Johnnie Moore

Create with crap

a story of applied improvisation
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

improvising isn't always about fun

Transcript of this video:

The other day I bumped into someone who works at the university who I hadn’t seen for a while. I used to see him at the pool in the mornings, but we hadn’t overlapped for quite some months.

And when I saw him the other day, I noticed two things. One, he was walking with a crutch, and two, he’d shed quite a bit of weight and was looking really lean and fit.

So I asked him what had happened and he’d had a quite serious ankle injury that from which he had physically fully recovered, but it had left some kind of neurological pain issue where it was still very painful to him.

And that the only treatment for it was quite intense physiotherapy, which boiled down to him doing three hours a day of exercise.

Hence the really obvious physical fitness.

And I thought he was a kind of wonderful walking, talking manifestation of another improv principle, which comes from my friend Cathy Salit in New York, which is: Create with Crap.

I like the bluntness of it.

I think improv often gets labeled as just a thing that we do to create lots of fun and is all very joyful, but sometimes it can be about creating with crap, taking a really rotten situation and seeing what you can make from it.

And it’s not that trite. one of, “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade” because you won’t get lemonade out of it. You get a mixed series of results.

But what you do is you take what you’re given and see what you can make from it.

And I really, I really like that, very down to worth, very practical way of thinking about what improvisation can be.

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

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