I’d love your help in my efforts to raise funds for children in need by sponsoring me in the 2012 ING New York City Marathon.
I’m a member of Team for Kids, a group of adult runners who raise funds in support of the dynamic programs offered to underserved children throughout the United States and in Africa. These funds pay for running-based fitness, goal-setting, and nutrition programs in more than 500 schools in low-income communities. Right now, 100,000 kids are impacted by these programs each week but there are so many more who need our help. By learning about and practicing good habits through these programs, kids can lower their risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, and lead healthier, more productive lives.
Thanks in advance for helping me and thousands of schoolchildren. You can make an easy and secure online donation here: http://www.runwithtfk.org/Profile/PublicPage/10056 .
Any amount you can donate is very much appreciated! All contributions are tax-deductible and you will receive an acknowledgment e-mail from NYRR.
Thanks so much for your support!
P.S. You can find more great information about Team for Kids and NYRR’s commitment to transforming young lives at www.tfkworldwide.org. Check it out!
Twice in several days, I’ve heard about “Yes-and” from the improv comedy world. Once from Tina Fey’s new book and once from an old Stephen Colbert speech to Knox College graduates which I just stumbled upon. They both explained this excellent concept well, but Colbert took it to a more philosophical level; using it as a life lesson.
He also juxtaposed it with cynicism. Something which I’ve tried to rid from my own life in the past year, and is a personality trait I find distasteful in others. Everyone gets there sometimes; please don’t think I’m talking about you. I’m talking about severe cynics. Chronic, even.
About a year ago I watched a Craig Ferguson interview, where in a sober moment he mentioned that he believed cynicism to be one of the ugliest human traits there is. I concur.
For a better idea of what I’m talking about, start at about 3:30 on the video above or just read the partial transcript below…
When I was starting out in Chicago, doing improvisational theatre with Second City and other places, there was really only one rule I was taught about improv. That was, “yes-and.” In this case, “yes-and” is a verb. To “yes-and.” I yes-and, you yes-and, he, she or it yes-ands. And yes-anding means that when you go onstage to improvise a scene with no script, you have no idea what’s going to happen, maybe with someone you’ve never met before. To build a scene, you have to accept. To build anything onstage, you have to accept what the other improvisers initiate on stage. They say you’re doctors — you’re doctors. And then, you add to that: We’re doctors and we’re trapped in an ice cave. That’s the “-and.” And then hopefully they “yes-and” you back. You have to keep your eyes open when you do this. You have to be aware of what the other performer is offering you, so that you can agree and add to it. And through these agreements, you can improvise a scene or a one-act play. And because, by following each other’s lead, neither of you are really in control. It’s more of a mutual discovery than a solo invention. What happens in a scene is often as much a surprise to you as it is to the audience.
Well, you are about to start the greatest improvisation of all. With no script. No idea what’s going to happen, often with people and places you have never seen before. And you are not in control. So say “yes.” And if you’re lucky, find people who will say “yes” back.
Now will saying “yes” get you in trouble at times? Will saying “yes” lead you to doing some foolish things? Yes it will. But don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. ”Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.”
And that’s The Word.