The Layers of the Onion

Silent Tension without Who, What and Where* It had been maybe two years of Wednesday afternoon workshops with Viola before we did an exercise called Silent Tension without Who, What and Where. “I don’t do this one right away.” she said to us. “But now that you have No-Motion and some games behind you, I.. read more →

The Language of Authority

Do this, don’t do that! Like this! Here’s how I want it! That’s better! That’s rotten! That’s not funny! Now that was FUNNY! That’s what I want! — spoken by a director at a recent improv workshop I attended. If you teach or direct, you must be mindful of your role as leader and work to be.. read more →

The Fear Factor and My Ghostly Voices

The Scene: Improv Class with the legendary Viola Spolin. “Alright.” she says. “Who wants to go next?” I hesitate. The ‘What if…?’ dialogue: “What if I can’t do it?” That’s where it starts for me. I get afraid. “Afraid of what?” “Not being able to do it? Then people will laugh at me?” “Hey! I’m.. read more →

What I Learned at the House of Genius

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. – Pablo Picasso read more →

Some Thoughts on Improvising

I was looking through my journal trying to find what to write about as my next blog entry. I came across a stream of consciousness document I simply called “Ramblings”. I often ramble on trying to find a subject to expound on. In re-reading this old journal entry, I found it was pretty good advice.. read more →

See Unlabeled

Intuition is not just a word

When you hear a word too often it can lose its meaning.
Often Viola would exchange the word intuition for other phrases that she felt kept you cognizant about the meaning of Intuition. She would use words like treasure house, or X-Area, the Unknown in place of Intuition. It is often over-used as a word and its meaning can be easily overlooked by labeling it. read more →

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 →

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 →