life:
1. What do you want out of life?
Several people have asked me to write an improv book. Others have encouraged me to become a nomadic improv teacher. While both of these sound like amazing ideas, I realized I don’t want either of them enough to make the sacrifices necessary for these ideas to become reality – even though I see other people having successful books and tours. It’s easy to be envious of others in today’s oversaturated social media world. However, think about what you really want. If you’re jealous of a location independent blogger, do you want to give up your house and pets and put your belongings in storage to live out of a backpack for an extended period of time? If you do, great – get on it then. If you don’t, then you really don’t want location independence for your life – you merely like the idea of it. Think about it – what do you want badly enough that you’re willing to take risks and maybe even make some sacrifices?
2. What can you uniquely offer the world?
My students who have taken improv classes in other cities tell me that my classes are so different than what they’ve experienced in the past. Of course! My voice is different than that other teacher’s. If these same students go to another city, they’ll tell the new improv teacher the same thing. Just because you spend time – whether it’s work or play – doing the same thing as someone else doesn’t mean you have the same voice. Only you have your unique point of view.
3. Who is on your team and available to say, “You got this?”
Sometimes instead of charging for improv classes I think I might be better off carrying a “you got this” jar. Every time a supportive friend, neighbor or colleague says, “you got this” then $1 goes in the jar. Moving to St. Augustine after the 2015 World Domination Summit was huge. I didn’t know anyone, so creating and growing an improv community was, is and will continue to be challenging. And, so many people along the way have encouraged me to stick with it. Whose reminding you that “you got this” when a challenge seems insurmountable? Not sure? Take out a notebook and pen and start writing names down – sometimes seeing it in black and white is all we need as a reminder.
As an improviser I’m used to failing – a lot. However not all failures are created equal. Moving from Colorado to Florida would have been a major failure had it been unsuccessful. But, once I framed it as, “What’s the worst that could happen?” it because less daunting. Next year, I’m (finally) hosting my first retreat with Gary Ware of Breakthrough Play. For years, I’ve dreamed of doing this and because of WDS we have the perfect partner in Nicaragua – Muffa Saylawala of Casa Andalucia. Gary and I spent a long time talking about the idea and finally we decided to take the chance. Again, what’s the worst that might happen? Sometimes we get in our own heads, which prevents forward movement – it’s paralysis by analysis. Taking more chances may mean more opportunities for failure; however, it also means more opportunities for success. What chance aren’t you taking?
5. Are you willing to stop using destiny as an excuse?
Ugh. I’m not thin enough. I don’t have the right connections. I don’t have an advanced degree. I didn’t go to a prestigious college. These are only some of the things that have run through my head on any given day. What are you telling yourself? Your destiny is sure to be unremarkable in this conventional world if you don’t take a chance on going after what you really want.
Upcoming opportunities to take a chance on adventure:
Where will improv take YOU?!
That’s the question we explore with Limelight’s new improv house team directed by The Adventure Project! Join the adventure and be a part of creating a show where no one – not even the players – know where we’ll end up! Stick around after the show for The Improv Playground where the players lead improv games for the community!
Throughout this introduction course, students will explore the basic concepts of improvisation in a warm, safe and supportive environment. The class is designed to build self-confidence and explore creativity using the fundamentals of improvisation.
Level 2 – Advanced Improv
(Prerequisite: Level 1)
Wednesdays, August 30th – October 4th
6:30 – 9 p.m. at Limelight Theatre
Level 4 – Scenework Foundations
(Prerequisite: Levels 1, 2 & 3)
Mondays, August 7th – October 2nd (No class on Labor Day – September 4th)
6:30 – 9 p.m. at Limelight Theatre
Save the date:
A small group “playcation” for you to disconnect from devices, dive into an adventure and connect to other like-minded people while in the comfort of an eco-retreat designed to bring you back to the natural environment — and yourself.