Enjoy “Gibberish Talk Show Host” for the Sheer Pleasure of Watching Humans Play!

Here is another fun video from the PILL filming project involving the Out of the PILLbox Players (OOPPs); Jody Fuller, Glenna Kimball, Liz Korabek-Emerson, Mary Ellen McElroy. Robin Masia, Corrie Owens-Beauchesne, Anita Remig, and Dwyer Vessey!  (You guys are amazing and I love you all!)

In “Gibberish Talk Show Host” adapted from Kate Koppet’s Training to Imagine, there is an interdependence of three people as they impact each others’ roles and build a “scene” together.

  • The Expert understands but does not speak English and doesn’t need to know anything about the topic.
  • The Translator can make up anything she wants while trying to stay in the spirit and tone expressed by the expert.
  • The Talk Show Host can guide the conversation with any combination of cues from the expert or translator.

Here Anita (Talk Show Host), Dwyer (Translator), and Mary Ellen (Gibberish Expert) take on the topic of-Horse-riding suggested by their peers. Meanwhile, the rest of us look on in supportive fascination and wondering…what will happen next? 🙂

While this activity is engaging and hilarious to watch, it can also be a powerful teaching tool to help nurses and doctors communicate better!

Next Discover PILL class starts 9/11/2017! Next Stronger Together class starts 10/23/2017!

And thanks to Chad Cordner for production support and with Colin McCarthy and Eddie Pimansone for manning the cameras!

 

 

 

How Delivering Pizza Led Me to a Spiritual Reunion that I Am SO Grateful For!

Most of my work these days is around developing, promoting, and teaching PILL classes in Portsmouth and Medical Improv at healthcare conferences and organizations all over the country.  I LOVE and am committed to this fun and transformative process!

Upcoming gigs:

But what does that have to do with pizza and spiritual events?

Well……sometimes it is good to step away from trying to make things happen and let them happen with a faith in some higher plane of wisdom, …maybe… right?  So this summer I toyed with some part-time ideas of bartending, nursing, and delivering pizza.  I wanted something low stress and different.  Bartending?  Maybe.  Nursing? No, part-time is too stressful.  Not enough staff typically and I’ve done 30 plus years of direct care.  I want something lighter.

Delivering pizza?  Seriously?

I had to struggle with my ego a bit.  After all, what is a nurse, author, and international speaker doing delivering pizza?  I know, it is a little weird, but that’s what I decided to do.  So a couple of times a week I put on my Papa Gino’s outfit and drive around the seacoast and deliver pizza.  The people I work with are from all over the world and very nice.  The scenery is nice, people getting pizza are usually in good spirits,  and for now,  I kinda like it.

And one day, I was surprised to see a vaguely familiar name on a delivery order that I was assigned to.  A relative of my ex sister-in-law, Susan who passed away a few years ago from colon cancer.  She had been divorced from my brother and due to complex family dynamics way outside the scope of this post, I had lost track of her.  And yet she was a very nurturing person in my life when I was growing up.   ( I think I met her when I was about 10 years old.)

To say the least, I loved her dearly and have fond memories of her and her family.

So, I took a deep breath in noting some anxiety taking the pizza over.  After all, I wasn’t really exactly sure who I was taking it to and what kind of feelings might be encountered given the old family dynamics and my, shall we say unusual role?

Well, Susan’s brother answered the door.  I remembered him immediately, gave him the pizza, and introduced myself saying how much I missed his sister.  He remembered me and without any hesitation invited me in to see his (and Susan’s) Mother.  OMG what a gift.  I remembered her and she, now elderly,  remembered me.   We hugged and both got teary.  She’s just as nurturing as Susan was!  When I was a little girl she AND Susan were wonderful beacons of love in my life.

Well, she wanted me to come back and her son said the door was always open.  I left with a full heart and promise to do so.  I even dropped by without my pizza garb for a longer visit last week.  I feel so joyful about this reconnection and opportunity to be part of her village at this point in her life and mine.

