The number one rule of improv is to say ‘yes’.
I decided last week that part of my assimilation to the life of Tallahassee was going to be volunteering with the Museum of Florida History. I wanted a way to meet new people (I did. They’re a LOT older than I am.) , and get involved in something that would allow me to give back. Tonight was my first night doing so, at an event called Third Thursday. There’s a concert at the beginning of the event, and then they have a speaker come in to discuss some aspect of Florida history. Given that it was my first time there, I didn’t do a whole lot while I was there. I went through the museum on my own to get a feel for the place and its exhibits (including a breathtaking exhibit on the Highwaymen, a group of African American artists who created Florida landscaping without formal training like the one you see above), and then did lots of reading on Florida history to brush up on everything I learned when I was nine.
Good thing I did, because about half an hour before the museum closed, a group visiting from China, through a group with FSU’s Center for Global Engagement, came through. KC, the Educational Curator, asked me to give a tour. On two and an half hour’s experience of volunteering. And in the spirit of saying “yes”, like the former Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin and Liz Lemon would want me to, I said yes. And gave a tour to 17 students from China, their guide and 2 FSU students accompanying them. Was it perfect? Nope. Am I getting better at that lack of perfection? Yes. I’ll get to that in another post.
I’m glad I didn’t just pretend to pull a gun every time like Michael Scott. I sense that would have gone poorly, representing an entity of the Department of State. I can only hope subsequent volunteer shifts offer similar rushes of adrenaline!