I follow Joe Bill Teaches on Facebook,  He’s a founder of the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago, IL.  If you are an improviser and you don’t know Joe Bill, shame on you!  I didn’t know what it meant to be a director or even an improv coach until I met him.

Anyway, he posted this on his FB page a while back.  It has stuck with me:

Joe directed us to the segment around the 3:35-5:00 portion of the video.  This is where Iain McGilchrist talks about how the frontal lobe inhibits our actions.  It allows us to stand back from the immediacy of a situation and assess it.  He goes on to say it allows us to be ‘Machiavelli’ – out wit others and scheme.  We can read people’s intentions and mis lead them.  It also means we can empathize… Well what does this have to do with improv?

It’s that bit in the begining about how our brain inhibits our actions. Joe Bill and other improv teachers talk about ‘exercising your improv muscle.’  It’s the part of your brain that is trying to help us assess, scheme, empathize with others.  But when you are on stage performing without a script and the next thing to happen/be said is knocking around in your brain somewhere, nothing should hold it back!  But it does get held back too often.

Joe is writing a book on the subject and I’m looking forward to reading it!

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