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If life isn't going your way, improvise

Dina Facklis and Tim Robinson Have you ever been stuck in traffic? Or had people cancel dinner plans with you at  the last minute? Or been fired from your job? When things aren’t going your way, you can use it as an opportunity to create something even better.

Recently I had booked Dina Facklis and Brad Morris as guests on Improv Nerd, a comedy podcast and live show that I host. Brad lives in LA, and I was excited and looking forward to interviewing him. About a week before the show he contacted me saying he could not make it because he was filming something.

When things don’t go as expected my typical response is, “This sucks, I am doomed, why am I even doing this show? Poor me.” So, I contacted Dina and she went right to work providing me a list names we could substitute for Brad.

One of those names was Tim Robinson from Cook County Social Club. He was contacted and he agreed to do it. Recording the Improv Nerd podcast was so much fun with both of them, and I was blown away with Dina’s honesty and Tim’s enthusiasm. As it turned out, we had Tim on the show one month before CBS picked up his pilot for a series, and who knows if we would have gotten another opportunity to interview him again. When the show was over, it was easy to look back and realize this was how it was supposed to be, but it sure didn’t feel like that about 48 hours before the show. After the show, I thanked Dina for helping me out and she didn’t think anything of it. She said when stuff like that happens — that’s improvising.

She was right. This is how you improvise in your life. She looked at life like she was in a scene and when her partner initiated something, she didn’t judge it as good or bad, she just used it. Me, I thought my life would end. What Dina taught me was that improvising in life is first, to have an attitude that whatever happens is what is supposed to happen, and second, to trust that it is going to be better than you imagine, and third, to take the action. This is no different than when you’re on stage. So next time you’re stuck in traffic, people cancel or you lose your job, think of it as the Universe giving you a big invitation, and together you are going to create something even better than you imagined.