Crazy, right?  A Higher plane of wisdom, maybe….right?

Thinking of Taking a PILL? Check out Sunday’s Single Dose and September’s Discover PILL Classes

I love teaching Improv classes for people who want to have fun, tap into a supportive community, and play around with personal growth.  Ask any PILL-taker what they love about class and you may get different answers.  One thing I think we all share is the joy experienced in Divine Play.  I’ll write more about why I love teaching and playing improv in another post, but right now I want you to know about 2 upcoming classes!

Discover PILL:  The Improv Way to Have Fun, Meet Nice People, & Grow!

Monday evenings 6:30p-830p, Sept 11th-Oct 16th 2017

This beginners’ class is held once/week for 6 weeks and is a great way to try fundamental improv activities and meet some fun and nice people. You may also experience increased confidence and improved communication skills. Facilitated by Beth Boynton.  We’ll make time for discussion and socializing.  No experience necessary!  Just a desire to explore the realm of this divine play with others.  Read more or register here!  This class may be repeated multiple times!  Oh and don’t miss the Early Bird rate!

Contact Beth (bbbboynton@gmail.com) with any questions!  I’m always happy to meet for coffee in Portsmouth and tell you more.

Discover PILL 2: More Divine Play the Improv Way

(It is a Single Dose PILL and STARTS THIS SUNDAY!)

4th Sunday of the month starting August 27th.

If you’ve taken Discover PILL: The Improv Way to Have Fun, Meet Nice People, & Grow and/or Stronger Together: The Extra Strength PILL for Connecting with Presence and Fun, you’ll be jazzed to know about Discover PILL 2. In this once a month level II class we’ll jump right into improv activities, try some more complex ones, and play for longer. They’ll be time for socializing and discussing too! But mostly, we’ll play! Read more or register here.  You can save by registering online.  Use the private pay option to pay the online rate at the door!

Contact Beth (bbbboynton@gmail.com) with any questions!

Spotlight on Seacoast Actor & NH’s Commitment to Holistic Health Via Art, Medicine, & Improv

Jennifer Sue Mallard is well-known for many wonderful acting roles on the NH seacoast.  Did you see her as the Lady of the Lake in this Summer’s hit show, Spamalot at Seacoast Rep?  OMG the whole show was amazing and so was she!

A newer and also exciting role for Jen is as one of the dedicated instructors at the River Guild Holistic Health Collective in Concord, NH.  Here she teaches many forms of art all of which is approached in a therapeutic way. She incorporates meditation in every class and teaches improv for adults and youth.

Jen also teaches wire wrapping healing stones, painting from your soul and collaborative choreo!

I’m loving having found an outlet to combine my passions of helping people organically and in a healthy way by using what I know And love. Art is such a beautiful form of medicine and I’m lucky to have become aware of how I can use my skills in a deeper way, to bring us all together and heal the soul!  –Jennifer Sue Mallard

The River Guild is a holistic health collective with community space serving Concord and Central New Hampshire. Their classes include yoga, healthy eating seminars, meditation, reading groups, author events, mindful parenting, art and children’s classes. Doesn’t this look like an exciting place? Whether for primary treatment or to support traditional medicine, with all the chaos in health care these days, it is reassuring to hear about a calming and loving place for healing.  And what a great place for instructors too!

Their philosophy is grounded in the firm belief that everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach!

Meanwhile, here on the seacoast Fall classes for PILL-Portsmouth Improv Learning Lab are taking shape. Applied improv, (different from improv comedy) is a fun way to meet people and grow!

Lots of Creative Happenings on the NH Seacoast-Yes, Like The PILL Filming Project!

Thanks to the amazing Out of the PILLbox Players* and Portsmouth Public Media TV, the PILL filming project is off the ground.  PILL stands for Portsmouth Improv Learning Lab where we hold improv classes for everyday people who want to have fun, develop interpersonal skills, and meet other nice people.  (We even have a new class combining mindfulness and improvisation!)

