When you do something every week for months, even years, at a time, it’s natural to find yourself disengaged from the activity. It doesn’t matter how good you are at it or how much you really love doing it; eventually, your mind “checks out” without you even knowing it. This is what we call a rut. Granted, the term is overused these days – especially in marriages – but that doesn’t invalidate the existence of this inadvertent complacency.
I bring this up, not because I’m having marital issues (this would not be the blog to discuss that anyway), but because this unfortunate phenomenon struck our group recently. We had suffered a few weeks of consistently “okay” shows. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t great either, and we couldn’t quite figure out why until someone said it…we were going through the motions. We were playing the same parts in the same games we always play – and why? Because we each play those roles well. But where was the challenge? Where were the butterflies?
We decided that the next couple of weeks, we would only cast each other in roles that were out of our comfort zones. So, do you think we had magnificent shows? Of course not. But we had fun. We were trying something new and encouraging each other to grow beyond the talent we already knew each other had.
Which brings me to my point: whether we are talking about an improv group or just life in general, you should always strive to be well-rounded. Even the best can always be better.