Volume 5 Issue 1 Spring-Summer 2018
This is an excerpt from Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy, Episode 49
ivka Kuperman and her mother had a close relationship. Rivka remembered her mother always encouraging her to push beyond her comfort zone. It was that philosophy that had taken Rivka all the way to New York University School of Arts. But when her mother’s breast cancer took a turn for the worse, Rivka moved from New York back to Little Rock to take care of her.
Rivka recalls, “I was shattered when she passed. When you are shattered into a thousand pieces, you’re not going to put yourself back together the same way. It changes you. It changes your perspective. It changes what is important to you. The day I lost my mother was really the day my life changed.”
She had a friend with whom she had done improv back in her college days at UCA. That friend reached out to Rivka, asking her to join a local improv troop. Rivka refused, but her friend persisted. Rivka stood firm saying, “No. No. I’m in no state. I can’t think. I don’t know who I am anymore. I can’t do it. No. No. No.” Finally, after many no’s, Rivka gave in.
Stepping back into the world of preforming arts helped her find her confidence again. It required she take risks and learn how to say "yes" again. “Of course, it happened over time, but improv is my therapy. It is where I feel the most free,” Rivka said.
She knew it was time to pursue the arts more seriously. She didn’t know where it would lead her, but she decided to follow the first rule of improv: Say "Yes." “I just said ‘yes’ and let’s see what happens,” Rivka recounts. “It’s the only way to really collaborate. If you want to be able to use other people’s ideas and work together, it’s always better to say ‘yes,’ It’s a philosophy you have to grow into. Sometimes it’s hard to say.”
In 2013, Rivka landed her dream job as the Production Stage Manager at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre. Now she teaches our upcoming local actors her positive and life changing philosophy of saying “YES!”
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