This year’s Tantramar Regional High School improv team consists of Meaghan Cunningham, coach Megan Fournier, Liam Robinson, Frank Behar, Sam Cummins, Max Farella, Margaret Torrence, Bonnie Russell and Jarod Monk (in the front with a red bow tie). PHOTO SUBMITTED
When I entered the ninth grade I, like most kids that age, thought I was the coolest kid in town. I had just got out of middle school and in middle school, the older you are, the cooler you are. That added to the fact that I thought I was the most hilarious jokester around and everyone liked me only made the realization that I was at the bottom of the barrel again and not everybody liked me or my crappy jokes. To a geeky kid who was sad he hadn’t hit puberty yet, this made me recoil into a shyness that stuck around for a while, at least until I found out about improv.
I was intimidated when I found out there were tryouts. Why did everything need to be a competition? Couldn’t this one thing just be about fun? Everybody there was funny and really had a knack for improv. This didn’t do anything to help my nerves the first time I had to get up onstage but after one lame joke and a couple laughs I found that the nerves were gone and I was good at making people laugh and I enjoyed doing it.
A couple weeks later I found out I had made the team and felt pretty good about myself.
As cheesy as it is, I learned during my first years of improv that you should just be yourself. The people on the team weren’t the “cool” kids. They didn’t play sports or drive cars. They argued about whether Digimon was better than Pokémon and talked about Doctor Who nonstop. When I met them though, I didn’t think they were uncool because they were nerds, I thought they were cool because they just did whatever they wanted to do. No pressure. No need to impress anyone, they just were themselves and were fine with who they were. No one was worried about what anyone else thought because no one else cared.
I learned that that was the secret to enjoying high school life. Be whoever you want to and do whatever you want to. There is no need to worry about what anyone else thinks because they don’t care. People will like you or they won’t. And that’s ok. No one pays as much attention to you as you do so why bother trying to impress anyone besides yourself?
This year’s team did a great job in terms of improving over last year. While we didn’t win we did miles better than last year. Under the guidance of improv veteran Meagan Fournier, the team grew better at improv and grew better as people. Not only that but the team also has plenty of room to grow and gain more attention in the years to come.