Improvisation is often considered to be acting
spontaneously or with imagination. It also can be fun as members and guests
learned at the Pattaya City Expats Club meeting on Sunday, June 5, at the
Amari’s Tavern by the Sea restaurant. Lisa Safran from Improve Consultants,
a San Francisco based company, while visiting friends in Pattaya brought her
charming self and expertise to demonstrate how improvisation can be used to
promote communication, active listening, creativity, and building trust.
New to the microphone is
member Pat Koester, to run the Open Forum of the PCEC meeting. In the Open
Forum you may find solutions to the many questions that arise when living in
the ‘Land of Smiles’.
After the usual opening announcements, Master of
Ceremonies Richard Silverberg introduced Lisa, a former Pattaya expat.
Lisa’s presentation, “Improvising Life,” involved a fun and interactive
experience for everyone. After many years as a classroom teacher and many
more years as a performer, Lisa has combined these two areas of expertise
into engaging workshops that she presents around the globe. She also
recently authored the book, Reading and Writing Come Alive: Using
Improvisation to Build Literacy.
Lisa started by mentioning that she was on Krabi in 2004
when the Tsunami hit. Fortunately, she was not injured, but came to the
realization that there were things she wanted to do in her life, such as do
more with her music, write a play, and live overseas. She said that she has
since substantially achieved those goals. In 2005 she lived in Thailand,
teaching at a local international school where the children were from all
over the world. It was there that she started using improvisation to aid in
the learning process. By introducing some games she inspired the children to
get to know one another and to become involved.
Since then, she has gone on to form her own company,
Improvisation Consultants, which uses improvisation workshops for
corporations and organizations to help their employees get to know each
other better, which leads to better understanding and communication. Too
often in the business world, people may work close together, but are often
isolated in their little cubicle and really don’t interact that much. By
introducing some “games” that all join in doing and involve improvisation,
it builds better communication, understanding, and mutual appreciation.
Lisa Safran from Improve Consultants, a San Francisco based company,
demonstrates to Pattaya City Expats members and guests how improvisation can
be used to promote communication, active listening, creativity, and building
Without further ado, Linda invited everyone to join in
some games, not to be shy, and assured them they would find it a fun
experience. She started by asking everyone to get up and just walk around,
then she would call out a number and they should form groups of that number
and identify themselves using an adjective such as lovely Lisa. This process
was repeated with Lisa calling out a different number for new groups to form
and share what was their favorite thing about living in Pattaya. This was
followed by more interactive games involving various numbers of
participants. Lisa pointed out that these types of game are a good warm up
by meeting new people. These warm up exercises were followed by several more
such as pairing up and one person telling the other about their entire life
in 60 seconds then having the other person repeat it back to them in 30
seconds; a great way to improve communication and listening skills.
Another game was telling one word stories. This involved
a group telling a story; but each person could say only one word of the
story. So, one started with one word, the next person had to continue the
story by saying another word, and on to the next person and next, again with
each saying only one word to continue the story. Lisa concluded by thanking
everyone for participating and opened it up for questions. There were
several, but there were also some comments; one member said, “I don’t think
I have ever had this much fun at a meeting.”
Richard Silverberg then updated everyone on upcoming events and called on
Pat Koester to conduct the always informative and often humorous Open Forum
where everyone has an opportunity to ask and answer questions, recommend a
good restaurant or movie, or sometimes tell a joke.