Tag teaching

Some Teaching Wisdom

This is Brad writing, and I wanted to talk about the process I see learners go through when encountering new games, ideas, or tools. The rule of threes seems to appear in the course of learning new things.

Typically, when the new material is encountered, the first phase is to fail and find the boundaries and the feeling of going through the process to understand how the pieces or process even works. People like to look something over before they step into it for a ride.

The second phase is the competence round. The learners have gotten a sense for the process, rules, or notion, and they’re standing on their own two feet in the middle of this new thing. They are sitting in the drivers seat with their seatbelt on and mirrors checked.

The third phase is the confidence round. The rules, process, or notion have become familiar and habitual, and the learners are entering into a flow. This is the point where real bona-fide play begins to happen. They’ve put the pedal to the metal, the top is down, and it’s a sunny day on an open highway.

I think knowing this process puts even more importance on ‘having to fail’. If you never fail, you’ll never get to that point where you’re cruising, confident, and playful. Teachers, let your students do something new at least three times. So fail fast and fail often on the road to confidence everybody!!

Introducing Phil’s Phrases

Hey Circus Bears!

In addition to an information hub, Brad and I intend this website to be a place where we share our thoughts and experiences about teaching, learning and doing improvisation. I’m kicking that off today.

If you’ve taken a class from me, chances are you’ve heard certain things over and over again. I’m going to introduce and elaborate on them in a series called ‘Phil’s Phrases’.

Phil’s Phrases are little shorthands I’ve arrived at after years of coaching improvisers of all levels. They summarize a few of the most important things to focus on in scenework and I think they are worth exploring a bit, hopefully with your participation.

Here are some off the top of my head, please add more that you’ve heard in the comments:

  • The audience wants you to succeed
  • Simple, not easy
  • Nice versus Generous
  • Don’t make up rules
  • You already have everything you need

Like everything in improvisation, none of these ideas are brand new or mine alone. As Joe Bill says, “It’s all Open Source.” Hopefully, you’ll find these interesting to think about and helpful in your time on stage in shows and rehearsals, alike.

In the next couple of days, I’ll start with: The audience wants you to succeed, which will answer the question, “Why did he just call us ‘Circus Bears’???”

Tonight’s pre-Beginner Class is Canceled

Hey folks, sorry for the cancelation, but due to circumstances and the like, we’ll be starting our classes next week and have two drop-in sessions. Buy ’em both, and pay only $10 a class; an incredible deal! Sign up or get more info.