Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Go women!

I just taught a brief intro to improvisation session for some ladies at the holiday party/event for Womensphere (http://www.womensphere.com/) and was reminded how powerful improv training can be in our life.

After 45 minutes, the women were hooked and wanted more---more of learning how to be MORE of who they are, more of being free to live each moment fully, more ok with whatever variable gets thrown at them. Good stuff. Its how I want to live my life.

And you? New session starts January 11 on Mondays. Jump.

http://www.kimschultz.net/

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

straight talk from Iraqis...


Here is a sampling of some of the words we heard while speaking to the Iraqi refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria:


"It's like a prison here."

"I have only one son and he cannot talk now"

"Just resettle me!"

"All day, we are sitting together...thinking...waiting...."

"I am sorry to not be able to offer you tea...but know in our heart, you are now family."

"Since leaving Iraq and my daughter, I have forgotten everything. We have no memory now, only sadness"

"There is no future for me. I only hope now for my children."

"Thanks for you!"

"It is normal to be scared now"

"There is no place called home now."

"We need voices. You must be those voices."


Friday, November 13, 2009

Home.


I'm home from my amazing trip abroad. Here are some thoughts:
__________________________________


So…one week post Middle-East-Iraqi-refugee-experience. I feel lost… a bit like a refugee myself. A bit.

Trying to wrap my brain around the experience is not easy. New York looks different. My friends seem new. All I have seems shocking. And after only three short weeks! I’m trying to spend each day growing back into my skin without losing the skin I have acquired from the Iraqis we met. I don’t want to lose what I experienced in their skin. This urban refugee crisis screams for attention, although the refugees are not. They are quietly waiting…for something to change…6 years later…

The refugees, social workers and children swirl around my head. I keep thinking about Majid and his 4 beautiful children and his brother who was shot and killed in the passenger seat right next to him. And I think about once famous boxer and artist who came from a family of artists who are now scattered all over the world. I think about his need to tell his story on his terms—the way he wanted it heard--the threatening letters, the dismembered bodies, his inability to create anything artistic anymore, the disclosure that he felt like a bat—only coming out at night. I think about the woman whose husband abandoned her and her daughter in Damascus and who wouldn’t let us take her picture, not because of fear of persecution, but because she no longer feels beautiful. I think about the poet we met, who was also a victim of intense torture, and who chose to share a love poem with us. A love poem.

And I think about the artists displaced in Damascus because art is dead in Baghdad. And I think about the hopeful Iraqi teens and young adults who are brave enough to believe in a future with education, a future of college in America. And I think about the children, always the children-- who look up at me with empty, confused eyes that have seen what children should never see.
This is what I think about now that I am back. These people who did nothing wrong but survive and flee—becoming refugees of our choice, OUR country. This is the face of our war in Iraq. This is the fallout. I feel the weight of responsibility to tell their stories as a call to action. After all, this is our mess to clean up.

I also think about the arab woman I accidentally clocked in the head at the airport in Amman and the fact I said “Shukran” (Arabic for ‘thank you’) to her instead of “excuse me” or “I’m sorry” before walking away and boarding my flight. Cut me some slack. Arabic is hard!



Stay tuned for how you can help or go now to:
http://www.thelistproject.org/
http://www.ninemillion.org/
http://www.refugeesinternational.org/

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wanna join me in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria?

The Iraqi refugee crisis is one of the most under reported humanitarian crisis in recent history, with almost 5 million Iraqis displaced from their homes, many living as illegal migrants abroad, unable to work or access health care and other social services.

Intersections has brought together a delegation of creative artists (including me: Kim Schultz, yours truly) for a trip thru Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria to meet with Iraqi refugees and various humanitarian agencies to obtain a more complete understanding of this crisis.

Once the artists return to New York they will craft a multi-media presentation about their experience. The team will work in the Middle East October 2-17.

Follow me on the blog:
http://iraqivoices.intersectionsinternational.org/

All participants on this trip will be contributing to the blog. Follow our journey into bringing attention to the Iraqi voices....

