Life Lessons Improv Taught Me (In the Words of Tina Fey)

As I write this, I am in bed with the flu, so spare my brevity...

I took a couple of improv classes in school a couple of times and loved it. Although it turned out to be harder than I thought (not that I thought it was going to be super easy), it never ceased to be fun and educational in oh-so-many-ways. 

So without further ado, I leave you with Tina*.


The Rules of Improvisation That Will Change Your Life and Reduce Belly Fat
(Improv will not reduce belly fat)

The first rule of improvisation is AGREE. Always agree and SAY YES. When you're improvising, this means you are required to agree with whatever your partner has created. So if we're improvising and I say, "Freeze, I have a gun," and you say, "That's not a gun. It's your finger. You're pointing your finger at me," our improvised scene had ground to a halt. But if I say, "Freeze, I have a gun!" and you say, "The gun I gave you for Christmas! You bastard!" then we have started a scene because we have AGREED that my finger is in fact a Christmas gun.

Now, obviously in real life you're not always going to agree with everything everyone says. But the Rule of Agreement reminds you to "respect what your partner has created" and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.

As an improviser, I always find it jarring when I meet someone in real life whose first answer is no. "No, we can't do that." "No, that's not in the budget." "No, I will not hold your hand for a dollar." What kind of way is that to live?

The second rule of improvisation is not only to say yes, but YES, AND. You are supposed to agree and then add something of your own. If I start a scene with "I can't believe it's so hot in here," and you just say, "Yeah..." we're kind of at a standstill. But if I say, "I can't believe it's so hot in here," and you say, "What did you expect? We're in hell." Or if I say, "I can't believe it's so hot in here," and you say, "Yes, this can't be good for the wax figures." Or if I say, "I can't believe it's so hot in here," and you say, "I told you we shouldn't have crawled into this dog's mouth," now we're getting somewhere.

To me, YES, AND means don't be afraid to contribute. It's your responsibility to contribute. Always make sure you're adding something to the discussion. Your initiations are worthwhile.

The next rule is MAKE STATEMENTS. This is a positive way of saying "Don't ask questions all the time." If we're in a scene and I say, "Who are you? Where are we? What are we doing here? What's in that box?" I'm putting pressure on you to come up with all the answers.

In other words: Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don't just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles. We've all worked with that person. That person is a drag. It's usually the same person around the office who says things like "There's not calories in it if you eat it standing up!" and "I felt menaced when Terry raised her voice."

MAKE STATEMENTS also applies to us women: Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions. No one wants to go to a doctor who says, "I'm going to be your surgeon? I'm here to talk to you about your procedure? I was first in my class at Johns Hopkins, so?" Make statements, with your actions and your voice.

Instead of saying "Where are we?" make a statement like "Here we are in Spain, Dracula" Okay, "Here we are in Spain, Dracula" may seem like a terrible start to a scene, but this leads us to the next rule:

THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, only opportunities. If I start a scene as what I think is very clearly a cop riding a bicycle, but you think I am a hamster in a hamster wheel, guess what? Now I'm a hamster in a hamster in a hamster wheel. I'm not going to stop everything to explain that it was really supposed to be a bike. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up being a police hamster who's been put on "hamster wheel" duty because I'm "too much of a loose cannon" in the field. In improv there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents. And many of the world's greatest discoveries have been by accident. I mean, look at the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, or Botox.

-- Fey, Tina. Bossypants. New York: Little, Brown and, 2011( pp. 84 - 85)

If you're a Tina Fey/30 Rock/SNL fan I'm (almost) sure you'll enjoy this book.
I read it in two (plane) sittings, laughed out loud on various occasions and dog-eared many-a-page.
Who doesn't love Tina Fey?

* You know, my really good friend Ms.Fey...


The (Pre) Valentine's Day Post

I'm just going to keep this sweet & short.

Valentine's Day is nigh upon us.  
In Mexico*, Valentine's Day is called Dia del Amor y la Amistad, which translates to Day of Love & Friendship. 

So, from one (single) lady & friend to another (single or not),
Happy Friendship Day! 

Source: ebs.fm via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: r.ebay.com via Stefanie on Pinterest

Source: weheartit.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: tumblr.com via Lindsey on Pinterest


* And I'm sure other Latin American Countries too.


February Skies (& More Room Goings-On)

Extreme skies in February so far.
One minute it was sunny & bright, the next- gray and rainy.
Then I noticed an unusual yellow-orange light filling up my room.


It proceeded to change colours: pink & blue.


Here's a time lapse of the craziness.
Mexico City's pretty awesome.

And just for kicks, another preview of a nook in my room as it is now...


A Room of One's Own (With a View)

I'm not sure what I meant with that either. 
What I do know is, I want - and, more importantly, need - a room makeover.
Maybe it's because the new year has finally dawned on me, or because I've had the same setup for who-knows-how-many-years; it's time for a change!

Only thing is, I'm not sure how to go about it.
I've book cases, a bed & boudoir and not enough walls to begin with.
I want new bedspreads. I want my round couch reupholstered. 
I also want a wooden floor (though the blue carpet is great for floor reading...).

I love colours. I love monotone.
I love coordinated. I love meshed.
I love classic. I love bohemian.
I love grown up. I love kiddy. 

I need to find the right balance.
This is where other bloggers and Pinterest come to the rescue.
Here are a few inspiring pictures I just felt like sharing (because who knows better about Interior Design than bloggers, am I right?)

Photo by Kate Gabrielle of Scathingly Brilliant; found in this lovely post of hers.

Micaela Hoo - of Drifter & the Gypsy- posted a fantastic set of photos  of a dream studio apartment that had me swooning.
This cozy & perfect residence belongs to Kara of I Just Might Explode.

Also, dream loft, much?

  And a few snaps of where I want to begin the makeover...This is what my desk area has looked liked for as long as I can remember.

I had this crazy idea of adding more pastel colours onto the 'spongy' wall. Lilac, yellow, mint green, pink, all come to mind...



Jimmy Fallon was a big deal for me when I was 13. And Gollum. And cats. And so many other things...

I'm trying to decide what to do with my iMac G4.
This + this is what I would ideally want it to be turned into.

And I'm also keen on a new printer/scanner  -  recommendations?

How often do you makeover your room? Where do you find inspiration?

I hope to report on great changes soon.
Stay classy.