Johnnie Moore

Relax your clever

and the inner game of improv
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

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

improvising inside my own head

Transcript of this video:

One of the things I really like about running an improv workshop for people is that it always reminds me of the principle that we all teach what we most need to learn.

Or, another way of thinking it is when I catch myself doing too much teaching in an improv session, I usually trip up.

So I was showing them a wonderful game yesterday and I was trying at some point in the game to demonstrate something by my performance in it. And I completely stuffed up and I had to laugh at myself.

Ah, yes, I must remember my own improv principle of Relax Your Clever.

It’s one of my favourites because it’s the one that I have to relearn again and again when I trip up by overthinking things.

And another joy of spending a morning doing improv, which I was doing with some students here yesterday, is that I spend the rest of the day thinking, oh, this is good stuff.

I must remember to apply it to myself. And last night I woke up in bed, as I often do at three in the morning, worrying about stuff.

And actually I realised that that’s often when I actually do my best improv performances. Not on stage for a crowd, but inside my head.

When I try to figure out, well, how can I think differently?

How can I talk to myself differently?

Can I have a different relationship to myself here at three in the morning so that I might have a chance of getting back to sleep? So last night when I was finding myself awake worrying, I remembered the improv principle of Relax Your Clever.

And I pretty much laughed in bed. I physically relaxed. I think because I practice that principle, I have an almost instant response to it whenever I remember to apply it.

That allows me to let go of some of the over-analytic dialogue that I’m prone to and have a more playful relationship with myself.

And I think we often see improv as this extrovert comic performance done on a stage.

And it’s worth remembering that it can be a very personal and very intimate practice we apply to our conversations with ourselves.

Photo by Himanshu Choudhary on Unsplash

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