There are two goals for the filming project:

  1. To help people see how safe, fun, connecting, and enriching improv activities can be.
  2. To provide video samples of activities that can be used for teaching as discussed in my train-the-trainer book, Medical Improv: A New Way to Improve Communication.

Same Time Story aka Mirror Speech aka Synchronized Story is a fun improv activity adapted from Viola Spolin’s book,  Theatre for the Classroom. Here, Glenna Kimball and Jody Fuller demonstrate the activity while their friends look on!

As you watch this 2 min Youtube, notice:

  • How much fun they and their classmates are having!
  • How quickly they adapt to an unexpected topic and change in leadership!
  • How focused they are on each other!
  • How safe and easy this activity can be!

Same Time Story can be useful in the development of emotional intelligence and respectful listening skills and it is a great way for people to experience what it is like to be heard!  Yet, it can be tricky to teach or explain in writing!

Introducing the Out of the PILLbox Players (OOPPs)!

Jody Fuller, Glenna Kimball, Liz Korabek-Emerson, Mary Ellen McElroy. Robin Masia, Corrie Owens-Beauchesne, Anita Remig, and Dwyer Vessey! A couple OOPPs have acting backgrounds. Most do not.  All have taken some PILL classes and have agreed to help with the goals of this project.  We had a blast and will be holding 3 more sessions.  (If you are interested in participating, contact me:  bbbboynton@gmail.com)

And thanks to Chad Cordner for production support and with Colin McCarthy and Eddie Pimansone for manning the cameras!

 

Mindfulness Meets Improvisation-Part V-Cultivate Generosity

In part I of this series we explored how both practices help with listening, responding, and being present.  In Part II, we talked about starting anywhere, Part III, embracing uncertainty, and Part IV-on being kind!  

Here we explore how these two seemingly different practices both help us to: Cultivate Generosity!

When we are confident in our ability to meet our lives, moment by moment, we can afford to relax and be generous with ourselves and others.   We can take the long view and put things into perspective.  We don’t have to take ourselves so seriously.  In practicing mindfulness, once our minds settle even for a moment, we begin to connect with spaciousness, the feeling that there is enough room for things to be just the way they are.  

The ducks can just float by – we don’t have to line them all up.  

We recognize our thoughts and then practice letting them go.  We have the opportunity to further practice this when we improvise.  We have an idea of what to do next and then the situation changes and we have to shift gears, letting go of our idea.  By continuously letting go of our ideas, thoughts and scenarios in our heads and opening up to the moment fresh and curious we create the spaciousness to go with the flow.  

In the flow we start to see the bigger picture and how we can jump in and be generous.

If you are interested in experiencing these two practices (and we hope you are), join Beth Boynton and me for our exciting launch of the workshop:

Stronger Together:  The Extra Strength PILL for Connecting with Presence & Fun 

We believe you will exhale, laugh, and leave sessions feeling stronger together!

Mindfulness and improvisation?  To help people develop emotional intelligence, good communication skills, presence and deeper connections?  Granted, it’s a little out of the box.  But most fun, cutting edge and innovative stuff is.  -Liz Korabek-Emerson

Liz is a certified mindfulness instructor, transformational workshop leader and creative coach dedicated to helping people become more resilient through mindfulness.  Since 2012 she has been designing and leading mindfulness programs for individuals and organizations including the Portsmouth Hospital, Liberty Mutual, and Riverwoods Retirement community.  She also holds an MFA in theatre and brings thirty years of experience creating and directing theatre to teaching programs that are empowering, creative and engaging.  Learn more at Korabek Training.

 

Mindfulness Meets Improvisation-Part IV-Be Kind!

