Episode 138

Why Saying Yes Opens More Storytelling Doors

I’m on the last day of a five-day, 12-hour daily intensive Improv class at The Annoyance Theatre. Our instructor comes in and has us count off by threes. Once that’s done, he instructs us to find everyone else with the same number. Then he tells us:

“Whoever’s in your group, you all are now an Improv team. And you’re going to perform tonight live on the main stage for a public audience.”

I’m thinking, “These teams are made up of people I barely know.” They come from all around the world with different backgrounds, styles, strengths, and varying levels of Improv experience.

And that’s when I realize that’s what’s so cool about this whole thing! We can bring all that to the table in our performance. My made-up-on-the-spot team and I spend the rest of the day creating, refining, rehearsing, and doing it over again, based on our collective suggestions and ideas as a collective.

That night, when we hit the stage and show our stuff, it’s a huge success. And I know a big part of it is due to the collective diversity of the group and the openness to learning from each other as well as respecting and honoring everyone’s contribution.

Speaking of spotlights and collectives, today’s special guest, Lindsay Ravage, is a veteran of the Improv community in addition to working as an actress. And in this episode of the Storytelling School Podcast, she’s here to dive into how the world of Improv can influence you as a storyteller and answer questions such as:

Why are you already an experienced Improv storyteller, even if you’ve never performed it on a stage? How does having trust in others influence the ability to create a bigger story? Why is it so important for kids at a young age to learn how to express themselves and be creative in telling stories? And how do shared experiences make for powerful storytelling?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why saying “yes” opens the door for new stories to occur
  • How an audience’s response to your narrative can affect your storytelling in real-time
  • Why having a first-person point of view makes your story more interesting

Who is Lindsay Ravage?

Growing up just outside of New York City, Lindsay Ravage fell in love with the stage at a young age. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California’s Theatre School and studied at the esteemed British Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. She is also a graduate of The Second City conservatory program and UCB Improv program and has performed Improv all over Los Angeles in various Improvisation and sketch troupes. In addition to still acting in commercials and television, she has worked as a casting associate for some of the most successful commercial casting offices in Los Angeles.

Lindsay has also worked with children most of her adult life. But she felt there was a lack of theatre classes in the L.A. area for her own kids. Wanting to create a fun and creative outlet for non-professional kids, she started Tiny Spotlight–Los Angeles’ premiere children’s theater academy that offers musical theater, Improv, and sketch comedy classes to kids aged 3-11.

These classes are taught by top-notch directors in a real theatre setting. They’re designed as fun-filled performance experiences to build confidence and let kids know that their ideas are important and what they have to say matters. Tiny Spotlight classes are held at the charming Two Roads Theater in Little Tujunga Village in the heart of Studio City, California and at The Pico Theatre in West LA.

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