People who know me will probably read this article will laugh at the even suggestion of it but it is 100% true – I am shy.
Any one who has known me for a long time of seen me in a work environment or on the stage will probably thinks this is a bit crazy as I am someone who is exceedingly outgoing and will always make the effort to do something and make myself known. However put me in a place with a huge crowd of people I will not say a lot and be the person quiet in the corner not saying anything as I feel intimidated.
Shyness is a crazy thing and hits out in a lot of different ways, it comes out very much in situations as mentioned above however one thing I have never felt this is the stage. Ever since I can remember the stage has been somewhere I have always felt at home, stronger, confident. I will go as wacky as I possibly can in a scene and if the scene turns a certain way i can knock out the innuendos left right and centre and take it to the level that the audience want it.
Shyness is quite a common thing amongst performers, even comedian Rhod Gilbert did a documentary about it recently for the BBC about being Shy. Throughout the time that I have done improv, every time I meet a new person I always ask them why they decided to do improv and a lot of the time the answer is the same thing – to combat shyness or to meet new people.
Improv is a great way to fight shyness because it is an environment where others do not judge you as you are all there to be silly. Improv is such a silly thing that I have seen even the most shy people come out of their shells and even surprise themselves on stage, it is really amazing to see and also highly impressive.
Now, whilst I may not be the most shyest person, If you are a shy person and have been thinking about improv give it a go. It is a safe environment and people will always be there to be helpful and supportive.