“If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher

My improv experience

About 10 years ago I attended an improv workshop with my local troupe at the IO Chicagoand I came back a changed man.

I had already been performing improv for a couple of years, but this introduction to Chicago (the mecca of improv) was truly inspiring. After spending only a few days surrounded bytalented performers and receiving great coaching from fantastic directors, I started to understand who I was as a person. My improv experience on this trip unlocked me in a way that nothing else had. As a result, I fell in love with this art form, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Why is improv awesome?

Improv is the art . . .

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“Hi, my name is Mike Jones and I’m a perfectionist.”

If there was a Perfectionists Anonymous I’d be a shoe-in. I certainly have all the symptoms of this insidious disease—mind-numbing self-awareness, endless iterating, constant second-guessing, agonizing frustrations with the slightest mis-steps, and of course the blasting critiques of everyone else’s work. Yup. I’m a perfectionist.

But I’m recovering. It has been a long, slow climb out of the depths of my P-ism but over the years I’ve become much less consumed with “getting it just right.” Some of it’s due to pure pragmatism—clients won’t wait forever for me to deliver the work. And some of it’s due to patient encouragement from friends—here’s looking at you, David. And some it is due to the . . .

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I’m pretty close to legally blind. Without some sort of corrective lenses I’m helpless. Just ask my wife—trying to show me anything after I’ve popped my contacts out at the end of the day is an exercise in futility.

One comfort I take in my blindness is that I’m not alone. Millions of people, probably even billions, suffer from some kind of impaired eye-sight. And many, like me, choose to wear contacts to make life a little clearer.

Contacts are awesome. I still remember the first day I put down my coke-bottle glasses and popped them in. Eight grade. Glorious. In a moment I became a little less of a dork. Contacts were my new best friends.

But with my new-found friends came the daily . . .

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