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  • Writer's pictureLauren Morris

Even great decisions aren't easy to make

This moment on stage was snapped during a set with my duo partner, Alex, who I tend to gush over quite a lot these days.

It captures a moment that's silly, organic, and encapsulates working in sync with my scene partner and foreshadows what I need in partner off stage.

I'm sure there are those around me who are thinking "enough already, we get it, you enjoy performing together" and I even wonder when Alex is going to get to the point of over-saturation. Thing is, I wouldn't be me if I wasn't putting my whole heart into what I do and if I love what I'm doing then I'm going to gush!

I've been improvising for a long time. Improv is timey-wimey and people have short memories. My path in improv is very much like my personal path: eclectic, alternative, and definitely my own.

When my improv journey was on a more typical trajectory I would land up frustrated by the limitations others put on the art form. I have come to love my path and grateful for how off-beat and frankly tough it has been. Those speed bump taught me so much.

Each person who has crossed my path has taught me something and helped me grow as a human. I now am five years in on this path of theater owner and director and I've reached the point where big decisions both financially, professionally, and personally need to be made.

AdLib has grown so much that I have essentially outgrown myself.

You see back when this all started, there were so few of us. I could manage all aspects of this tiny operation. I could oversee an education program, teams, and artistic decisions.

After a couple of years, I began to experience some burnout on the education side. The training program grew and we had more classes in session. No longer could it just be me teaching. I adapted, expanded and trained up some teammates to teach. I developed a training program. Perfect? Absolutely not! But I needed to start somewhere and so I did.

Growth has been part of this entire process. I've worked with so many people before and during the tenure of AdLib. While I have my own struggles (anxiety, a bit of negative self-talk, stumble sometimes with confidence) one thing I do give myself kudos for is my strong intuition. When I've found myself in a bad situation or hurt it's due to me ignoring my intuition.

I'm more methodical than you might think when it comes to any big decision at the theater. On the outside, it looks like a quick decision because many times something is announced and the change is made swiftly.

Behind the scenes, rest assured, I've been planning, contemplating, making lists, weighing options, and on and on to come to the decision.

And this brings me back to Alex. He isn't just a great duo partner. He LOVES improv. He GETS improv.

Most importantly, he gets me and my improv.

The improv I want to bring to life and share with every single student that walks through our door. He gets the vision of what AdLib is and what it will be. That improv is bigger than any individual.

That improv changes your life.

I'm not into organized religion but I do have my own set of spiritual beliefs and believe in the spirit of improv. I know for a fact that those improv spirits put Alex in my path for a reason. We've taken the long road and there's been our own ups and downs but each time it was preparing me for what was to come.

We've been quietly rolling out the announcement of a big step for AdLib. For months now I've know that it is time to create a leadership position that has more weight than a teacher, coach, or producer. That it's a position that puts someone next to me to help me oversee the vision and future of AdLib.

That I needed to hire an Associate Director.

As I said, what seems like a big move on the outside has been in process behind the scenes for sometime. For those of you who do this kind of work or are responsible for the financial well-being of your organization, you understand what a big deal it is to put someone into this kind of role. How vulnerable you become and how much you have to let go of fear and ego.

That even the great decisions are hard to make.

Here I am looking at the future of AdLib and I knew without a doubt where that future started with. So yes, I have created the role of Associate Director of AdLib and yes, as you probably have guessed by now Alex Streu accepted the position.

It's humbling and exciting and I find myself at a loss of words. I'm excited to see what comes of this role and how that leads into AdLib's future. I'm excited to have the support in a way I've never had with AdLib. I'm just excited.

Also, everyone just needs to be prepared for me to gush even more!

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