Art of Aging: Open Circle improv comedy

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If you're looking for a good laugh, an improv comedy group has become very popular among the senior crowd. (WPVI)

As the saying goes, everyone's a comedian. If you're looking for a good laugh, an improv comedy group has become very popular among the senior crowd.

84-year-old Linda Silverman from West Mount Airy has been acting and doing improv for years.

"Because I always wanted to be manic and this is the only place that I can be manic in," she said.

Paul Jablow from Bryn Mawr took up the hobby just 4 years ago.

"I do it because it's fun," he said. "I love trying to think on your feet, reacting and not knowing what comes next."

The group is called Open Circle Improv and while it looks like fun and games, improv is - at its core - problem solving and can help seniors stay mentally sharp.

"It gets you physically going, it gets you mentally going, its challenging, you make mistakes, you learn to laugh at yourself, you learn to think fast on your feet, you learn to think outside the box to come up with creative answers to questions," said Open Circle organizer, Larry Kaufman.

"It's just exciting and energizing you're your whole persona," said Alan Fogel from Wynnefield Heights.

The sessions, which are held at the Community Education Center in Powelton Village, also give seniors a chance to socialize.

"We're too old to hang out in bars that's why. You know we, the seniors have fewer options," said Jablow.

And improv offers the opportunity for adults of all ages to turn back the clock and become a kid again.

"You get to play, you have the opportunity to be silly. In an everyday nine to five life, a lot of us have to be very serious but once you get into the improv world you can be whatever," said stand-up comic, Paul Kenneth Firson. "You decide you want to be a chicken, you decide you want to want to be an airplane. If you want to just roll around on the floor and throw a hissy fit - hey, nobody is going to complain, and they're just going to go with it."

"I just love to perform. I love doing that," said Richard Hamilton Brown from University City.

Related Topics:
societyhealthseniorsart of agingphilly newsWest Philadelphia
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