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about play, games, and being serious

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

In early 2021, I attended a Zoom call which crystalized my desire to realize my dream: build impro studio.

At the time, I was searching for belonging in a variety of communities. I hoped to find people who could show me a way of working that has full integrity.

By integrity I mean practitioners who practice their craft with all of their intelligences: mental, physical, sensual, emotional, and spiritual. As well as with the humility that the craft itself is always bigger than any one practitioner. Life continuously throws challenges at us which test our abilities to keep practicing even under immense pressure or hardship. In short: I was looking for people who 'practice what they preach.'

Show and tell: we share with integrity that of which we embody lived experience. How we do something is integral to what we do.

So here I was, really excited to attend a session which was titled: About games and being serious. In preparation, we had all read a dialogue essay on this topic and now I had the expectation that we would get to experiment with playfulness and seriousness


but the meeting went a little different than I expected and the day after the session, I wrote this:

Reflecting on yesterday's session, I find myself in a muddle:

I wish to share with you my feelings and thoughts about it because this topic is full of potential... but the words don't want to flow because I'm writing about a meeting where we had a conversation about a dialogue about play.

Talk about meta.

This muddle is about 'aboutness.'

Let's see if writing a haiku will help:

We talked about play

Thoughtful and seriously

I found my own game

That sounds about right. And now I am stuck in a muddle again because there it is once more: about.

So I will ask the same questions that I asked myself yesterday:

  1. Who & how can I be here?

  2. What happens, when I do this?

  3. And who will join me?

This screenshot collage shows the author at different stages on the zoom call, first with a sprout on my head, then with a golden top hat, and lastly with a red clown nose.
This screenshot collage shows the author at different stages on the zoom call, first with a sprout on my head, then with a golden top hat, and lastly with a red clown nose.

In hindsight, the titel of the session very accurately reflected what was going to happen in it. Namely, that it was going to be about play.

I was the only person in that online meeting who used camera filters and props to play with while everyone else was talking rather seriously. There were some people who laughed, some sent me messages of support, and many more who continued the meeting as though nothing was going on. Being ignored felt rather discombobulating.

On that day, I realised that if I want to dive into the play itself, I need to lead by example rather than waiting for someone else to do this. My long lasting dream of building my own impro studio re-emerged and called to me.

I also realised that the concepts of seriousness and plafulness mean very different things to different people, in different places, at different times. And I found that everyone at that sessions was behaving from their own sense of integrity, namely, their perspective of that moment. In some way, I got way more out of that session than I had asked for and I am deeply grateful for having been invited to this space.

My hope is for impro studio to be a work of integrity, a continuous process of showing up with all that we've got, meeting the complexity of each moment and participating in life as it unfolds. A place where we can learn how to be with all that we are and all there is.

A space where we can be playfully serious and seriously play.

Join us in our drop-in sessions!

Image shows a drop of water falling into a body of water. This is a link to the impro studio drop-in sessions Eventbrite booking form

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