Drop By | pop-up improv, on demand (OD), friends

imageMy Saturday afternoons have been spent indoors creating and having fun. For several past Saturday afternoons, I have been doing a series of 90-minutes(-ish) drop by improv workshops at my friend’s home, and it has be FUN!

This post shares what my friends and I have been up to over in the East Bay.


Homegrown Improv. My friends wanted to take weekend Introduction to Improv classes in May, and I agreed I would join them. We found two options offered – Synergy Theatre (Sundays in Berkeley, 8 weeks for a total of 24 hours) and Endgames Improv (Saturdays in San Francisco, 7 weeks for a total of 21 hours). However, because of some scheduling issues, they did not sign up for classes. The result? From a casual conversation, I said “YES!” when they asked if I would drop by their home to teach them improv on the weekends.

Their interests in improv

After talking through about their interests in taking improv classes – if not for performing purposes, their three reasons boiled down to the following –

    • to learn basic improv skills
    • to apply improv skills to public speaking
    • to have fun

The reference to public speaking? One of them finished reading Scott Berkun’s book, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and Berkun mentions the benefits of improv. Here is Berkun’s What I Learned From Improv Classwhere he shares his perspectives about assumptions (about improv) that are wrong and what he learned.

(Side note: Prior to their expressing any interest in improv classes, they have watched improv around the SF Bay Area. And because we are friends, of course I subjected them to playing improv warm-ups and games with me.) 

Our past three weeks of OD’ing on improv

After agreeing to pull together a loose curriculum to support my friends’ interests – AND with the surprise of their 10-year old son also wanting to play, the following are how we have spent our last three Saturdays – warm-ups, exercises, and short form games.

Week 1

We started scratching the surface on demonstrating some of the basics. (Yes, these are in order.) Prior to getting improv-physical, I talked a little about improv and applied improv.

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Week 1 warm-ups, exercises, games

20160521_124521-1.jpgI pulled from my bookshelves a variety of improv-related books and a card game to kick us off. These were pulled to let them know the variety of improv-related resources.

I also talked about online resources. And of course, I mentioned Mama Tina Fey (via her interview at Talks at Google) and the four rules she shares from Bossypants, The Way of Improvisation (TEDx talk) by Dave Morris, and VAPAPO from Jill Bernard because it would be fun to make up characters.

Week 2

Based on their reaction about what they enjoyed (and did not enjoy), I added a few more like-kind warm-ups and exercises – AND I snuck in some scene work via “Shop Talk” and variations of “Scene Paint” exercises.

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Week 2 warm-ups, exercises, games

Turns out – they enjoy scene work, are naturals at creating characters, and have fun doing so! Ask me about their Shop Talk scene of earthly superheroes as customers in a cupcake eatery. What a treat to watch them!

Week 3

Based on their reaction AND what I enjoyed watching, I added a few more like-kind warm-ups and exercises, revisited a few oldies, and snuck in creating characters.

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Week 3 warm-ups, exercises, games

Our next drop by* will be a best of our three weeks and more like-kind activities to reinforce improv basics and applied improv and to sneak in more scene work and character work.

Our ritual closings – puns!

We have been ending with a couple of pun games (in the spirit of Made Up Theatre fun like their Laugh Track City) including One Eighty Five and its pun cousins – I Kissed A and Sex with me. (Admittedly, we do not play Sex with me when youngsters are around. Of course, adults can play that game whenever they would like – and they do.)

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Want to join us? Let me know.
Want me to Drop By your place? Let me know.

*We’re on a brief break and will start-up again later this month or early July.
We’ll also see about jamming, so they can get the real feels of improvising with others.

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Hello | tiny habits, coach, more about me

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I am a Tiny Habits Certified Coach with specialty coaching of An Improv Mindset in the Workspace. Recently, coaches had an opportunity to introduce (virtually) ourselves to each other , for which I share here, my responses to the six prompted questions –

1) Where do you live?
2) Why did you become a Tiny Habits Certified Coach?
3) How long you have been a Tiny Habits Certified Coach?
4) What is your Tiny Habits Coach specialty? (If you haven’t defined one yet, that is ok. If you have more than one, please list them all.)
5) Share an interesting or unique fact about yourself.
6) Share anything else that you would like other coaches to know.

Below are my responses (some edited) in “short” and “long” versions.

Short Version

1) California, USA

2) I became hooked on Tiny Habits in January 2012. Then I wanted not only to formally share and memorialize my experience/expertise but also to complement my consulting and applied improvisation services.

3) 2 years (certified Nov 2013)

4) My Tiny Habits Coach specialty:
**An IMPROV MINDSET in the WORKSPACE **
where I bring together behavior design, tiny habits, and applied improvisation to coach folks in environmental health & safety practices, professional development, diversity and equity awareness, and leadership.

xojane_morning face5) An interesting fact about myself – I was one of 75 readers of xoJane (dot) com who was featured in their “75 of Your Gorgeous Morning Faces — Featuring No Makeup” where we were asked to submit on a Friday morning “our faces as we looked on our pillows.”

6) For earning my living and experiencing life, I am interconnecting different interests and endeavors. I have been a performing improviser since 2011, and if you are an improviser – “Hello fellow cult member!” (I completed the iO Chicago 5-wk intensive this 2015 summer!) Oh – one more “cult” of which I am part – I love Fluevog shoes.

