the play of life

Julia Dilli

I have been noticing lately the pervasive presence of spontaneity (or lack thereof) in and around me.

When I think outside the box, I see how relevant this concept is to my life: in many ways I move through my life as if in a scripted play, caught up in doing and saying the same things laid down early on – the safety and disservice of staying to the script! Hey but who wrote this life? – after years of this habitual responding the world loses its novelty, closes in around me – it might be time to revise some of those lines, acts and character!

What if I bring this improvisation practice more fully into my life: to be present in this moment, listen more deeply to myself and others, to trust my contribution? This releases the spirit of spontaneity, the electrical impulse that brings matter to life (think Mary Shelley giving life to her creation, Frankenstein). Without spontaneity we are objects moving through the world. With it, we are enlivened, creative beings.

The central premise of improvised theatre is to agree to accept things as they are introduced, and add more to the offer. This is generally referred to as ‘Yes, and…’. I know this is what makes playback enactments work: actors rehearsing together weekly to listen to each other; to accept; and then trust ourself to add to or expand what our fellow performer brings…. I was asked to write a blog for the website and have, to this point, talked myself out of doing it: who would be interested in what I have to say, aren’t there enough words floating around in the world, where would I start….and so on. All rationalisations, really, for me not to just do it. (Which reminds me of another impro tenet: ‘just show up’ – nothing happens if you don’t show up, but I am getting a bit ahead of myself.)

‘Yes, and…’: what a great principle to live by! I invite you to give it a go, see what you can create today….