12 Nov Improviser Mara Joy on joy and her WNBP workshop
What does joy mean to you?
Joy is so important to me, because for the first thirty years of my life I really struggled with it. I have a long history of depression and anxiety, exacerbated by issues with my identity. When I transitioned I deliberately chose ‘Joy’ to be part of my new name as a constant reminder to myself that I’m choosing to live a happier and more fulfilling life. That everywhere I go now, I take joy with me.
We’re excited to have you with your Finding your joy workshop – can you tell a bit more about it?
Teaching improv is one of the great joys in my life and I love the Nursery dearly, so I feel very blessed. This specific workshop is made up of ideas I already had pre-Covid mixed with some fun things I’ve learned from international teachers online. I think we also just need a bit of joy in our lives right now!
How do you keep finding joy in these difficult times?
It has definitely been a struggle. I’ve been lucky to have a great support network around me who have adapted to online pretty quickly. I’ve been doing a lot of workshops with The Improv Place to keep my improv joy up, playing/running a lot of D&D online and watching pretty much all of Netflix with my flatmate. We just finished Schitt’s Creek, and that show is a pure distillation of the joy I look for in the world.
What traits/qualities/improv moves in other people bring you instant joy?
When people do or say something that surprises themselves. I love seeing that moment where panic flashes across someone’s face only to be replaced by a smile as they realise what they’ve done! Being able to just let yourself go and let your playful instincts take over, that might be my favourite thing in improv.
What would you like people to take away from your workshop?
That it’s okay to enjoy improv! I think sometimes we get so caught up in following ‘the rules’ or worrying about ‘the show’ that we forget the reason we started doing this in the first place: it’s fun!
A being from another planet who only understands tweet length sentences is interested in taking your workshop – how will you describe it to them?
We’ll be doing the scenes in improv that bring us the most joy and celebrating our uniqueness. It will be fun!
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