Body – Mind – Intuition

 “If you can get it out of the head and into the body…Body, Mind, Intuition. This is what we’re after. Body, Mind, Intuition” – Viola Spolin The quote above was directed to sixty teachers in a workshop Viola ran and which I assisted. I’ve had the great good fortune to absorb this mantra throughout my.. read more →

Teacher, Coach Thyself

Sidecoaching is essential to a game and helps the player breakthrough his or her resistance(s) whatever they may be, and soar into that unknown area, their own treasure house of creativity and intuition where growth and transformation occurs. Sidecoaching is an art in itself and a necessary component of Spolin Games that gets to the.. read more →

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 →

Living in Our Head: Connected yet Disconnected by Technology

As individuals we are isolated from one another, full of limitations, fears, tensions, competitiveness, prejudices, and preconceived attitudes. If our openness is more than just a hope, a sentiment, a word, certain conditions must be met. The first of these we would call mutuality or trust. True playing will produce trust. – Viola Spolin –.. 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 →

Valerie Harper shares her life and work with Spolin Games

Valerie Harper’s Improv Odyssey has shaped her life and career. In this 1994 interview with freelance journalist, Carol Grey, she speaks about the transformative power and wisdom of Viola Spolin’s philosophy. I am proud to know her and have her endorsement as a fellow player on this fantastic journey. “Viola Spolin had genius. Gary Schwartz.. 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 →