March 21, 2014
Second Act: Actress Nanda Abella on the Power of Improv
On Wednesday, April 30, Nanda Abella will facilitate an improv workshop for creative professionals at newly launched coworking space, Creative Colony, which is based in Silver Spring, MD. Artists on a literal stage mirror the workplace, where we are on a figurative stage in our respective roles. And, if you’re an independent professional, you can probably recall the emotions you felt when you decided to strike out on your own, as well as the daily interactions you face in your work that demand bravery to put yourself out there, face rejection, pitch creative ideas to colleagues and clients, and convey authenticity throughout this process. Details to register for the workshop can be found here.
We asked Nanda Abella a series of questions, and here’s what she shared:
TAP: You transitioned from the field of international relations and communications to the acting world–what inspired you to become an actress?
NA: I started acting when I was 18 years old. Although it was only a ‘hobby’ for a long time, it was always present in my life. A little more than four years ago, I felt the need to become a full-time actress. I’m not sure I can explain it with more words; it was mostly an internal process that had been brewing for many years, and finally got to the stage of becoming a basic need I needed to fulfill (or at least try!)
TAP: When did you fall in love with improv?
NA: Improv is fun! It’s an opportunity to play, to dream, to create different words, to become different people, animals, and creatures; to explore unknown worlds…I guess I fell in love with that certain feeling of limitless that comes with improv.
TAP: How can creative professionals benefit from improv?
NA: By giving them a place where they can take their imagination and creativity to the next level. Improv classes give you a safe environment that allows people to play and not be judged for that, which can open the door to more creative, outside-the-box thinking. It also gives them a place to enjoy, have fun and relax; an environment that can also be a good starting point for fresh ideas!
TAP: Everyone’s dying to know… can improv ease awkward networking/business interactions?
NA: I certainly think so! When an improv partner brings an idea to the stage, you have to embrace it and work from there. I feel that is a very constructive and positive way of dealing with interactions, and it teaches you the benefits of always being receptive and ready to listen. I think that skill can be very useful in any type of interactions you may encounter, including business interactions.
TAP: What’s next?
NA: I’m starting rehearsal for a project called Big Green Theater. It’s a theater project that stages eco-plays written by 5th graders from a Brooklyn school. This is my second year taking part in this project and it’s tons of fun! I was also cast to take part in a workshop to develop Macbeth from a physical theater perspective. This project starts next week.
If you’ve taken an improv class, what did you enjoy the most? Please share in the comments below.