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Say “Yes, and…” to a mentorship experience

“Yes, and…” is more than just a concept to make an improv scene riveting; it’s a healthy philosophy for business and life. In particular, it can play a role in building strong mentorship relationships.

We recently chatted with Matt Schuurman, the Artistic Director for Rapid Fire Theatre and Fall 2021 mentor, to understand “Yes, and...” In the world of improv, Matt says “Yes, and…” results in a “truly collaborative and positive creative process.” The concept of ‘Yes, and…’ is fundamental to creating scenes and stories. Matt explains, “The first part, “Yes,” means that we agree to any offer that our scene partner makes and accept it as truth in the world that we’re creating. The second part, “and…,” is where we build off of our scene partner’s idea by adding our own.

How did Matt and his protége use “Yes, and…” during the program? Matt worked with his protége to help her develop a new business plan. Matt said of the experience, “Often when we come up with an idea, it's all too easy to start doubting the idea or allowing potential risks to get in the way of our creativity. There's time to assess risks later, but when you’re in the brainstorming stage, you want to dream big!” While working with his protége, Matt said yes to all her ideas, supported them, and added to them.

“When we hype up and build off someone’s ideas like this, it makes the original idea look even better.” -Matt Schuurman

Over the 6-month program, Matt was delighted to watch his protége brainstorm, learn, and develop while utilizing the concepts he teaches in the theatre world. Improv skills are also life skills! “Collaboration, listening, acceptance, and positivity—all the things that make an excellent improv scene are also keys to building great relationships.”

When it comes to our mentorship program, time and time again, our participants tell us they were unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised at how much they gained from their match despite initially feeling that they may not have much to learn from the other person. So say “Yes, and…” sign up for our program as a mentor or protége. Email to be a volunteer mentor. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) or join our mailing list so you don’t miss your chance to register as a protégé in the future.

If you are interested in learning more about improv and the concept of “Yes, and…”, register for a workshop for yourself or your workplace through Rapid Fire Theatre.

“Chase the fun and allow yourself to be surprised by what you create together. Don't bring the whole roadmap for your journey together; just bring one piece at a time. Together, you'll create something that neither one of you would’ve created on your own.”

-Matt Schuurman

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