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“Does this make me look fat?”

"Does this make me look fat?" We play an active part in constructing our identities, as this Observer article pointed out. We decide amongst us who counts as 'fat' or 'thin', and our decisions shift over time. There's an element of improvisational 'yes.. and-ing'...

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How Sir Tim improvised the world wide web

 How Sir Tim improvised the world wide web Innovation may turn out to be radical, but it’s built on solid foundations of what is already working. Steven Johnson is an expert in where good ideas come from, and he picks the prime example of the World Wide Web, created...

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Applying Improvisation on the battlefield

Applying Improvisation on the battlefield Improvising at a bomb site comes easily, according to this ordnance officer.  The winners are those who adapt the fastest in a deadly battle of wits.  I guess this article from Wired magazine in 2005 was one of the...

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Spontaneous Britain

A witty remark from Guy Browning, which certainly chimed 12 years ago. But is this still true of British culture now? I reckon there’s more spontaneity around now, more surprises in public life, and we are less in thrall to old, rehearsed spectacles. And there’s still...

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Using improvisation to access your quirky creativity

 Using improvisation to access your quirky creativity Julia Davis was one of my favourite improvisers in my More Fool Us performing team. She was reliably quirky, with a willingness to dig deeper into any scene, riffing on the off-beat, while generously sharing the...

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Ruth Jones and James Cordon

Ruth Jones and James Cordon – improvising the Gavin & Stacey script I always enjoyed working with Ruth Jones when she was in my improvisation comedy performing team, More Fool Us. She’s a wonderful collaborator and I was reminded by this old cutting that fell out...

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Why games are the future

 Why games are the future The future may be hard to predict, but back in 2011 Jane McGonigal was spot on with this one. It's a trend that's still emerging, people playing to play - for enjoyment as much as for winning. And clever designers are producing...

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When to press Play instead of Say

When to press Play instead of Say We know it’s important to get a presentation off to a good start. And a good idea, perhaps, to use music to make an impact. A speaker I recently saw at a conference began his presentation with these words, which he surely didn’t...

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 Wimbrovisers Hope you are enjoying your Wimbeldon. Listen out for the commentators applauding a player for an improvised shot. They mean that the player has done something a bit unusual – with an odd angle or an unlikely stretch. Yet there’s another sense in which...

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Failure Fetish Flies Again

 Failure fetish files again The failure fetish gets another airing in a TEDx talk, brought to my attention in a recent newsletter from a colleague. A child does poorly in a school test and doesn’t tell me, his mother, says Dr. Kathleen Ciez-Volz. ‘Gabe is embarrassed...

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How did you get here: did you improvise?

 How did you get here: did you improvise? It’s fun to ask people at meetings how they got there. They usually answer with details of a walk, a car drive or an adventure with public transport. Someone occasionally asks how far back I want them to begin. “I was born in...

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