You Should Give Improv a Go

Short for improvisation, improv focuses on the spontaneous creation of action without any pre-planning, and while it may tend to be taught as a comedic art form, there is so much more to it than this. Taking an improv class has so many different benefits, from boosting confidence to training the brain, so even if improv may feel like something that is so far removed from your comfort zone, it is still most definitely worth giving it a go.

Dancing class

A Confidence Booster
There is no getting around the fact that you will feel silly performing some of the improvisation tasks you will be asked to do in a class, but this is exactly what helps to build confidence. Rather than worrying about what you look like and what others are thinking of you, improv teaches you to let go and live in the moment, which will give you a whole new air of confidence. This is the reason why improv is often recommended to those that suffer from anxiety and shyness, as it can really help to change your perspective on life.

Public Speaking Skills
Research has shown that performing and speaking in public is, on average, the biggest fear in the USA, even coming in front of the fear of dying. Rather than allowing social anxiety to hold you back, take an improv class to help improve your public speaking skills.

Public speaking

A Brain Trainer
Improvisation classes are a great way to train your brain to act faster, which is helpful in so many different situations. The fact that improvisation does away with all pre-planning and preparation means that your brain needs to organize ideas, emotions and sentences straight away, which is a fantastic form of brain training.

What to Expect at an Improv Class
Not knowing what to expect can often be the most frightening part of taking an improv class for many, but, no matter what your class may consist of, you can be sure that you will have plenty of fun. Improv takes place in a group setting, and most of the learning will be done via games and exercises, with the whole group involved. There is very rarely individual work to do, meaning that nervous beginners will find safety and comfort in numbers. Many people that take an improv class for the first time feel as though they have to try extremely hard to be funny, but this is not the case. Let go of any expectations that you may have, and just enjoy being in the moment. Taking this extra pressure off of yourself will enable you to really be free and make the most of the class.

Woman acting

Even if you are not looking to be an actor or performer, an improv class can still be extremely useful, as it will provide you with skills that you can apply to just about every area of your life. From boosting your confidence and aiding with social anxiety, to training your brain to work faster, improv classes will help to improve your whole outlook on life, and will be plenty of fun too.

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Top US Films of All Time

America may have released a staggering amount of movies throughout history, but only a small number of these films have staying power, and continue to be watched and talked about to this day. From classic dramas to crime thrillers, these are some of the top US films of all time.

Citizen Kane (1941)
Written, directed and produced by Orson Welles, Citizen Kane is considered by many critics to be the greatest film ever to be made. Welles was given a huge amount of creative freedom with this movie, and its success is perhaps due to the fact that so much of it came from such an artistic genius. With a number of incredible performances, as well as creative cinematography and narrative structure, Citizen Kane is considered to be extremely innovative and ahead of its time. The movie features Welles playing the role of Charles Foster Kane, with the movie depicting his life in the publishing world, as well as his subsequent pursuit of power. Although the film was not a commercial success at the box office, largely due to its delayed release and limited distribution, it received unanimous praise from critics and special editions are still being released today.

Marlon Brando wax statue

Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

The Godfather (1972)
Unlike Citizen Kane, The Godfather was the box office leader for the year that it was released, and is regarded by many to be one of the greatest films in world cinema. The film stars Al Pacino and Marlon Brando as the leaders of the fictional New York Corleone crime family, and every role in the movie has been so perfectly cast that you simply cannot imagine anybody else playing those characters. The movie resonates with many due to the way in which it focuses on immigrant life, bringing the gangster theme into it in an extremely clever way. The cinematography is also widely revered, as is the overall moral message that the movie conveys.

Casablanca (1942)
Casablanca, an American romantic melodrama, finds its way onto so many different top ten film lists, and while it may not have done spectacularly well when first released, it earned its reputation over time. The movie stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, and, set during the second world war, depicts a love triangle in which both men are vying for the love of the same woman. While the film may focus on something quite inconsequential when compared to the war going on in the background, it is full of loaded political messages that give viewers a fantastic insight into the military situation at that time. The dialogue boasts several memorable lines, and the musical score is full of suspense, adding a rich element to the film. Whether you enjoy a romantic movie plot or not, Casablanca’s charm is sure to steal your heart.

Not only are these movies the top US films of all time, but they are also considered to be some of the greatest films in the world. Each of these movies have had a huge impact on its viewers, and, with such strong staying power, they are likely to continue having an influence on generations to come.