First Thought, Best Thought

I don't think my blog should be the only one you read! This is the WORLD WIDE WEB after all!
The following blog link really dovetails nicely with improv philosophy. First thoughts, first instincts tend to be most organic, most true, I believe. Enjoy!

http://www.tricycle.com/23september2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yes.

These last few days, I have been shooting a promo for a TV show I am talking about with a couple of producers who are interested. They asked for this. It's been a great opportunity and I find myself wondering how did I get here?

Hmm..... Doodeley doodeley doodeley! (That's time travel music for you neophites.)

I was drinking beer with a friend at a party and she said you should turn your show into a tv show. I said yes. I started writing. I met with my current partner and asked her if she wanted to come onboard for the project. She said yes. She said we should meet and talk regularly. I said yes. I said, "I think we should start shopping it." She said yes. I asked if an industry friend would look at the idea. She said yes. Industry friends gave notes. I said yes. Sent it to LA producer I knew. He said yes. He sent it to a fellow producer friend he had. He said yes if he could see a promo. I said yes. I made a video piece and sent it to producer. He said no. Doh! Make another. I said yes. We made another. Today. This weekend. And now we wait...for him to say yes....

Yes moves everything forward. What can you say yes to today? What won't happen if you don't?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giving the Iraqi refugees a voice.

Iraqi Voices Amplification Project (IVAP)

Kim has begun preliminary research on a new project concerning the Iraqi refugee crisis. She has been invited by a social justice organization, Intersections International, to travel to the Middle East to interview Iraqi refugees and then write and perform in a multi-disciplinary play about the experience-- shedding light on an altogether under- reported crisis. Tentative premiere date February 2010.


FROM THE INTERSECTIONS WEBSITE:In October 2009, Intersections will travel to Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria with a small group of prominent artists-photographers, filmmakers, musicians, and new media specialists- for the purpose of meeting and interacting with displaced Iraqis and hearing their stories. Upon return, Intersections will d├ębut the artist's work that results from the visit as part of a national campaign to draw attention to this most pressing issue.

www.intersectionsinternational.org/amplifyingiraqirefugeevoices


...and it all came about through improv.....just say yes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Break the Rules!

In improv, there are no rules. In life there are many rules.



In improv, people try to create rules, because it's easier to try to figure out the right way to do something, instead of your way...in the moment. In life, there are many rules. We live by rules often blindly, not even knowing how strongly they affect us.



In improv, I encourage students to break rules, to follow their imagination, intinct, gut--not the way they think it should be done, or the way other people do it. In life, there are certain rules we must follow (laws, common sense etc.) But then there are the rules that only WE decided we need to follow; rules that somewhere along the line we decided were true about us or our abilities.



What are those rules for you? What rules are you living your life by that only YOU say you have to? What rules can you break? What new vistas can be discovered in your life by breaking them---by pushing yourself past what you think you can/should do and living out on a limb, or on the edge of a cliff for a while. Sure it's scary, but isn't all good stuff at first?

Improv is just a big POTLUCK!

So....back in Minnesota...from where I hail, hang my hat, call home...we have a little custom called the potluck. Everyone brings a dish---a tator tot hotdish or a cucumber salad or some rhubarb barssss (said with a Minnesotan accent and a lot of soft sssss's...barssss) and we all eat, visit and eat some more. It's fun! Really! It's also rude to show up to a potluck empty handed, to just eat and not contribute. And since Minnesotans are nice, everyone brings a dish. Improv is just like that!



What? Huh? Did you have too many barsssss Kim?


A good improv scene means everyone brings something. First person initiates a strong start, 2nd person reacts bringing their point of view to the idea building it up. A third person entrance also gifts something. We all bring something to the scene or we stay out. That way the scene becomes juicy and delicious---like my tuna hotdish!

Every person has a gift in improv. Bring your point of view/reaction/heighten move/gift to the next scene you're in...in life or on stage. Never show up empty handed!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where are you?

Improv teaches us the importance of noticing, discovering and utilizing our environment. And since it's all made up in improv, anything is possible. But something has to be discovered. Otherwise, we are in an unknown place, standing around talking, being affected by nothing.

The best improv scenes I have seen or been a part of are those that have a vivid, fully explored environment-----a dirty, dusty, moldy basement or a beach full of clams or a space station running out of oxygen. All these environments inspire and transform the scene.