Long Version

  • I live in the U.S., California, in a part of the San Francisco (SF) Bay Area, on the East Bay side, ~ a 35-min drive from SF.
  • boot camp_dog tagAfter my first 5-day session of Tiny Habits (TH) in January 2012, I became hooked on (and addicted to) the simplicity, results, and fun. In June 2012, I completed BJ Fogg’s Behavior Design Bootcamp. I quickly started experimenting more with TH in and for the workspace – making one’s workday experience not suck. I chose to become a TH Certified Coach not only to formally share and memorialize my experience/expertise but also to complement my consulting and applied improvisation services.
  • Since late-Nov 2013, I have been a Tiny Habits Certified Coach.
  • My Tiny Habits Coach specialty:
    ** An IMPROV MINDSET in the WORKSPACE **
    where I bring together behavior design, tiny habits, and applied improvisation to coach folks in environmental health & safety practices, professional development, diversity awareness, and leadership.I apply the Tiny Habits method at the intersection of Behavior Design and Improvisation in the areas I LOVE -* Building Environmental Health & Safety Habits
    * Self-Mentoring for Professional Development
    * Diversity, Culture, and Bias Recontextualized
    * On Becoming and Being a Servant Leader
  • For earning my living and experiencing life, I am interconnecting my interests and endeavors –

Environmental Consulting (think air quality and power plants)
Behavior Designer / Anthrocubeologist (a coined term)
Tiny Habits Certified Coach (profile yet to be posted)
Improviser (performing since 2011, think unscripted sketch), and
Servant Leader philosophies and The Way (via Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership)

I have been a performing improviser since 2011, and if you are an improviser – “Hello fellow cult member!” (I completed the iO Chicago 5-wk intensive this 2015 summer!)

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from week 3 of 2015 iO Summer Intensive – Section 4, aka Backup Pants, aka Wizard Lobsters

Oh – one more “cult” of which I am part – I love Fluevog shoes.

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(Yes, this is John Fluevog at the Haight Street, San Francisco store.)

 

Intersect | improv, engineering, behavior design

SHORT VERSION. I am going to speak at a Professional Development Conference (March 2016) for Safety Engineers. My in-the-works presentation title – Who’s Building Healthy and Safe Habits, Anyway? – hints at the use of improv. And as suggested by a friend –

… would put more emphasis on the use of improv techniques to effect healthy habits, rather than focusing on BBS itself, and that it would be interactive, insightful, and very much fun.

(BBS is Behavior-Based Safety, on wikipedia)

Intersection (or Mashup)

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L-R: me, Debbie

Debbie is correct. I have created one way to bring improv and engineering together – Building Environmental Health & Safety Habits. That one way is my use of behavior design as the bridge connecting engineering and improv.

Knowing the health and safety related goals for safety engineers + various improv warm-ups, exercises, and games, behavior design is the landscape to link the fun of improv and improv mindset to the nitty-gritty of safety first.

LONG VERSION. Here is the long version, thought process of how that intersection (or mashup) has evolved in my mind –

  • (late 1994) starting my energy and environmental consulting practice to serve air quality permitting; power plant siting, construction and operations; regulatory compliance; project management; and environmental management decision-making;
  • (late 1990s) serving as a project manager and being involved in select tasks involving compliance documentation for risk management programs, process safety management, and regulatory deviations;

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  • (early 2000s) spending some time at power plant construction sites where daily meetings and check-ins happen, not to mention the emphasis on safe procedures and activities (and learning about different types of accidents);

30a_NH3inj piping fr NH3 tank

  • (late 2007) re-entering a traditional cubicle workspace (aka cubeopolis) and putting my consultancy on-hold to eliminate conflict of interest (on LinkedIn)
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Two months into cubeopolis, after deciding to put my thirteen year consultancy on hold

  • (early 2011) becoming a student and performer of improv and becoming a student of servant leadership through the Greenleaf Center (about the Center)
  • (late 2011) trying out Health Month (about Health Month)
  • (early 2012) testing different approaches for friends to shift behaviors toward healthier habits and toward productive workspace interactions
  • (summer of 2012) attending three conferences – the 22nd Annual Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership Conference in Indianapolis; the annual Applied Improvisation Network World Conference (see AIN storify) in San Francisco; and BJ Fogg’s Behavior Design Boot Camp in Healdsburg (about Boot Camp)
  • (late 2012) realizing that because I not only enjoy environmental work but I also enjoy the practice of being an improviser and servant leader, I also want to create something that allows me to learn, practice, and share about my areas of interest
  • (early 2013) attending my first Camp Improv Utopia West (about camp)

camp improv utopia

  • (summer 2013) speaking at the 23rd Annual Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership Conference, co-presenting Who’s a Servant Leader Anyway? (on SlideShare, presentation)

写真

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Shoes: Fluevog, Choice family

  • (late 2013) becoming a Certified Coach for Tiny Habits® method (about coach program)
  • (early 2014) quitting my job

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  • (early 2014) leading an improv-dance activity for ~ 60 participants at the 2nd Annual Design for Dance conference hosted by Stanford’s Persuasive Tech Lab in Palo Alto (my blog post about event)
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(Dress: Stella Carakasi / Two Star Dog; Shoes: Fluevog, Hopes | Promise)

  • (early 2015) speaking at the 18th Annual EUEC (Energy, Utility & Environmental Conference) (presentation) in the early morning session on the last day of the conference, where I included a very brief improv-inspired warm-up

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  • (early 2015) figuring out different ways to interconnect what I enjoy learning and doing by bringing an improv mindset to the workspace

Make sense? I am basically applying the principles of behavior design (including creating tiny habits) toward applied improvisation (e.g., the practice and philosophies of improv in a non-performance context) for the environmental health and safety industry sector. This is a similar to what I have done/am doing for servant leadership.

And a bonus of this – select activities are part of my business endeavors.

What are you interconnecting and mashing up that have not traditionally co-existed?