Roadblocks to Connection: “Sorry” and “Worry”

One of the first big ideas I introduce to new students is how “Sorry” and “Worry” are the biggest enemies to good improvisation. I do this because it’s the first thing that I consistently see operating in beginning improv classes filled with new students. It’s our default as humans when facing a new social landscape.Continue reading “Roadblocks to Connection: “Sorry” and “Worry””

‘Yes And’ for Newbies

Improvised Theater has no script. No one made a map, and no one gets a moment to plan. That’s fine; I hate memorizing anyway, but how the heck are we just going to make up a scene both worthy of doing and worthy of being watched? All we have to do is be funny, isn’tContinue reading “‘Yes And’ for Newbies”

On the Road to a New Ethnography: Anthropology, Improvisation and Performance

“For the first time we may be moving towards a sharing of cultural experiences, the manifold “forms of objectivated mind” restored through performance to something like their pristine affectual contouring. This may be a humble step for mankind away from the destruction that surely awaits our species if we continue to cultivate deliberate mutual misunderstandingContinue reading “On the Road to a New Ethnography: Anthropology, Improvisation and Performance”

Applied Anthropology meets Applied Improvisation

It seems that there are two professional communities who are focused on organizational, cultural, and policy development that are unaware or uninformed about one another. Applied Anthropologists have been in the realm of development formally for over 50 years utilizing ethnographic techniques to learn about peoples’ lives and communities in order to create and administerContinue reading “Applied Anthropology meets Applied Improvisation”

Improvisation: the Original Survival Tool

When it came down to it, mother nature laid the smackdown on early Homo Sapiens. We arrive in the archeological record about 200,000 years ago. About 90,000 years ago, Africa’s climate became extremely arid in a very short time leading to a resource crisis. No food and no water means no surviving for many ofContinue reading “Improvisation: the Original Survival Tool”

Long-Form Improvisation as a Design Process

I’ve had a growing interest in design since my partner is finishing his degree in Product Design. This is a distillation of an earlier paper that I wrote when I was working on getting an internship at Ziba Design here in Portland. It’s only 6 pages. Click the link below. Read, enjoy, discuss and feelContinue reading “Long-Form Improvisation as a Design Process”

Role-Playing Addiction

One of the most profound and integrated things in my life is role playing. From age 11 to now at 39, I have been deeply embroiled in playing Dungeons & Dragons for about 15 years and then fell deeply into improvised theater for another 14. These forms of collaborative play have led to very deepContinue reading “Role-Playing Addiction”