I just graduated a “Level One” (read: newbie) improv class. At first, I signed up for the class because I can think of few thing scarier than getting on stage with no script. I’m not known for thinking on my feet, I don’t “BS” well, and even when I know my lines, I get terrible stage fright.
So I made myself go to this class as soon as I knew I’d have eight free weekends in a row. It took about four years to get up the courage. I’d like to say that it also took some time to get the admission fee together, but of course the $200 went on a credit card (technically it came from the $800 that would otherwise have gone toward paying down the credit card, but the net effect is the same).
I didn’t have an extra $200 to take that class, but man, was it exciting. I had to deal with strangers, criticism, bad accents (most of them mine), and a basic requirement of acting in a scene where 1) you don’t know what you’re going to be saying, and 2) you also don’t know what the other people will be saying.
I didn’t think I could do it, but after eight weeks, we put on a show, and darn it if the audience didn’t laugh and cheer.
So, I figure, the class was 3 hours every weekend, for 8 weeks, for $200. That’s $8.33 an hour to have a creative outlet, learn to think on my feet, and re-learn to perform in front of strangers. I think that’s a reasonable price.
I still don’t have an extra $200. In fact, I’m still about $6,000 in a credit card hole, but I signed up for Level Two, anyway.