Combining Improv and Mindfulness is Trending!

Improv and mindfulness?  Sounds kind of strange, yes?  And yet, what if we can practice being present with ourselves as well as each other?  Hmmmmmmm!

This summer Liz Korabek-Emerson and I launched Stronger Together, a 4-part workshop series where we combined meditation training with fundamental improv activities.   About 10 people jumped in to try out this seemingly weird combo where each week we had a theme for each session and started out with a warm-up activity followed by some meditation and then improv activities.

Some of the feedback we received:

  • I’m having so much fun, but it is hard to explain to my friends.
  • I’ve never felt this comfortable in a group!
  • I don’t want it to end.

And we had so much fun teaching, we are offering it again Monday evenings starting Oct 23rd at PPMTV in Portsmouth and you can learn more or register here.

Other mindfulness/improv resources include Ted DesMaison and Lisa Rowland’s series called Monster Baby Podcast and Liz’s blog series:

Mindfulness Meets Improvisation 

By Liz Korabek-Emerson

Part I: Listen and Respond (and Be Present)

Part II: Start Anywhere

Part III: Embrace Uncertainty

Part IV: Be Kind

Part V: Cultivate Generosity

At PILL we take the focus off of performance.  This helps make joyful improv activities available to anyone who wants to give them a try!

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?