It happens through saying yes to discovery, imagination and details. We reach out and discover a book, we say yes to the fact that it feels like we're in a library, we notice how eerily quiet it is (detail) and realize it's a haunted library, which then gives us the confidence to call our scene partner a scary apparition and so on and so forth....and the scene develops and grows

In life, details of environment are equally important. When was the last time you slowed down to notice the details around you? The color of your desk, the design of a building, the humming sound in the background, the ghost next to you... These details in our space help keep us present in the moment and grateful for all we have. Slow down. Be where you are. Notice the details. Let it in. See what happens. Life is in the details.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WOMENSPHERE Class!

COURAGE, CONFIDENCE & EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS through IMPROV: A Womensphere RENAISSANCE Series
The Womensphere Renaissance Series

Renaissance. noun: Rebirth; renewal; resurrection; reactivation; revitalization. A revival of intellectual achievement or vigor . The act of reviving or condition of being revived

The Womensphere Renaissance Series is about empowering women to become more effective leaders and managers of oneself - and thus, of people, organizations, careers, and personal lives - through play, adventure, exploration, culture, and rejuvenation.

Through Womensphere's Renaissance experiences, we also bring together women from a diversity of backgrounds and expertise for inspiring connections and fun networking!
Register now! JULY 23!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sample from book...

I am writing a book on bringinging the skills of improv into your life, tentatively called
IMPROVISE YOUR LIFE: A How-To Manual for Humans
A part of the book includes exercises in Life-Prov. What follows is an excerpt:
___________________________________

MIRROR, MIRROR
Set an egg timer for 10 minutes and look at yourself in a mirror until the timer goes off. Notice your thoughts. Journal after if you feel so inspired.

ZEN
Open all the windows and doors fully in a room and stand in the middle, arms outstretched and just BREATHE.

DONE
Cross something off your ‘to do’ list today by merely doing it.

EXTREME GENEROSITY
Leave a very large tip for the next good service you get. Be more generous than necessary.

OM
Meditate. Bring out that old egg timer again. And sit and meditate for 5 minutes. Deep breathe and only breathe. Push any thoughts that pop up out of your head and focus on your breath. Extend by one minute every time you do it.

UNDERWATER BASKETWEAVING
Today, sign up for a class in something you know nothing about. Japanese? Tai Kwon Do? Painting with pastels? Check your local listings. They’re often cheap or free!

I’M BUSY
Schedule a day of PURE PLAY. Do no work or anything that could at all be conceived as work. Only play! Is it a walk? A massage? Swinging? Drawing? You get to say.
copyright 2009 K. Schultz

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

on being....

One of the most important lessons improv has to offer is how to just be.

In scenework, I am constantly encouraging my students to BE that person, don't act it, BE it! I want them to slow down and just BE in that location, just be with that person and speak and act from that place. Not easy. We get scared, defensive. Our brain likes to get in the way. Our brain wants to work. What if we didn't need to do any work?


Franz Kafka wrote on being:

You need not do anything; you need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You don't even need to wait; just become still, quiet and solitary, and the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice.


I love it when the world offers itself to me unmasked. Onstage and off.

Thanks Franz. Rock on.



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Are you where you want to be?

I was just working with a company in Florida on the idea of "Authentic Leadership". We worked on the concepts of being open and present, engaging relationships through storytelling and living in courage. It was a great workshop: a reminder to bring the WHOLE PERSON to the job. THAT's when we are successful, happy and ultimately fulfulled.

Some comments from the group:

"Improvisation reinforces how we should operate in the now and not be limited by prior experiences and prejudices"

"Just because something seems impossible, be open to it anyway. It doesn't mean it can't be done"

"Improv reminded me of where I want to be"


Are you bringing your whole person?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Want another podcast?We'll you're in luck!
__

I spoke with Eileen Lichtenstein of THE BALANCE AND POWER NETWORK
about improv as a tool for living a fuller life.


