Improvisation is like embarking on a flight to a foreign country you even didn’t know existed!
Who knows what’s gonna happen…
I encountered this art when I was 19 years of age, attending a conference in Vienna. There was a performance I innocently watched. Until, from one minute to the next I got dragged on stage and of course completely froze. All the other actors jumped around me, doing crazy things.
I thought: ‘This is definitely not for me!’
Nowadays I often walk on stage with no preconceived idea about what I’m gonna do at all! It’s terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. My much younger self would have a hard time believing that improvisation could grow so close to my heart. More so, that it would be the fundamental underlying practice for all of my work; Be it art, writing, or performance.
Check out my other post on the matter: Not being able to stop, because you’re loving it!
In my opinion, if you want to create original work, no matter in what field, improvisation is the way!
Even though it seems terrifying, the greatest gift this practice can give to you, is that you discover something about yourself and the world, you didn’t know before. New ideas begin to form in your head.
The empty space is where the magic begins!
- When you embark on the journey of improvisation, it is important to bring yourself to the present moment. Don’t allow yourself to get ahead of yourself.
- It is also crucial to keep your inner critic in check. Otherwise it’ll run the show like only a dictator can.
- Trust your first idea and just run with it however trivial it may seem. You’ll be amazed how interesting the apparent simple things can be.
If you want to know more about the principles of improvisation I recommend either Keith Johnstone’s book called ‘Improvisation and Theatre’ or Stephen Nachmanovitch’s book called ‘Free Play, Improvisation in Life and Art’
And now stop planning for a bit and improvise! If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them in the comments section! Also, watch out for my new series Anja’s World!