As we've blogged about in the past, a few RTers are partaking in an Improv class. In preparation for the class I saw an Improv Shop show, read the first half of Tina Fey's book and reminisced about the acting camps I went to as a kid.
Aside from seeing a show, none of that was helpful. Actually, the best preparation has been working in advertising. There are so many overlaps between my job, Improv and life. One quote that I have made a personal mantra since our teacher taught it to us is: Follow the fear or follow the fun. Mainly because, while I didn't know there was a term for it, that's what we do as Creatives and people in advertising.
In the process of designing, I'm generally in the land of fun. Starting with a concept that inspires me to create a color story, craft up shapes and photos and then pair it with a perfect font family. And it is in those moments of fun that I hope for fear to come along. When you start to feel like you're treading into new territory - wondering how accepted the idea will be, thinking through all the applications it could work in, etc.
I would argue that when I'm standing at the corner of fear and fun, it becomes amazing when I can just dash out into the middle of the intersection. Flailing about in constant fear of getting hit by a car while reveling in the thrill of how much fun it is to bend the rules. You come out of it with an insane adrenaline rush and an overwhelming feeling that you've got something good.
I should tell you now - I'm not a natural Improver, risk-taker or fun-maker. I'm awkward and terrified by being on a stage. However, it has taught me so many work and life lessons. Aside from fear and fun, I've learned to let go. Our teachers tell us the funny will just happen, not to force it. And as it turns out, something funny inevitably happens. And then you feel in your gut if it is fun or fear, and you follow it. You make it your new truth.
It is pretty impossible to tell you all the lessons I've learned in this short blog post. However, next time you're headed on an adventure, coming up with an idea or just waking up on a normal Saturday, tell yourself to "Follow the fear or follow the fun." I guarantee, if it is a really brilliant moment, you'll look back and realize you followed both.
Special thanks to Improvers Susan, Football Tom, Kevin, Eric, Crystal and photographer, Emily, for creating a fearfully fun moment by jumping in the street with me.