LISTEN to it now at

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The PERFECT improv partner

Want the perfect partner? Are you being one?
Are you....

participating with an open mind?
not worrying?
trusting?
giving?
Totally accepting of what your partner gifts you?
not judging?
honest?
willing to play?
truly listening?
respectful?
committed?
in the moment?
using your intelligence?
bringing all of who you are?
courageous?
supportive?
intuitive?
vulnerable?
energetic?
versatile?
exploring and heightening?
unpredictable?
confident?
receptive?
compassionate?
focused?

Then good.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dress for Success BENEFIT performance!

DRESS FOR SUCCESS BENEFIT!
Spring Into Action: A Benefit Concert for Dress for Success!
April 14, 2009 at 7:30pm

KSI House team will be performing at this benefit!

Event Details: Where: Sage Theater, 711 7th Ave, 2nd Floor (47- 48th st)
When: Tuesday, April 14th, 7:30 – 9:30pm
Tickets: Available at the door.$5 with gently worn, business-appropriate women’s suit or accepted.
$15 without item Food/Drink: Wine, beer and snacks available at the venue.

Dress for Success promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Featuring Music & Comedy by:
The MetropoliTones www.metropolitones.com
Kim Schultz Improv House Team www.kimschultz.net
Folk It All Singer/Songwriter, Kierstin Gray www.kierstingray.com

video killed the radio star

Like podcasts???
Like me?
Wanna listen to me on a podcast?
I was a guest if the JAY GRAYCE show on NY TALK RADIO.NET
We discussed my shows, my soap opera kisses and killing owls.
Tune in. Do it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hi Robot!

Introducing the NEW KSI HOUSE TEAM
HI-ROBOT
Wednesday, April 1, 9pm, Comix. No joke.
Be there.


Showbiz Expo!


I was just at SHOWBIZ EXPO yesterday!

I was exhibiting my improv wares (ie classes) in the Exhibition Hall AND I taught an improv class for participants at the end of the day. It was a great day of meeting people, sharing the magic of improv and lots of coffee! And it all ended with a free limo ride, champagne and pigs in a blanket!

Special thanks to table volunteers Tricia Scott, David Marx, Megan Hoelle and Randy O'Neill.

Check them out at http://www.theshowbizexpo.com/

PS NEW classes starting soon....see http://www.kimschultz.net/

Saturday, March 21, 2009

SINGLES IMPROV!

Single?
Tired of meeting the same people in the same way?
Curious about this improv thang?
TAKE THIS CLASS!

2 hours. 16 singles. Buckets of love potential...Think about it...You'll get all the awkward stuff out of the way now! Maybe Cupid will strike. All paired up fun and games. No pressure. Excellent way to break the ice. What do you have to lose?

Bring a friend.$25 or 2 singles for $40!
Friday night April 3, 7:30-9:30pm
Drinks after at a local bar.

Email to register
www.kimschultz.net

a thought.

"Being powerful means that my experience, my discovery, even my pleasure are mine to create. This view has us see how audiences create performances, children create parents, students create teachers and citizens create leaders. It is not that this shift of cause is necessarily true, but it gives us power. In every case, it puts choice into our own hands instead of having us wait for the transformation of others to give us the future we desire. Inverting our thinking does not change the world, but it creates a condition where the shift in the world becomes possible."

Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging

Now go be powerful! Transform!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

UNDER THE STREET IMPROV


Awesome improv show
No cover!
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1
730pm
COMIX Comedy Club
353 West 14th st---just E of 9th ave
Come check it out!
It's funnier underground!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

little ways to improvise

1. for an afternoon, say yes to everything
2. go somewhere you've always wanted to go
3. take action on something you have been putting off
4. look people in the eyes
5. next time, you have the opportunity, speak truth
6. actually listen to what is said
7. pay attention to how it is said
8. enjoy each bite of food
9. smile
10. do something nice for someone anonomously

classes!

Wanna take a class?

ONE DAY IMPROV INTENSIVE
Sunday, Feb. 1, 1-6pm
Do it all in a day. Great opportunity to jump. Low risk. Great reward. Times like these require bravery. $75

8 week LEVEL 1 IMPROV
Starts Thursday, Feb. 19, 8-10pm, $240

www.kimschultz.net for more

Jump into Improv!