The Hero’s Journey in Improv.
Campbell’s Hero Journey Model can be a metaphor for entering an improv stage. Coming from the normal life, maybe work, family or school we enter a space of the unknown. On stage anything can happen. Friends can become enemies, strangers can become friends.
Often the stage confronts us with our fears. In my experience the dominant fear on any improv stage is a boring play. Nothing scares an actor like an unsatisfied audience. In improv the play will only be interesting, if the actor’s have overcome their fear to fail and their hope to succeed. The play is good, if the actor is free of hopes and fears about the play and pays attention to the moment.
Several other things can be learned from improv. I meantioned overcoming fear as an predominant example.
When we leave the improv stage we can take the improv experiences back to our ordinary life. I sometimes encounter situations where I realize, that Improv experience helps. These can be good situations, maybe telling jokes at work, or bad sitations like a fight with a colleague. When we reflect on Improv we can overcome our fears in these situations. That is the moment Campbell calls “return with the elexier”. That is how we learn through Improv.