David is thinking about the meat faerie (zoomardav) wrote,
David is thinking about the meat faerie

Back to School

Tomorrow I begin three days of classes with Keith Johnstone. I have heard that he is a huge, difficult, English eccentric. He is also a genius. I do not use that term lightly.

His book Impro, which on the surface is about improvisational acting, is really an examination of how our culture is set up to teach children to not be creative. The first third of the book is an examination, from the point of view of a beginning teacher, of the systematic way our method of education kills original thought and actually creates mental blocks that prevent people from being creative in the future.

The rest of the book is his method for undoing that indoctrination. It is active psychology that almost borders on magic. I have seen the methods he uses change people in dramatic ways.

I will try to capture as much of him as possible in my journal. I am interested to hear his laugh and voice and watch him move. Just because his book is brilliant doesn't mean that I'll get anything from his classes.

I have heard that his acting notes seem almost random and he contradicts himself constantly.

My favorite note from him, which was told to me and I may not be remembering exactly, went something like.

"Stop trying to be original! This is about what finding comes next naturally. (dramatic pause) Now, what if his penis started talking right now? What would happen then?"

In any case, I recommend Impro for everyone involved in any creative pursuit who wonders where their blocks and judgements come from. Beg, borrow or steal it. If you hate it, feel free to barrage me with email about what an idiot I am.
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