I recently joined a class that's giving me new perspective on a skill I use everyday: improv.

A friend encouraged me to take an "Improv & Beer" class with her at Theatre Cedar Rapids, so I agreed and she signed me up.

Not only did I join to improve my acting and communication chops, but to have some fun and make new friends, in a more civilized setting than a loud, packed bar. Mission accomplished. As the name implies, drinking is allowed, but it's kept to a minimum.

I went in expecting mainly to act out scenes as different predetermined characters, but it's literally the opposite of that. The idea is to "think on the fly" and be creative. One scenario in this week's class had us thinking about an object in the room we could act out as if it was a human being. Suddenly, I was Eddie, the ex-Mafia member who was too nice for that job but really good at "helping people out of a jam"--I became a human Exit sign!

It seemed like a big hit with the group, but let's just say, I'm going to have to binge-watch some episodes of "Who's Line is It Anyway?" before next week's session to try to get a little better at this.

The class started out slow in the first couple weeks (one of which, full disclosure: we missed to hit up a concert), but I'm getting into it. I may even sign up for the Level 2 course when it's done.

I want to thank my instructor, Anthony, my friend Abby and all the new people and friends I'm meeting and working with in this group. It's a good time and you should try it.

If you're intrigued, follow Theatre Cedar Rapids on Facebook, where they will post class and sign-up information.

[Via Theatre Cedar Rapids Facebook page]