If you are an improviser you have probably heard the term “Group Mind”. What most people mean when they say “Group Mind” is that the group not only acts as one entity, but the result on stage is also greater than the sum of the parts. When you are experiencing group mind you will find yourself jumping on ideas that you would have never thought of, but seem to be perfect. Everything flows. We try to develop group mind in all of our house teams and groups to have our players to be a part of something bigger than the individual.
I believe group mind comes from the individuals all believing in something bigger than themselves. Something that the group all has in common and have faith in and believe, so much so that they may even lose themselves as an individual for a bit. For people who belong to a church or done Habitat for Humanity know what I am talking about. Broncos fans know what I am talking about. Anyone who had been in a march, parade, mob or a riot knows. We all have to have the same focus and goal and move as one. Once we all have the big picture it is up to us as individuals to embody that philosophy.
For improvisers that philosophy is part of the very nature of improv:
Support and build on each other’s ideas, trust yourself, others and that the story will unfold the way it needs to, take the next step, pay attention, be ‘in the moment’, don’t know what will happen next - just know it will be perfect, the smallest things matter, own it, make bold choices, make mistakes, laugh, smile, support and play.
These are some of our beliefs and philosophy as improvisers. All of these beliefs and more help us create something out of nothing on stage. These are also the rules we need to embody to help create group mind. When we start taking these practices off the stage and into our group, our rehearsals and our social time together that is when we start to develop group mind.
When I think of Improvisation I think of the word ALACRITY. This means: liveliness or briskness, a cheerful readiness, promptness of response, or willingness; alertness, gameness, goodwill. This is what I think of when I think of an improvisational attitude. To me an improviser is someone who is ready, enthusiastic and quick to join. When you have a bunch of people with this mind set on and off stage, you are that much closer to achieving group mind.
Improvisation should not just how we perceive the world on stage, it should be how we engage each other off stage too. Taking the lessons of improvisation into our core and putting them into play in our social interaction, our rehearsals, our warm-ups, and hopefully our life. This is how we start to create group mind with our group and a more improvisation life in general.
Improvisation is our philosophy, spirit, or beliefs on and off stage. We need to be improvisational in every aspect of our lives at The Bovine. When questions come up we need to ask “WWID” (What Would Improvisers Do?) and we need to bring it not only to the stage but to rehearsals, warm-up, the box office, the light booth, in our social interactions and in classes. When we all embody the spirit of improvisation we sow the seeds of group mind in our class, group, show, theater and world.
Improv Your Life!
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