From the moment I discovered the transformative power of applied improvisation, it has been my mission to spread this hidden gem.
How Applied Improvisation Changed My Life
I have been an educator for most of my career, first in K-6, and then in English as a Second Language (ESL) for adults. After learning about applied improvisation and its benefits I tried it with my ESL students and was amazed by their transformation.
I have firsthand experience being a-second language learner while I was an exchange student in rural Thailand. Beyond learning a language, I learned that the keys to communication are the non-verbal skills, people skills, listening skills, and the “yes, and…” approach (which translates to agreement).
The next big “ah, ha” moment came when I learned about Viola Spolin, who is considered the Mother of Improv in the U.S. Viola began using improv games in the 1930’s with immigrant families in Chicago. Viola’s son co-founded Second City in Chicago. From there, improv took off, and is almost completely associated with the comedy world. But I was stunned: improv began with immigrant families! I thought, “It’s time to bring improv back to its original use, to develop language, communication, people skills, and relationships. This ember of improv in education needs some rekindling. It’s time to get that fire going again!
Since 2015, I have been facilitating improv workshops and events and hosting speaking engagements for students, educators and companies. I am an active member of the Applied Improv Network (AIN), an international group of professionals who support each other in using improv in settings other than comedy.
My goal is to give you the tools to enhance your communication and connections in a more fun and meaningful way.