The Golden Rule of Improv...and Life

The Golden Rule of Improv...and Life-Tom's Restaurant

Recognize the restaurant in the photo?  When I was in New York City this past weekend with my Significant Other for his Columbia Law School reunion, I snapped this pic of the famous facade and sent it to my teenage son.  (Oh yeah, the Columbia facade is down below.) Even though it was well before his time, my comedy-loving kid didn’t miss a beat.  “Seinfeld?” he texted me back.  That’s right.  While the the interiors were actually shot on the CBS lot in the San Fernando Valley, Tom’s was the setting (and inspiration) for many of Seinfeld’s most memorable scenes.

I performed comedy improvisation waaay back in my college days - and still use it with corporations as a leadership training tool - and the Golden Rule of Improv has served me well.  Not just in improv, but in life.  Here it is...  (Are you writing this down?)

When someone hands you something, accept it.  It’s that simple.  If you’re in the middle of a scene about artichoke farmers fighting over an alien space ship and someone hands you a latte, what you do?  You drink it!  You never reject or ignore what is handed to you in the form of an imaginary cup of coffee, idea or suggestion - no matter how illogical it is.  You just go with it.

Now imagine what might happen if you applied that rule to your life.  Suddenly, you’d be able to accept compliments without squirming, help without feeling guilty, and advice without wanting to shoot the other person.  What a difference a little acceptance could make.  Try it, you might like it.

I’m here all week, tell your friends!

P.S.  Here's that school I was telling you about...

The Golden Rule of Improv...and Life-Columbia