Student Organization Spotlight: Improv Club

What is improv? Why is it so important? Improv is for anyone and everyone. Improv is all about learning how to accept the circumstances, learning from your mistakes and building on new opportunities. Improv is the art of improvisation. Improvisation helps people think quickly, act faster and communicate better. The Improv Club at UIC empowers students with this unique ability to be spontaneous, build friendships with new people, and share plenty of good laughs. The organization helps students take every awkward, wonderful, embarrassing, and exciting moment, and communicate them in unique ways. Chicago is the epicenter of improv, thanks to comedy clubs like The iO Theater and Second City. This makes the work of the Improv Club even more exciting. They help create an environment where all UIC students can experience trust and support through play. Learn about the journey of the Improv Club from Bilal Qazi, vice president and peer learning assistant at UIC. 

What is the vision of the Improv Club? Has it changed considering current times?
The Improv Club’s vision is to help individuals think quickly on their feet through the art of active listening and collaboration. It is about building friendships, developing individual confidence, and sharing plenty of laughs along the way. The best part is that you will learn skills beyond just your resume. In improvisation, the idea is that you have to accept the given circumstances and respond based on your situation because that is how it is in the real world.

What are the takeaways for students given the current circumstances?
It is better to make the most of your current situation than to blame the pandemic. Yes, it may seem that there are less opportunities with COVID. However, the pandemic has created a new set of opportunities such as working as a contact tracer or creating a new tool for online learning. Start now, make the most of your situation, and take action.

Lastly, how important is it for students to join an organization?
Getting involved in an extracurricular activity, such as a student organization, teaches you skills that will certainly help you in the days to come. Think about it: there are thousands of students, so how are you going to be different? Even if it is simply one project outside of the “coursework” that all other students take, it separates you. In addition, stop chasing perfection and simply do things. It is cliché, but the mistakes are what will advance your career.

Thank you so much Bilal for sharing the details about the Improv Club. We wish you all the very best for upcoming events and hope to see more students be a part of this incredible journey of learning the art of improvisation. If you are interested in joining the Improv Club or learning more about the work that they do, feel free to connect with the organization on LinkedIn. If you would like to get in touch with Bilal, feel free to email him at mqazi4@uic.edu.