In part I of this series we explored how both practices help with listening, responding, and being present.  In Part II, we talked about starting anywhere and in Part III, embracing uncertainty!  Here we explore how these two seemingly different practices both help us to:

Be Kind

When we practice mindfulness, slowing down to place our awareness in the present moment, many of us are surprised to discover the vulnerability that arises in that experience.  Is this what we are trying to avoid with the speed and busyness of our lives?  But it is recognizing and accepting our inherent vulnerability that we learn the importance of kindness.  When we drop the armor of busyness, we connect to our humanity and our kind tender heart.  We can extend kindness to ourselves and others.

When we drop the armor of busyness, we connect to our humanity and our kind tender heart.  We can extend kindness to ourselves and others.

In the improvisation, everyone is on equal footing.  There are moments of stumbling, false starts or misunderstandings.  Our vulnerability shows through and we have the opportunity in the moment to forgive ourselves and lend a hand to others.

If you are interested in experiencing these two practices (and we hope you are), join Beth Boynton and me for our exciting launch of the workshop:

Stronger Together:  The Extra Strength PILL for Connecting with Presence & Fun 

(Catch the Early Bird rate through 7/19/17)

We believe you will exhale, laugh, and leave sessions feeling stronger together!

Mindfulness and improvisation?  To help people develop emotional intelligence, good communication skills, presence and deeper connections?  Granted, it’s a little out of the box.  But most fun, cutting edge and innovative stuff is.  -Liz Korabek-Emerson

Liz is a certified mindfulness instructor, transformational workshop leader and creative coach dedicated to helping people become more resilient through mindfulness.  Since 2012 she has been designing and leading mindfulness programs for individuals and organizations including the Portsmouth Hospital, Liberty Mutual, and Riverwoods Retirement community.  She also holds an MFA in theatre and brings thirty years of experience creating and directing theatre to teaching programs that are empowering, creative and engaging.  Learn more at Korabek Training.

 

Mindfulness Meets Improvisation-Part III-Embrace Uncertainty

In part I of this series we explored how both practices help with listening, responding, and being present.  In Part II, we talked about starting anywhere!  Here we explore how these two seemingly different practices both help us to:

Embrace Uncertainty

Anything can happen . . .and it usually does!  But most of don’t like that.  So we spend our time and energy trying to resist or predict or manage what is going to happen to us next.  And we wonder why we are so stressed!  Mindfulness and improvisation both allow us to relax with the uncertainty of the next moment.  

We meet it and then let it go.  

When we slow down enough to be with what is actually happening, its usually not as bad as we think, or if it is challenging, we see that we do have the resources to handle it.  Often,  someone, our scene partner steps in to help us.  In the improvisation no one knows what is going to happen next so we get the opportunity to consciously practice meeting the next unknown moment.  The uncertainty of creating on the spot teaches us to relax and become more confident in our ability to meet the new twist in the unfolding plot . . . of our lives.   

If you are interested in experiencing these two practices, join Beth Boynton and me for our exciting launch of the workshop:

Stronger Together:  The Extra Strength PILL for Connecting with Presence & Fun 

(Catch the Early Bird rate through 7/19/17)

We believe you will exhale, laugh, and leave sessions feeling stronger together!

Mindfulness and improvisation?  To help people develop emotional intelligence, good communication skills, presence and deeper connections?  Granted, it’s a little out of the box.  But most fun, cutting edge and innovative stuff is.  -Liz Korabek-Emerson

Liz is a certified mindfulness instructor, transformational workshop leader and creative coach dedicated to helping people become more resilient through mindfulness.  Since 2012 she has been designing and leading mindfulness programs for individuals and organizations including the Portsmouth Hospital, Liberty Mutual, and Riverwoods Retirement community.  She also holds an MFA in theatre and brings thirty years of experience creating and directing theatre to teaching programs that are empowering, creative and engaging.  Learn more at Korabek Training.

 

Mindfulness Meets Improvisation-Part II-Start Anywhere!

In part I of this series we explored how both practices help with listening, responding, and being present.  In this post, we start anywhere!

