Improv for Lawyers
Presented by Woody Drennan & Robert A. Creo, Esq.
The worst crime is telling the audience something they already know. –Aaron Sorkin, Writer, Director, Producer
3 Substantive CLE Credits
Whether lawyers are in court, negotiations, or informal discussions with colleagues or clients, lawyers must respond quickly, accurately, and appropriately to comments and questions. This combines the ability to listen, process, and respond. Effective listening involves more than understanding what is being communicate and then responding with your side’s talking points, spin, or defensive debate. Leading lawyers are able to engage in critical thought processes with flexibility to deal with ambiguity, uncertainty, and risk.
From the performance world comes improvisation. Much of the art and science of comedy improvisation is applicable to lawyers who must often “think on their feet.” Successful lawyers and comedy improvisers both have to act in the moment to continue positive forward momentum. Responding involves Effectiveness involves creating, synthesizing and articulating thoughts and actions. The goal is to break unproductive past patterns which lead to impasse or delay. Anybody can say “NO” and walk away. No never influences an opponent and usually only encourages them to fight harder.
The basic concepts and principles of improvisation can be unpacked and translated to the legal environment. Lawyers can access insights, intuitive thoughts and ideas by being exposed to other ways of thinking and acting, including taking more chances and risking mistakes. Letting go of linear thinking inhibits creative thought and limits vision and leadership opportunities which may arise only momentarily. Learn how to recognize these moments which beckon our inner selves to act.
Engaging creativity, quickly, is a skill which can be learned. Come join us!
Woody Drennan, Principal, Unplanned Comedy Warehouse, LLC
WOODY DRENNAN is a 20 year veteran of improv and sketch comedy; studying, training, and performing in Los Angeles at IO WEST, Groundlings, and UCB LA. After moving back to Pittsburgh 4 years ago, he launched his own venture, UNPLANNED COMEDY in Lawrenceville. He opened it above a Brewery, next to a Cross-Fit Gym. The two things that most “Larryvillers” love and hate, respectively. “at the beginning, improv is scar, weird, and awkward for sure,” Woody says. “But once you realize that scary, weird and awkward is the point of it all, you’ll add fun to the list. Check Woody and others on his improv podcast UNPLANNED UNSEEN as part of the podcast collective UNPLANNED COMEDY PODS. All right. Cool. So now here’ the thing — sign up for a class. Teaching and making people awesome is the only thing he’s really good at. Just let him do that for you. It’s his gift to you, inspired by your gift to him. There’s never been a better time to take improv classes in Pittsburgh. Word. See you at the Warehouse.
Robert A. Creo, Esq.