Spolin Games: A Prescription for Living

Spolin’s structure for Improvisation is a metaphor for life “I do feel that the day will come, I doubt that I will be here for it, when people will meet from everywhere, to play the games, to question Who Am I? Where am I? And What am I doing?” – Viola Spolin The basis for.. read more →

Space is not nothing – it is EVERYTHING!

[Space]… It is our medium. It is the material we use for interaction with others and our environment. It is our support and our lifeline to reality. You are either in the Space or you are in your head. read more →

The Paradox of Side-Coaching

Solving my “Shut-Off”   “My work is not Psychodrama!! Never use your own tears! Use the character’s tears!” Viola proclaimed this very emphatically when we would try to work out our personal problems in a scene. Some actors in our workshop were trained to use ‘sense memory’ and transfer the sadness of a personal event.. read more →

IMPROV and the ROI

“Bottom line, how will Improv increase our sales, improve our morale, or our team? What guarantees do we have that everyone is going to benefit from this training? What can we expect to see after your work with us is over? Will we be a more productive workforce? Can we measure that? Will our staff.. read more →

FOCUS – Process Creates Story

More commentary on Spolin’s Tips and Pointers Pointer # 9 — The energy released in solving the problem, flowing through the Where, Who, and What, forms the scene. Taken from “Improvisation for the Theater” by Viola Spolin; 3rd Edition, Northwestern University Press. Solving a challenging problem constitutes a strong FOCUS. Viola Spolin used to call.. read more →

Commentary on Spolin’s Tips and Pointers: Part 1

How we do something is the process of doing (right now!). Pre-planning “How” makes process impossible and so becomes resistance to the focus of the exercise, and no “explosion” or spontaneity can take place, making any change or alterations in the student-actor impossible. True improvisation re-shapes and alters the student-actor through the act of improvising itself. Penetration into the focus, connection, and a live relation with fellow players result in a change, alteration, or new understanding for one or the other or both. In time, during the solving of the acting problem the student becomes aware of being acted upon and of acting, thereby creating process and change within his or her stage life. The intuition gained remains with the player in everyday life, for whenever a circuit is opened for anyone, so to speak, it is usable everywhere. read more →

Just Be Yourself

We ape, we mimic, we mock. We act. — Laurence Olivier Have you ever walked into an interview or an audition and the interviewer, in an effort to relax you, tells you “just be yourself”? And rather than helping you, you only get more butterflies in your stomach? Your mind races. “What does that mean.. read more →

Story, story…LIVE!

The game of Building a Story is a staple with improv groups around the world. It is the essence of collaboration by building a story one word at a time and by sharing ideas using give and take and intense listening. Invariably, the challenge wakes you up and your focus becomes stronger. There are many.. read more →

Improvisation is an ideal way to practice the art of Crisis Management

Transformation: The Value of Emergency in Play or Creating Healthy Crisis “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~Albert Einstein How do you begin to effect transformation? What sparks change?  Answer – crisis. What happens during a crisis is critical for change. …reform is usually possible only once a sense of crisis takes hold. Good leaders.. read more →

Play is Essential to Life & Work

I got this link from a colleague, Rob Adler. Again, here is someone else who sees what we need as a society and how important play is. This argues for the same paradigm shift Improv Odyssey advocates. There are people out there who can lead you back to that essential ingredient that not only relieves.. read more →