Mindfulness and improvisation are both practices that encourage us to jump in and start, even when we don’t have all our ducks in a row.  When we train the mind to be in the present moment, just the way it is; good, not so good or it will have to do, we begin to develop the ability to trust ourselves and our situations, even when they are uncomfortable or challenging.  This quality of trust allows us to let go waiting for the perfect moment, dress size, job, family, or self-improved version of ourselves in order to live our lives fully with appreciation and joy.  We can start now.  By making the leap of faith to be in the present moment fully! Here we learn to let go of our perfectionism, judgments and the inner critic that is all too ready to keep us from leaping into our lives, relationships, and circumstances.  

Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin.  Beginning makes the conditions perfect.  –Alan Cohen

If you are interested in experiencing these two practices, join Beth Boynton and me for our exciting launch of the workshop:

Stronger Together:  The Extra Strength PILL for Connecting with Presence & Fun 

(Catch the Early Bird rate through 7/19/17)

We believe you will exhale, laugh, and leave sessions feeling stronger together!

Mindfulness and improvisation?  To help people develop emotional intelligence, good communication skills, presence and deeper connections?  Granted, it’s a little out of the box.  But most fun, cutting edge and innovative stuff is.  -Liz Korabek-Emerson

Liz is a certified mindfulness instructor, transformational workshop leader and creative coach dedicated to helping people become more resilient through mindfulness.  Since 2012 she has been designing and leading mindfulness programs for individuals and organizations including the Portsmouth Hospital, Liberty Mutual, and Riverwoods Retirement community.  She also holds an MFA in theatre and brings thirty years of experience creating and directing theatre to teaching programs that are empowering, creative and engaging.  Learn more at Korabek Training.

Mindfulness Meets Improvisation-Part 1: Listen and Respond

According to applied improvisation blogger, Rachel Ben there are six ways that mindfulness and improvisation align with each other.  

  1. Listen and Respond
  2. Be Present
  3. Start Anywhere
  4. Embrace Uncertainty
  5. Be Kind
  6. Cultivate Generosity

The first is that both practices teach us to listen and respond.  Mindfulness, in fact, is sometimes described as “deep listening”  because in mindfulness meditation we are training the mind to let go of the internal chatter in our heads that ruminates about the past and worries about the future in order to simply observe our present moment experience.  When we can let go of that chatter, we can actually give our full attention to the person who is speaking and respond genuinely.  While mindfulness is generally practiced and taught as meditation; seated, eyes closed and silent, it can also be developed, cultivated and practiced on our feet, with our eyes open while we are interacting with other people.  It is not our posture that makes us mindful, it is how we focus our attention.  

Eighty percent of success is showing up   –Woody Allen

One of the most obvious ways that mindfulness and improvisation align is that they both teach us to be present.  The mind wanders.  Have you ever noticed?  It just does. And it thinks, a lot.  In mindfulness, we are not trying to get rid of our thoughts.  We are trying to stop chasing them so we can “stay put” with the problem we are wresting with or the conversation we are having.  We learn to “stay put” by giving the mind something stay put on that is actually happening right NOW; our breath, sounds in the room, the funny thing our scene partner just said, etc.  When we can focus on what is happening NOW with an open and flexible mind, we feel present.  We are in the game.  

If you are interested in experiencing two practices, join Beth Boynton and me for our exciting launch of the workshop:

Stronger Together:  The Extra Strength PILL for Connecting with Presence & Fun

Mindfulness and improvisation?  To help people develop emotional intelligence, good communication skills, presence and deeper connections?  Granted, it’s a little out of the box.  But most fun, cutting edge and innovative stuff is.  -Liz Korabek-Emerson

Bio

Liz is a certified mindfulness instructor, transformational workshop leader and creative coach dedicated to helping people become more resilient through mindfulness.  Since 2012 she has been designing and leading mindfulness programs for individuals and organizations including the Portsmouth Hospital, Liberty Mutual, and Riverwoods Retirement community.  She also holds an MFA in theatre and brings thirty years of experience creating and directing theatre to teaching programs that are empowering, creative and engaging.  Learn more at Korabek Training.