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.

...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 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 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.