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Laughter is the Best Medicine in Myrtle Beach

By Paul Rowe

"Improv is an innate skill," according to Carolina Improv's Owner Gina Trimarco.

"We are wired to improvise as human beings," says Trimarco. "People often assume that when they hear the word improv it automatically means comedy, when it is quite simply an abbreviated word for improvise."

Performance artists at Carolina Improv in Myrtle Beach understand that great comedy, like music, dance, and life in general, is a byproduct of improvising without a script. That's how people live in Myrtle Beach.

"In the world of improv comedy we are trained to tap into our innate abilities to actively listen, respond in the moment, be flexible to others' ideas, and support others on stage," says Trimarco. "When we re-train our brains to do these things on stage we can organically create hilarious comedy without even trying."

How? Why? The answer to these questions: Life is funny. "We're being real and using real life suggestions and situations to inspire our work," says Trimarco. "When we highlight the funny moments of life we appear to be hilarious performers!"

For folks at Carolina Improv, active listening, flexibility, spontaneous living, support for others, leadership in ideas, and the willingness to fail are all equally important skills from a business standpoint and on stage. All businesses could benefit from these skills.

"If you want to be a better sales person and make more money, you can do so by simply listening 100% of the time in a conversation versus multitasking while you're on the phone," says Trimarco. "Instant trust is created when people feel like you care and they feel this way when you actively listen to them without interruption."

Imagine how much better a workplace would be if people said, "Yes, and," instead of "Yes, but?" In the world of improv, all ideas aren't just possible: they are jump-off points. Carolina Improv takes pride in this philosophy of acceptance, collaboration, and elaboration.

"All of our shows are popular," says Trimarco. "We take pride in working from the top of our intelligence. We don't use profanity or vulgarity. The majority of our shows are suitable for all ages."

Although some shows at Carolina Improv are geared towards an 18+ crowd containing sexual innuendo done in an intelligent way, shows are always geared to make you think before you laugh. "Everything we do is completely improvised without a script, similar to the show Whose Line Is It Anyway," says Trimarco.

There's an intense vetting procedure for adding new performers to Carolina Improv's team. On any given night there are about twenty-five performers. Each of these actors is required to take three improv classes before they can audition. Once they're in, they're family.

Laughter is the best medicine for the Myrtle Beach faithful. "It is medically proven that laughter increases the endorphins in our body, and endorphins increase our serotonin levels, which leads to happiness," says Trimarco. "Going to an improv show, even as a performer, is a great distraction from the stresses of the day. The comedy that is created is based on real life."

True story. We laugh at experiences we all share. When it doubt, it's best to wing it. This idea is fully embodied by Carolina Improv.

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About The Author

Paul Rowe is a graduate instructor of writing and master's student of Literature at...

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