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ImprovOlympic
The surprising places improv comedy's 'Yes, and...' can lead
The surprising places improv comedy's 'Yes, and...' can lead

I'd been living in Los Angeles a short time when I found myself in an improv comedy class in Hollywood. A friend who was also an actress had encouraged, well, nagged me to enroll in what is now iO West, the West Coast offshoot of Chicago's ImprovOlympic. I was intimidated, but I also was lonely and looking for a challenge, so I went. That choice, to face my fears and connect with others, forever changed my life. From the outside, the tiny theater space on a stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard looked industrial — not the beachy sort of place I, a newcomer to L.A., had imagined it would be. I was not impressed. But then I walked in and saw the artistic director, my teacher...

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