I hope the term “Moving on up” conjures up the same thing it does for me: the song from The Jefferson’s. A joyous song that is filled with the delight in moving into a better place, a better state of mind, a better situation, and a better future. More importantly, “beans don’t burn on the grill” in this new place! If only moving were as happy and as easy as opening the door to your new digs (to the thunderous applause of the audience) and you’re there and you are ready to take on the world. I am moving right now. There is no soundtrack. There is no applause and if this baby brain doesn’t get any better, I can guarantee that I will continue to burn beans on the grill in this new house too.

The biggest dilemma of the move is the purging. Opening up boxes from the last move, a mere 10 years ago, that have never been unpacked and will probably never get unpacked. My husband is in utter distress as I’m insisting we move, yet again, hundreds of pounds of useless New Yorker magazines from the 20’s, knick knacks and antiques that will never see the light of day. And don’t get him started on the good china which came out once in 10 years.

Why is it that people hang on to this stuff? The Scooby Doo watch, the stuffies from childhood, and the stories you wrote in kindergarden. I am quite proud of how much I have let go, but I can’t let go of items that I found in my grandparent’s basement (as a young girl of 9 or 10), who thought these heavy 78 records were fantastic, the iron, made of real cast iron, and depression glass were all treasures…my husband is already feeling the ache in his back.

In improv we constantly tell people to let go of preconceived notions, because anything can, and does, happen in an improv scene; best to let it just flow organically. I personally learned a great lesson from improv, with the whole idea of failing, dusting yourself off and going again. We can’t hold onto scenes that didn’t work. Why rehash over and over again what you could have done?  The only time that is useful is when you’re writing sketch, then, by all means, have at her! In a world where we go in with nothing and come out unscathed, where every step onto the stage is “moving on up”, improv is a clutter-less place where possibilites are endless, where you build and shape something while the audience applauds and most often, it plays out to music….okay, okay, I’ll give up my 78 records and New Yorker magazines, they all smell like mildew anyway!

About the Author

Stephanie Herrera is a comedian, writer, producer, teacher, singer, actor, mother of 4, and shallow philosopher. She runs the Durham Improv & Acting Studio in Oshawa, Canada, is a professor at Durham and Fleming Colleges, and is an award winning performer.  www.durhamimprov.com / www.stephanieherrera.com / info@durhamimprov.com / (647) 899-3342  Durham Improv Group and Business pages can be found on Facebook and follow @durhamimprov & @antimommy