I’ve just delivered a couple of talks at ‘WMUG‘, a group run by Mike Little one of the co-founders of the crazily popular WordPress system. The first was on the podcasting and the second was on ‘Real World Clients’.
Despite doing stand up comedy forever I’ve never got up and talked about my design work – ever, let alone my experiences with clients. I’m totally comfortable getting up and talking. In fact chatting to the group beforehand, I think that was my worry. In comparison to being Danny Pensive this was a ‘zero pressure gig’. My desire to entertain, rather than inform could easily take me take me way off topic very quickly. Without high stakes I could get sloppy.
Having said that I was really worried about throwing myself under the bus. There would be other developers in the room and I wasn’t just telling stories, but also talking about my work processes, potentially laying myself open for judgement. So actually there was a bit of pressure, but not the kind that i’m used to. That’s good, a bit of performance pressure is better than not at all.
So I dipped back down the last five or six years of work history and picked out a dozen or so projects, then mashed them all together. Mixing old real world situations I’ve come up against with a bit traditional narrative structure. A call to action here and a stink of death there and pretty soon had something I could work with and relate back to WordPress.
It was a success I thought, in fact putting my comedians head back on…I think there might be a show in this.
Mary is a learning and development professional. She trained with Second city and combines her skills to deliver dynamic experiential learning programs.
Mary uses applies improvisation techniques in the area of behavioural health. Working with business in professional development courses and families, she helps people manage issues such as stress, anxiety and addiction to fulfil their peak potential.
When I started the podcast in 2016, Mary was on top of my list of people to talk to. In this interview we talk about how improvisation can be applied to increase quality of life. By being present, utilising the fundamentals of ‘Yes And’ to accept and commit to positive change in ourselves and in helping others.
Paul (@Paulzj) is a trainer of trainers and a founding members of the Applied Improvisation Network. He has authored a handful of books including ‘The Inspirational Trainer’ and ’58 and a Half Ways to Improvise in Training’.
“We teach what we need to learn most.”
He has a background in comedy and journalism and his early biog entries read like a who’s who’s of the British comedy scene. Paul has played a large role in bringing improvisation techniques to a wider audience. In our chat we talk about the diversity of his training work and his discovery of improv watching Steven Steen & Jim Sweeney. We also digress on topic of improvisation on television the challenges of making improvisation work on television.
In Series two of the Bring a Brick Podcast I interview another eight people who use improvisation in their work. Guests include Paul Z Jackson from the AIN, Behavioral health expert Mary T. Curtis, comedy store players founding member Neil Mullarkey and customer experience consultant Adam Lawrence.
Series two is available in February.
What is the Bring a Brick Podcast?
In this podcast I chat to guests from as broad a range of professions as I can find to make new connections. As a curious student, discovering how people teach and benefit from the values of applying improv in different fields.
I’ve interviewed a pretty board range to people so far and the interest and feedback has been great. The tone has shifted from episode to episode, depending on the guest and subject matter, some have been fun, some more serious, and that I think is a good thing.
If you’ve been listening to Bring a Brick, I’d urge you leave a review on itunes or Stitcher. There’s no funding for publicity, so it’s all word of mouth and fingers on keyboards. What do you want to hear?
Why the podcast?
I’m am naturally quite curious, and I wanted to do a podcast to connect and improve. I recently watched Ted talk from Susan Greenfield: Technology & the human mind, and how social media is reducing out attention span, how screens are effecting the quality of our interactions, so by doing a podcast I’d like to think I’m harnessing the technology for the forces of good!
In series 2 I’ll in interviewing another 8 people who use improvisation in their work and play.