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 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 →

Transcend the known and knock on the door of the Intuition

The Games of Viola Spolin are designed to teach more than theater. They are doorways into an unknown. And by playing, we go forth unafraid and with joy! 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →