The Rewards of Teaching

Yesterday was the recital/performance of the Portland State Improv class that I’ve been co-teaching. It went pretty well, I’d say.

After it was over, a lot of the students were happy and milling about. Some of them came up to me to network and talk future improv stuff, but the really cool part for me was when our international student from Japan talked to me.

He told me in his best english that I was the reason he decided to stay and not drop the class when his other Japanese compatriot dropped. He said I made him feel welcome and listened to. This guy, Misa, has that ability to just turn on the magic and shine and charm the audience. I spent a lot of time encouraging him to stick it out because of this potential. I hate to see people daunted by the loud-mouth, jokester element that is often inherent in beginning improv settings (I won’t get into the incredibly sexist shit I put a cap on earlier in the course). If it wasn’t for my international experiences and doing “Translation” shows, I think I’d be less able to recognize abilities beyond the language barrier. I’m the luckiest man in the world some days.

That’s the greatest reward. I love when I get to see that I’ve made a difference to someone. Hey Amanda, how can I get him in touch with Yellow Man Group? Because he’s got a lot of talent, and I said I’d see if I could get him in touch with them.

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