First 50 Days
DAY 38-40: Keith... Effing... Johnstone (Mar 18-20)Written by Matt Elwell, CPLP
Okay, I know I just was away from the office for several days, but I thought I still needed to do this. Keith Johnstone, one of the giants of our particular style of improv (short-form / game-based), was in Chicago to teach a 3 day workshop. I opted to take it.
I could write pages on this experience, but here's the lesson: if you're managing in a creative organization, take time to recharge your own creative batteries. Johnstone's words and exercises gave me pages of ideas to bring back to our ensemble. Yes, I lost 2-3 days of productivity, but I have material for 3 months of rehearsals, as well as a whole new (to me) way of looking at our show.
Now, I knew "about" Johnstone. I had read his classic, Impro, and had leafed through Impro for Storytellers. But, without direct experience of his concepts, I always held them on the periphery of what I learned in Chicago improv classes. There's a lot that improvisers of all stripes could learn from this guy.
(One warning if he comes back to the states to teach again: he really loves having a couch on stage. He's going to mention it like 15 times a day. But that's a small price to pay to be in the presence of genius... couch loving genius.)
Big thanks to Colleen Laliberte and skwalkingheads.com for bringing Keith to Chi-town!