Embrace the Improv Mantra for a Better World

The best improvisation (improv) actors and actresses, like Canadian Mike Myers, but especially those in theater games, will tell you that it’s simple in a philosophical sense. You only had one rule and that rule was also the key to success.

You can’t deny another person’s reality, you can only build on it.

Mike Myers

Mike Myers

That is, whatever someone said or did, you have to accept it and build on it, not contradict it because it stops everything in its tracks. However, I would be willing to bet main reason most people have trouble doing improv is that it’s more natural for them to contradict than to accept. Most times we don’t get something, we stop to clarify if we say anything at all. Most times we don’t agree, we stop to assert ourselves if we say anything at all, which you have to in improv to avoid one person dominating the act. It’s just hard for a lot of us to obey that rule because contradiction is done so commonly these days that it is second nature to us, if not always but maybe not ever to the same extent today given people are given voice on so many medium. You have to act to act right, basically, and that acting to be something rather than believing it it so you do it second nature will give you away as a fraud or bad actor to an audience.

Not being well versed in improv theatre, when I heard Mike Mayers say the improv mantra on the Bravo channel a few Sundays ago during an episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio, I was blown away and thought wouldn’t that be a nice thing to embrace more often?

I didn’t think it was something to do all the time like the mantra. I love debate, but I also believe in giving things a chance and opening one’s mind, and this definitely allows that if I only would embrace it more often… as well as others around me.

Emily Levine

Emily Levine

Coincidentally, four days later, on TED.com, my favourite learning source these days, the video below was put up. It was of humorist, writer and trickster Emily Levine talking about a lot of things in her Theory of Everything, “intelligent comedy” format style. In this superbly philosophical and hilarious talk, she philosophized a thought similar to mine of said improv mantra being a great ethic for a society.

How these things played into my mind, I don’t know, but last week, I came up with the idea to try acting classes as my new thing to try this year. I looked up local acting classes and found one, Intro to Theatre Acting, which is improv style stuff, not scripted acting like on film.  Fortunately for me, it started yesterday so I didn’t have to wait long to get into things before my enthusiasm might have faded.

Then I came home and saw that WordPress.com came out with a great announcement of how to embed TED videos into your post easily. Thanks, WordPress folks, and keep up the phenomenal work! This TED news to WP was the trifecta of the perfect storm for me to create this post and share this very thought provoking and gut choking talk so I hope you will have a look, listen and enjoy.

Be warned, though! I’ve told you. This is intelligent humour! If you don’t think it’s funny, either check your intelligence, anatomy for a humour bone or both!

Check the TED.com category on my blog for other posts where I’ve shared my favourite TED videos with some blog material. Otherwise, see my full collection of TED videos I liked enough to share on my Vodspot vlog. Or just see what I’ve viewed recently (and others through this blog) via the Vodspot plugin WordPress allows at right.

Can you tell I LOVE TED? 🙂

Silver Screen Facebook Picture Tagging Meme

NEW!

Audrey Hepburn

Sample avatar of Audrey Hepburn (actual size)

Click here to see the video I made with these and similar images to 1940s crooner Margaret Whiting singing The Lies of Handsome Men.

And click here to get avatars and buddy icons of the 20 silver screen stars you see here, plus 8 more I did not use to create the collage below!

This is an old skool style Facebook tagging meme where it’s just pictures you tag and attribute whatever to them you choose to, not a new style version where there’s a more direct message. However, I just realized that just about everything that’s been created has been for the younger generation. While it’s true the younger generations do dominate the Internet usage, and Facebook, that was no reason to not create something for our elders.

Here’s how to get the picture:

  • Click on the picture below to get it at full size.
  • Right click on that picture and save to your computer.
  • Upload it to your Facebook profile.
  • Tag your friends (or let them tag themselves).
  • Click the Back button on your browser to return to this post.

Please click here for a complete list of over 100 Facebook picture tagging memes on this site with which you can use for fun with your friends.

I read somewhere that the elders were the largest growing age demographic of Internet users, in part because it was an effective way to keep up with their grandchildren and/or children. Intuitively accurate, if you ask me, as there’s a lot of motivation to be found in being involved in the lives of grandchildren, especially if you have a lot of time on your hands. Still, the elder demographic fall behind the averages. Check out the Forrester Research’s Groundswell Blog Social Technographics profiles to confirm. Pick the 55+ age category for any country and see how the blue bars tend to fall short of the thin white vertical line average for every participating category of Internet users.

Apr 14 update: CNN confirmed what I said above in its All in the Facebook family story on Apr 13.

Those Social Technographics further revealed the 55+ users to be very unlikely to be Joiners or users who maintain social networking profiles, i.e. Facebook users. But as said above, that was no reason to avoid creating something for them. So here is a collection of classic movie stars from the silver screen, when the silver screen still looked silver. They are beautiful portraits which I personally see no reason why the younger generation couldn’t use themselves and learn something of our treasured past. Heck, they sure look better to me than a lot of the movie star picture these days!

Video notice courtesy of the lifelessons4u blog.

Special credits goes to Dr Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans site for many of the portraits used in the Facebook tagging picture above. Beautiful galleries and lots of great info!

By the way, what’s the big deal with Bette Davis’ eyes, like mentioned in Kim Carnes’ song? [ Lyrics ]

Have you seen Lauren Bacall’s eyes? Them’s first degree murder!

Lauren is not in the Facebook tagging meme because she is still living. Yeah, those eyes will even keep Death away!

 

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