March 21, 2022

Follow Your Feet!

Mandi Bedbury

I've been learning, teaching, and performing improv since 2006. I fell in love with the feeling of being onstage and the audience laughs. It is an indescribably positive feeling. In addition, immersing myself in improv and it's methodologies has brought so much more to my life than making people laugh. I've decided to share what I've learned over the past 16 years and have launched an Improv division of my consulting business called Follow Your Feet Improv. Why Follow Your Feet?

Two reasons:

  1. My friend Lane helped me brainstorm names one day and they came up with this one; I fell in love with it, both for the way it rolls off the tongue and also for what it represents.
  2. The phrase "follow your feet" is used to describe that nudge an improvisor gets to step on to the stage. A feeling in your gut that often times results in your feet stepping forward before your brain catches up. It's a mindset, and it can be taught and used in everyday life.

"I'm going to ask that person out."

"I'm going to start rock climbing."

"I'm going to quit my job."

In your gut it feels right, and then your brain catches up and says;

"Hold on!"

"You can't do that!"

"You don't know how!"

"They might say no!" "

You might mess it up!"

"What if you make a fool of yourself!"


So you stop, take a step back, and talk yourself out of it. it might keep you from applying for the new job you would adore, the promotion you deserve, the crush/love interest you want to ask out or perhaps that move out of state you've been dreaming about. Improv can help you step through the brain chatter that is slowing you down and keeping you safe on the sidelines or in the wings. Improv helps you learn to step into the unknown and understand that risks help you grow and find more of what gives you joy!

What is it that is stopping you? Is your brain talking you out of it to keep you safe? Is it the fear of the unknown?

Mandi and Mahmoud sit on ground pondering the unknown
Mandi Bedbury & Mahmoud Hakima perform at Legends Improv Theater

How can improv help you follow your feet?

Improv is a form of theatre, often comedy, in which all of what is performed is created spontaneously and collaboratively. However, it's not about being funny or having a skill for comedy.

The fundamental core of improv uses active listening, living in the moment, trusting yourself and your team, stepping outside your comfort zone, and learning how to fail in a fun and game-like environment.

Improvisors follow their feet every single time they make a choice on stage. Sometimes the choices are great and sometimes they fall flat! However, listening to that nudge and jumping into the unknown, knowing they might succeed or fail (and survive) opens up a world with more choices and more fun! As the saying goes, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

What if you learned how to follow your feet, trust that instinct that is nudging you towards something that your rational brain is fearful of? What if you learned that sometimes, following your feet will lead to failure and that is okay! What if you learned how to fail and learn, grown and survive!? We have some pretty cool ways to change one's mindset by using the methods in improv.

I have online and in-person workshops starting this Spring. I can also customize a workshop designed to fit your team's needs. Click here to learn more!