You can remember
- the joy of playing for its own sake
- the risk of diving into the moment without knowing where it is going
- the enjoyment of letting go and creating
- the satisfaction of collaborating so deeply that you won’t know how you did it
- the release of letting go of how terribly important you are and having a laugh
- the connection of finding deep bonds with people
- the delight of surprising yourself
Sadly, for most adults, this isn’t easy. Most schooling teaches us to get good at
- Knowing as much as we can so we get things right
- Editing who we are so we fit in
- Making a plan then trying to get the world to fit how we think things should be
With each tiny self edit, our connection to the flow of life gets smaller.
With each time our perfectionism gets us a “pass”, we become less comfortable with not knowing.
We get stuck in our heads.
It wasn’t always like this.
As a child you could play and create freely – responding and interacting without knowing how it would end. But somewhere along the line most of us got hooked into feeling as our value as a person depended on getting things right, making things follow our plan, and ensuring no one sees behind our mask.
Play and improvisation are wonderful tools to help us stretch and grow muscles we have forgotten how to use. You can learn to get better at
- Letting go of preconceptions and respond in the moment
- Being seen without your ‘perfect’ mask
- Making choices even when you don’t know what the outcome will be
- Managing nerves
- Letting go and enjoying yourself
The time to practice running isn’t the day of the Olympics! You build abilities when it doesn’t matter so you already have them for when it does.
Plus as well as external benefits, it is also the practice of remembering how to do something for its joyful own sake with no prizes or punishments.
Maybe you think
- “I could never do that”
- “Improvisation is for crazy extroverts”
- “I freak out if there are no rules”
I love you! You’re my favourite kind of improviser (and potentially have the most to gain). That was me too.
I’ve now enjoyed performing publicly many times. I’ve led improvisation sessions many times with all kinds of people from super-keen improvisers to management consultants and doctors. I’m also an experienced coach, trainer and embodiment facilitator. I will make sure you’re back on the ground and settled.
Join a Session
I would love you to join a session. Have a look on the events page or join my email list below to hear about future ones.
Find out more about me here.
Or watch a video of me talking about learning to act without knowing here.
One at Sunday Assembly – (Sound quality not great)