“One of your group has to deliver a message containing bad news and everyone has to then act upon that news. I want to see each character react in a different way—you’ve got 10 minutes to plan out the scene.”

The first time round we’d hashed together a story about a landlord kicking out four flatmates after a rowdy night out, but at the time I thought the scene a bit sedate. So next time round would be more adventurous: a sinking ship, a treacherous cook, a runaway lieutenant, an old woman in need of rescue and a stoic ship’s captain (me). Ready? Go improv ladies and gents.

I’ve been doing acting lessons for a few weeks now and so far it’s been pretty cool. Why acting? You might ask, especially at the age of 28—some might say I’m a bit past it for taking up something so new and random. But—ignoring the obvious negativity of such a proposition—the answer to that question is, well, I don’t have an answer. But I have a hunch, and it’s pinned to the idea of convergent value creation.

Put in a more familiar wording, you make your own luck; by being active and taking on opportunities more opportunities arise as a result of that initial action. Up until a few years ago, I saw this as a very black and white framework. Work hard at one thing, rock climbing; keep doing those pull ups and fingerboard sessions and one day you’ll be a professional rock-climbing with the lucky life of climbing and nothing else.

After six years it dawned on me, actually, that didn’t work and life was pretty crap if you have no money, no security, no family and no aspirations apart from exclusively climbing small rocks for the rest of your life.

Serendipity—it seemed—came not from chasing one value to the limits of what could be extracted, but rather grinding away at creating many different items of values in many different areas over varying timeframes; that was the best way of making inroads towards my personal concept of success, although I’d be hard pushed to articulate exactly what that is.

The world might have no specific need for an acting-lesson taking, pole vaulting, miler with a penchant for exploration, but I do believe the scattergun approach has kept me trucking along in the right direction—and happy—for the past few years. After all, you never know what skills, talents, and achievements will come to benefit completely different areas of your life in the future; the positive effect of running on my work ethic being an obvious example (although that’s one for a whole other post entirely).

So who know’s where this latest development might lead? At least with these classes under my belt I’ll be able to act surprised wherever I end up.


Join the Conversation


  1. Nice! That’s a well interesting concept and I totally agree with Rob; everyone can learn, and if you keep learning you’ll beat the innately talented in the long run. I’ll have to check his book out.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *