3 Silhouetted performers

Life and Improv: Building On Uncertainty

By saying “yes, and…” to life’s uncertainties, we can be more prepared to creatively take the next step with Christ’s help.

As a college student approaching graduation, I am asked about my postgraduation plans almost every day. I don’t always know how to answer—the next chapter of my life is entirely unwritten. Although facing my future is inevitable, it is both exciting and terrifying.

In her BYU devotional, “‘Yes, and . . .’: The Creative Art of Living,” Lisa Valentine Clark offers a method of facing life’s uncertainties using principles from improvisation exercises. Due to the cooperative aspect of improv, when one team member offers an idea, the other has to accept it, no matter how ridiculous or unbelievable the idea is. As an improv performer, you essentially respond with “yes, and…,” then build on the team member’s idea with your own suggestion.

signpost against sunset backdrop

PHOTO BY JAVIER ALLEGUE BARROS

Much like improv, we don’t always know what’s going to happen next. Whether we’re graduating, moving, getting a new job, facing illnesses, or simply living our lives, anything can happen—good or bad. Sister Clark believes that “a lot of humor and joy is found in the unexpected or in seeing the unexpected happen. But to see it or experience it, we have to accept the offering we have, be honest about it, and make a choice to act.” Although we might not know what our long-term situation will be, we can be comforted by the thought that we don’t need to have a fully developed plan right now, and it’s enough to just decide to take the next small step of our plan. By taking this small step, life will likely offer us another idea, and we can once again accept it and creatively respond, “Yes, and…”

Just as improv performers can rely on their team, we can rely on Jesus Christ during the uncertain changes in our lives. The Savior knows our path and will guide us forward with the same “Yes, and…” principle. All that Christ asks is that we embrace the unexpected, evaluate the situation, and take the next step alongside him.

Learn more about using principles from improv to face new, unprecedented challenges by reading Lisa Valentine Clark’s full devotional, “‘Yes, and . . .’: The Creative Art of Living.”

Source: BYU Speeches

—Kate Blatter, Latter-day Saint Insights

FEATURE IMAGE BY KYLE HEAD

Check out Emma Hill’s “The Path to Creativity and Growth” to learn more about how to foster creativity.

Take a look at Angel Abrea’s “A Creative Mind” to learn how creative skills translate to life skills.

Read Kenzie Holbrook’s How to Value Change Instead of Fearing It” to learn more about embracing change.

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One Comment

  1. I love this idea! Lisa is such a great example. I definitely want to go back and watch her devotional now! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on her message.(:

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