Making new friends through improv


One of my biggest worries when moving to NL from India was making friends. I had not really made new friends for a few years, and just assumed as an adult, busy adulting, friendships are going to be increasingly difficult to come by. Well, if the title of this post, the content of the first paragraph and tone of this paragraph so far have not tipped you off yet, that was not the case. I made friends! And how!



For the purposes of this post, allow me to be immodest. I have friends. Many, many friends -- If it helps, my dating life, not so great. Call me if you are a woman interested in fixing that. -- So last month, when my mother asked me how despite being so picky about humans, I ended up meeting so many amazing ones, I got into analysis mode, which some would call the best mode after sleep mode and commode.



My hypothesis is that improv tends to attract a certain kind of people. Those of us who enjoy laughing and making others laugh. In Amsterdam in particular, it gets some of the finest minds and a whole lot of ex-pats together. We already share a hobby, a behavioural trait and distance from home in common, but also most of us are open to new ideas, concepts, and importantly, people. I strongly believe that allows for a back-to-school kind of situation where you are constantly around people like you, and it’s difficult to NOT like your peers.



What this means is since I started taking classes ~3 years back, we are now at a juncture where I am practising improv twice a week, and socialising with people I know via improv twice more. Usually, those 4 groups are completely different! I have made some of my best friends (and 1 sworn nemesis) at CREA. 3 of those lovely people also got me a Superman towel for my birthday! I mean, if I had not sold you on improv’s contribution to my social life before, a Superman towel must’ve surely done it!



Last year in particular, when the lockdown hit, the online improv scene (and support group) setup was so quick, I was wondering if the pandemic was an inside job. How were they so...ready…! Conspiracy(?) theories aside, knowing there is such a large, yet close-knit community was always around, and having so many of them I consider a friend really helped me cope with the entire situation!



I would put in a closing paragraph, but I need to go chillax with more improv friends. So here, have this abrupt endi--