May 18, 2014 by mtteaton
It’s been roughly eight months since I first started taking improv classes, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the guidelines to succeed in improv are great guidelines for life in general. Probably the most important element is saying “yes, and…” when confronted with a situation or an offer. This was never more evident than today while I was volunteering for the American Alliance of Museum’s Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo.
I had signed up a while back to volunteer as a greeter, welcoming attendees as they enter the convention center and answer questions as they arise. About an hour into this, I was approached by a staff member at the conference. She said they were desperately in need of a volunteer to accompany a group to the Puget Sound Navy Museum. When presented with offers like this, I’ve been trying to not think too much about it and just say “yes” like I would in an improv scene. It would be really easy to say no. I hadn’t planned to do this today, I’d never been to the museum in question, plus I’d never even rode the ferry needed to travel to the museum. I would be putting myself in an unknown situation. Nevertheless, I said yes and in a matter of moments I was loaded up on a bus with a group of museum professionals headed towards the ferry with a packet full of tickets.
Visiting the museum was great fun, as was riding the ferry, however the best part was that four other alumni from my Museum Studies program just so happened to be along for the museum visit as well.
Once returning from the trip, I checked back in with the volunteer manager, and found out they could offer me an additional free day at the conference! Saying yes can certainly have its advantages.