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Spiritual Improvisation: Theater Games for Enlightenment

Improv and Theatre Games for Fun and Enlightenment

Learn to Improve Your Psychic Ability, Spiritual Empathy, Creative Thinking & Innovative Living

What is Improvisation? At it’s most simple, improv is acting without a script. Making things up as you go along,
usually based on a structure that is predefined, called an exercise. Improv can be utilized both as a workout tool
and a performance in itself. I don’t know an actor who doesn’t use improv in their work. It’s just integral to freeing
the creative juices, creating courage in performance and conquering fear of messing up.

In a good improv class, the last thing the teacher wants you to worry about is mistakes. In fact, if you aren’t
making any mistakes, you are playing it way too safe. The whole point is to stretch yourself beyond what you normally
feel comfortable doing, and seeing what happens in safe environment. You learn a lot about your own performance style
by doing improv. It begins to reveal itself to you by what works and what bombs for you.

My approach to acting is a bit different than most. I consider performance art a healing profession. I believe comedy
heals as much as drama. I’m happiest with my own performances when I can feel, from the audience, that they have
been transported to another emotional plane.

All my life, I’ve most identified with Godforce as Creator so it is with joy that I create.
What a wonderful gift acting has been for me. During a time of trauma and uncertainty, when I did not know if I’d
ever have the courage to be who I was inside, acting gave me room to “rehearse” being different. It paved
the way for real changes, by letting me try them on through stage and other mediums of the craft.

Some of the benefits I have personally gleaned from acting which have enriched my whole walk of being and not just
my acting work would include the introduction into my mind of new perspectives and increased ability to understand
the perspective of others, more confidence, greater empathy and risk-taking courage. As an acting teacher, I have
seen the same gifts that came to me through the performance arts, gifted freely to student after student. I believe
in acting. For me, it is a noble art and worthy of honor. In fact, a good acting class is one of the best tools I’ve
found for enhancing intuitive work, whether as a healer, counselor, lecturer, artist or reader.

Acting is empathic, which makes it metaphysical.

In order for me (as an actor) to create a believable character, I must be able to identify with the perspective
of that character in a way that is intimate and real. The reverse is also true: for me (as an audience member) to
believe an actor as a certain char acter, that actor must have made an organic connection with the reality being
presented. This is a spiritual gift, and not a skill.

Acting training, by way of classes or private coaching, should never have as it’s objective to “teach” acting.
Instead, let the acting class be a safe haven for the student to discover the natural gifts within, explore them,
develop them, and work through any personality blocks that would prevent free expression of them. This has been my
approach to acting, both as an actor and as a facilitator of theatre games and improv classes.

I am painfully aware that there is a great deal in the mechanics of the entertainment and performance arts industry
that is both disrespectful and unhealthy for almost everyone concerned, whether you write screenplays and see them
ripped apart and taken so far from your original vision that you hardly recognize them to the dancer whose moment
to moment brilliance can be blurred in an instant by one small miss-step to the singer who often has to tolerate
smoky bars and patrons who listen distractedly, relegating the singer to the status of the juke box.

The actor has a brutal path as well. From the high-pressure and rather ludicrous audition process where you have
a minute, maybe, to convince the casting director you are right for whatever part. (who can’t hire you, by the way,
but holds your fate in their hands and can prevent you from ever getting in front of the director, producer or writer)

Of course, unless it’s a significant role, you don’t get the whole script. You get “sides.” Very small
portions, usually only containing your lines. So you don’t know the story line, really.

Then, if you are lucky enough to pass muster with the casting director, you have to come back and do the call-back.
Sometimes, there are several call-backs.

The process is really not easy for anyone that is part of it, the agents, the directors, the producers, the crew
or the performer. But, if it was easy, there would be a lot more people doing it as evidenced by the onslaught of
reality tv. They bypass the training, the grueling audition circuit and get the job due to personality or the situations
in their lives that fit what the theme of the show is about. If I have one prayer for the television industry, it
is for the complete disappearance of reality tv before all of us forget what good acting can produce. If tv viewers
are fed this mush long enough, they will eventually accept it as acting. It patently is not, and never will be, performance
art.

So, enough ranting. Even though I am clear on the issues facing the industry, I am equally clear in my vision that
these things can change. The way it will change is by those from within, people like the Mark Vicente (What The Bleep)
and Stephen Simon (Indigo). When enough spiritual people have learned to work within the grid lines of film, television,
theatre, and all other performance arts structures, with spiritual integrity, there will be a critical mass within
the industry and it will heal. Then, it will be the vehicle for enlightenment it has always had the potential to
be. I am working for this change, and hope some of you might join me. Simply stand in spiritual truth. The power
of that is inestimable.