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11/2013 對話訊息:「即興大師 專業認證引導師葛塞爾系列活動後記」| Izzy Gesell’s Facilitation Improv Series

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10 月上旬,朝邦文教基金會和國際引導師協會台灣分會邀請即興大師 專業認證引導師葛塞爾Izzy Gesell來到台灣,與多元組織 進行一系列的活動,分享如何運用即興,幽默,故事的概念在個人和組織的學習。

在其中的一個工作坊中,葛塞爾邀請大家自願上台時,全場的每一個人都猶豫了。安靜了幾分鐘後,葛塞爾問大家為什麼猶豫。有些參與者回答:「因為情況無法預期!」在幾次的即興遊戲之後,整個房間充滿了歡笑,Izzy Gesell又問大家為什麼笑,他們又說:「因為情況無法預期!」這就是即興戲劇的力量,可以從另人卻步化身為歡樂。

在接下來的專訪中,他說明這次來台灣進行的研習會的核心概念:說故事的力量、跨世代的對話、即興戲劇以及幽默在癌症治療中的功能。

請問您是如何涉入現場即興喜劇和即興戲劇的領域?在您看來,當初身為特殊教育工作者的您和即興演出之間有什麼樣的關連?

Izzy:我對現場即興喜劇的興趣,是我在尋找創意泉源的過程中接觸到的,因為我不是音樂天賦很強的人,所以我轉而學習撰寫喜劇和即興劇的台詞。在學喜劇時,我也在紐約市立大學杭特分校(City University of New York – Hunter College)授課,我注意到喜劇演員和教育工作者之間的相似點:兩者都是單獨的個體,站在講台上,運用一些重複性很強、但是需要觀眾感到有興趣的東西,來吸引不同類型的觀眾的注意力。所以我鼓勵研究所的學生將教育想像成一種表演藝術。學習喜劇演員成功的技巧,像是能夠吸引觀眾的注意力、處理干擾等技巧,對於教育人員來說也很有價值。

您這次在台灣帶領了一系列不同主題的研習會,對象多元化。在這些活動中您想要傳達的主要訊息是什麼? 

Izzy:

  1. 說故事的力量:故事是整個宇宙都通用的元素。每個人都有故事,學習也是透過故事。故事有結構,故事具有教育意涵,同時也有娛樂價值。教育來自於了解這些角色如何在不同情境下克服問題,娛樂則是一個過程。
  2. 即興劇:即興劇的技巧對於團體是很好用的工具,因為它能夠讓人自我省思,並從操作中學習,學習到這個過程以及人生。除此之外,即興劇中有一種平等的階級觀念,因為沒有人知道最後的結果是什麼,所以大家必須在都不知道的情況下,彼此同理,建立起互信。
  3. 跨世代的對話:跨世代的議題是很多元的,對話則會幫助人們從彼此的差異中學習。
  4. 幽默與公眾演講(Toastmasters):幽默可以做一個分解的動作,將你的目標和觀眾來做整合,學習如何架構笑話,讓笑話變成對演講有用的素材。
  5. 幽默與癌症照護:在紓解壓力時,幽默的力量卻常常被忽略、低估。人們常常覺得生病的人不太適合歡笑,或不知道該怎麼使用幽默。所以我想要解釋的,就是幽默如何對心智、身體、精神等面向發揮作用,並且介紹一些技巧,幫助人們應對困難的狀況。
  6. 公司課程:即興劇和引導都會幫助人們審視和他人關係中的自己。由於銷售本身就是一個人際關係為導向的業務,即興演出可以幫助銷售人員訓練自己,對無法預期的結果展現開放的態度,不要再以有既定印象的態度來展開銷售,希望將對方引導到預設的目標。幽默的另一個重點也是人際關係和對話,因為它的重點就是將一個好笑的故事溝通給對方,並以同理的態度聆聽。透過即興的技巧、在結構中轉換,就能培養出面對改變的能力,也釋放出創意的自由。

是什麼動力讓您持續授課教導即興劇的技巧?

Izzy:讓我感到很有成就的,就是偶爾我會讓別人的生活更滿好。舉例來說,五年前有人曾經跟我說我對他們帶來了震撼。即興劇教我人的問題是無國界的,我們應該保持的態度就是相信自己會帶來影響,不要去管是不是真的會有影響/ 影響在哪裡。

葛塞爾相信即興劇的態度和幽默就像對話一樣,重點都在於聆聽、一起整合出合理的學習,最終的目的是溝通和人際關係。即興劇中解決問題的技巧在舞台下也相當有用。演出者的工具箱裡面包括無偏見的聆聽、接受對方給你的物品、相信團隊會解決問題、放棄自己要掌控局勢或影響後果的慾望;這些技巧都會透過即興劇發展出來。隨著自信心的增長,讓自己即興的面向發揮出來,不要自我侷限,讓團隊的夥伴內心的即興技巧也完全流露,不要批評他們,並相信他們可以針對任何的情況都有適當的回應。這就是為什麼人們、培訓師、工廠員工、經理人、護士、家庭主婦都能透過即興演出 的體驗感受到無法預期的事情才是真正的有趣! 

