May 26, 2020

by Phil Incorvia | May 26, 2020 | Blue Tiger Tales

This week, I have the pleasure of editing Tuesday’s Tips. May they find you well and ready to improvise with whatever life sends your way - Phil

As someone who has been improvising on stage for over 30 years (in life for almost 50) I’m finding a lot of tools improvisers use to be especially helpful right now. Here are two of them: Notice Everything, and, Yes, and….

Notice Everything means that we try to see everything that a situation is offering to us. We acknowledge what is happening and instead of making up a story, we get even more curious to see what else might be going on, both inside and outside of ourselves. You can start practicing noticing right now in a few ways:

Without looking, try to remember what color socks you put on today, or the color or pattern of your shirt. Did you get it exactly right? Were you close, but misremembered? For the advanced version, look at your wall. What color is it? Now look even more closely. Are there places where it’s not exactly how you described it? Where it is worn, scratched, repaired, etc.? Good job noticing! This leads us to the next idea…

Yes, and… is the practice of allowing for multiple things to be true at the same time (note: this is not the same as agreeing with them). Maybe while noticing, you see that your wall is smooth or off-white, and when you look more closely, there’s a spot someone touched up with plain white, or where a nail is starting to show. These things are both true at the same time. The wall is off-white and smooth, and it’s also some other things.

Now try that with ideas. Practice where you or others might use the word BUT instead of AND. For example, this week many of you may be noticing these two thoughts, “I want our businesses, meeting areas and institutions to reopen,” and “I want to make sure that all of us are safe from getting the virus.” It can be tempting to let one of those ideas dominate, and to push the other away. Not this, BUT that. Sound familiar?

Practice hanging on to whatever pair of thoughts you might normally combine with a “but” not an “and” and see what happens. Studies show that as you increase your ability to consider both sides at once, your ability to engage productively, to creatively solve problems, your empathy, and your compassion for those you disagree with will increase.

Here are a few more ways to use Improvisation right now: Improvisation in Changing Times

Your weekly dose of Upliftment – In the past months, several viral “fight” videos have made their way around the internet. This week, Portland-area animation studio, LAIKA, shared their take. Warning, animated/comic violence AND extreme craft, collaboration, and fun here: No one ever said animating was safe.

Please let us know if you find any of these to be helpful and share how you put them into practice. Also, if you have a tip to offer, let us know and we will include it in a future email or video.

We wish for you to find your special ways to thrive through this unprecedented time.

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May You Be Well –

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