Hey there everyone!!
The Hero’s Journey
An ordinary person, like you or me, set off on a quest. It is an extraordinary quest that is epic. This person sets off on this journey and they meet a very wise man or wizard, who offers us some magic words or potions. And thus armed, we venture forth to some fairy kingdom or an enchanted castle in some far off realm. In seeking to reclaim a kidnapped maiden, or a priceless treasure, or the Holy Grail, what do we do???
We battle all the invaders and fight off all the problems. On our quest we encounter wonders beyond our description as well as monsters of a thousand kind. But with a pure heart, the wise man’s powers, we slay the dragon, we liberate the treasure, and we return home with the prize.
That’s humanity’s favorite story. We can find it children’s literature, and from myths from all cultures. It’s in the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, of Raiders of the Lost Ark, of Dante’s Divine Comedy, and it’s the game of Dungeons and Dragons.
Sometimes the hero’s name is King Arthur. Other times the hero’s name is Luke Skywalker. The hero could be a heroic parent who leaves a war-torn country and all possessions to start from nothing in a foreign land for their children.
Isn’t this story sort of like your life story?
The Modern Journey
It’s easy to forget our epic story when we can be distracted by all the cultural stimulation and escapes in an attempt to be happy. No matter what we achieve or who we become, there’s a constant yearning to remedy all the dissatisfaction and stop the default boredom of life.
Meditation, yoga, spirituality, silent retreats, and all sorts of other modalities of shifting consciousness help to have us understand that our happiness comes without attachment to any external circumstance. Be here now.
But aren’t these therapies distractions in themselves? They keep us from living the life that is given to us by seemingly random external circumstances (or divine intention).
Find a Game in the Scene
One technique to enhance a theatrical scene in improvisational comedy is to find a game in the scene. In improv, the game could be things like always trying to one-up fellow improvisers gaining status, bringing a unspoken intention into the scene, or always trying to start every sentence with the next letter of the alphabet (very challenging!).
While such games can seem very tedious or childish, they are extremely entertaining and funny to watch. And the beauty is that the humor doesn’t come from the characters’ success—it comes from actors failing at their games.
In life, and in improv, we’re just in the scene we’re in. As some say, “it is what it is”. Trying to deny the scene of what has already been established is not only unproductive, it isn’t very entertaining nor fun.
A scene could be us waiting at the doctor’s office. A scene could be a ride on a bus. A scene could be a group conversation. The question is, is our mind somewhere else, or are we playing full-out in the scene we’re given?
The game could be just to remain present and engaged. The game could be to keep thinking of new games. The game could be anything, as long as it is fun to us. The point is that we are the creator of the game, and we can create a game that is fun, and that we can win (or a game that never ends, because it doesn’t need to end until the scene changes).
Make your scenes in life fun. Find a game. Find a game in the scene. And live life like it’s a giant improv game, scene by scene.
Let’s love the world together…
[)anish /|hmed blind visionary
Special Speaking Tip for Professional Speakers:
Find a Game in the Speech. For example, get the audience to repeat a catch-phrase that you insert at regular intervals.