11月份的EMBA 雜誌,同時刊登了一篇對葛塞爾大師的專訪,內容精采與深入, 請大家參: EMBA採訪Izzy Gesell文章

Izzy Gesell’s Facilitation Improv Series

When facilitator Izzy Gesell asked for volunteers, everyone hesitated, after a few moments of silence Izzy asked the group why they’re hesitating; “because the situation’s unpredictable!” reply some participants.  After a few improvisation games, the room is full of laughter and Izzy Gesell again asks why they’re laughing; “because the situation’s unpredictable!” they again reply.  That’s the power of improvisational theatre to transform a situation from intimidating to fun.  

The CP Yen Foundation and International Association of Facilitators-Taiwan invited Izzy Gesell to share with Taiwan audiences how to use improv concepts for personal and organisational learning.  In the following interview, Izzy explains the central message of the workshops he delivered in Taiwan: the power of storytelling, cross-generational dialogue, improvisational theatre and humor for cancer healing.

Q1. Izzy, how did you become interested in standup comedy and Improv Theater?  And what linkages do you see between your other profession as a teacher of special education and improv?

Izzy:  My interest in stand-up comedy is as a result of looking for my creative outlet, I couldn’t draw, and I’m not a musical person, so I started learning the craft of comedy writing and improvisation.  While studying comedy I was also teaching at the City University of New York – Hunter College and I discovered a similarity between comedians and educators: both are single individuals standing on a platform trying to hold the interest of different levels of audience by using material that’s redundant to the teacher & comedian but needs to be interesting for the audience.  So I encouraged graduate students to view teaching as a performing art.  The skills that make comedians successful such as being able to hold the audience’s attention and to deal with disruptions, has value to educators too.

Q2. What’s the main message for each of your programs?

Izzy:

  1. Story telling: stories are universal. Everyone has stories; learning has always been through stories. Stories are structured; they’re educational and entertaining at the same time - the education comes from seeing how the characters overcome a problem situation, and the entertainment is the process.
  2. Improv: Improv techniques are good tools for groups because it enables self-reflection and learning-by-doing both about process and life in general.    Secondly, there’s a equality of hierarchy in improv because no one knows what the outcome will be, which builds trust out of empathy for our mutual not-knowing.
  3. Intergenerational dialogue: Cross-generational issues are diversity issues; and dialogue helps people learn from one another through the differences.
  4. Toastmasters: Humor can be deconstructed to show how to align your purpose with the audience, how to structure jokes and make them useful to the speech.
  5. Cancer Care: Humor is an under-recognized and under-used skill for relieving stress.  People often think of laughter as inappropriate for sick people, or don’t know how to use it.  So my message is to explain how humor works for the mind, body, and spirit and to introduce techniques for dealing with difficult situations.
  6. Company program: Improv and facilitation help people examine themselves in their relationships, and since selling is essentially a relationship business, so improv can help sales practice being open to unexpected outcomes and break the habit of entering a sales pitch with a preconceived notion and trying to drive people to that goal.  Humor is also about relationships and dialogue because it’s about communicating a funny story and listening empathically.   Change mastery can be developed through the improv skills of spontaneity and pivoting within a structure which enables freedom of creativity.

Q3: What drives you to continue teaching about improv?

Izzy: What gives me satisfaction is knowing that every so often what I do makes people’s lives better, for instance when people who saw me five years ago tell me that I had an impact on them.  Improv has taught me that people issues are universal, and to live your life as if the things you do make a difference even though you may never know if/how they do.

Izzy believes improvisational mind set and humor are like dialogue. They are about listening to make sense together. they are about communication and relationship. The problem solving abilities that make successful improv are valuable offstage as well.  The improv player’s toolbox includes listening to others without prejudgment, accepting what is offered, trusting that the group will solve the problem, and letting go of one’s own needs to control situations or predetermine outcomes.  These capabilities are developed through improv and players gain confidence to allow their own spontaneity to flow without self-censorship, poise to allow the spontaneity of their teammates to flow without criticism, and belief in their ability to respond to any situation This is why sales people, trainers, factory workers, managers, nurses, teachers and homemakers can all benefit from experiencing that in improv unpredictable situations are fun! 

See Izzy’s EMBA Magazine interview: EMBA採訪Izzy Gesell文章

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