All the world’s a stage and… that stage is currently on fire, literally and figuratively. The cast of characters is a mix of firefighters and pyromaniacs, and it’s being written by a pandemic, systemic racism and climate change. And no one knows how it will end.

What a great time to be an improviser!

We are dealing with so much, onstage and off. We’re trying to recover and repair, and we need the skills of an improviser just to stay upright. We need to keep our heads and our minds on a swivel, looking for offers and opportunities in everything that is happening. At this moment in time the suggestion from the world is not “spatula” or “two people at a bus top”, it is “survival”. Improvisers are trained to survive and flourish in a world that is not written but rather being created in real time. We have a skill set that thrives in chaos and not knowing. Our training teaches us to use what we have and to build on it. We take stock of the inventory of the moment and act. However in this particular moment we find ourselves rushing past offers in a panic to get somewhere safe. To get somewhere known. We are speeding up our lives looking for a moment in the future when really we need to double down on now. What comes next is really what comes now? We will never have as much control as we do right now. We can’t control the next moment only this one. So how do we maintain our cool? First thing- SLOW DOWN and take your time. Support your partner. Listen to your partner. See your partner. And as Keith Johnstone has said often…MAKE YOUR PARTNER LOOK GOOD. This very simple advice is a game changer onstage or off. Imagine if we always put others first? The ripple effects of people feeling seen and heard would create a different kind of world. One in which people would no longer feel ignored, isolated, or siloed, but would be engaged. You can see this kind of kindness ripple onstage. When improvisers are supporting and positive with their fellow players you can see it literally alter the show. …

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