by Liz Peters
These are the top 3 things that have helped me enjoy being a real life Human Being more.
1: Be Here Now
There ain’t no other place you can be. All we have is now – all we’ve ever had is now. The simplicity of it is mind boggling. The past is finished, the future merely hypothetical yet we’d rather stick our consciousness in either of those holes than embrace the present. It’s the mental equivalent of staring at your phone and walking into a lamppost.
Just for shizz and giggs: notice how often your attention wanders to another place in time and space today [Oooh nearly lunch, I can’t wait to get to Wetherspoons… I wish I hadn’t said that ridiculous thing earlier… maybe next year I’ll start a baking company] and just bring it back. Notice more about where you are and who you’re with and discover what gifts are already here. Because they are real.
There’s no need to keep reaching for something else, something ‘better’. This is it. Play with this. Improv scenes don’t work when you forget to listen because you’re rummaging around the fantastical timezones in your own head. Nor does life.
2: Touch Each Other
Humans are all the same. We are all made of nerves, bones and blood. We are all transmitters and receivers, pottering around and invariably doing one more than the other.
Humans are all different. We are all a unique accumulation of billions of disparate feelings and experiences that have brought us to this moment.
I like to think of a really fantastic improv scene as a circuit going between two people, filtered through the veil of their existence, washed through the environment and continuously going round and round. Unique and free flowing.
And that’s the magic. Boom! When you’re an open channel for it everything is so easy. It just happens. It’s flow.
So connect with each other, physically and emotionally. Give and take freely. Let go of your ego and be part of the bigger picture. Reach out and touch other humans and see what those connections yield.
“There is an ocean. Each one of us is a drop in that ocean.. Illusion would have us think that we are all separate entities, separate drops. But if that were true we would all evaporate rather quickly. As we expand our limited selves into this infinite consciousness, we tap into a network of infinite possibilities, infinite creativity – great, great power.” Kenny Werner
*In my head I’m now singing ‘Let it Flow’ to the tune of ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen. It’s nice. Do it in your head now. If you want to. If not, never mind, just….
. . . 3: Follow The Fun
Some of the best improv advice I ever had. Forget about what’s ‘right’. Forget about what you ‘should’ do. Just see what the most fun thing is right now and go with that.
The concept of ‘Yes and’ is not about surrendering your power to make choices. It’s about seeing what’s there, grabbing it and running with it. You can say yes to anything so you may as well be led by whatever tickles your fancy. Dance, sing, laugh, muse, grumble. Whatever you want. Life is short so follow the fun and enjoy the ride!
Sometimes when you find yourself stuck in an improv scene it’s good to come back to these 3 simple ideas.
Sometimes when you find yourself stuck in the world they are helpful reminders for real life humans too.
In January I’ll be exploring these ideas further in a short course called Playing From The Heart for people with some experience of improv. We’ll be chucking structure out the window and rediscovering flow and freedom. Using music, meditation, physical work, games and scenes we’ll be playing from the animal inside and enjoying being humans.
Playing From the Heart runs for 4 Tuesday evenings from 13th Jan. Brighton.