How to Multitask
When you are improvising, you are trying to write a script in your head, you are trying to perform said script, you are directing the scenario that you're performing either by yourself or with a partner. And every element that goes into a performance, you're kind of a puppeteer for that. So there's a lot going on. So you have to be good at multitasking in order to improvise effectively, and you have to be good at multitasking to get through your daily life and your job. We're always doing it, but a lot of it comes down to improvisation. Think about all the things that happen in your job that go horribly awry, or take a turn for not necessary the worst, but like you didn't expect. The next thing that happens is you improvise, right? Like even if you get to a point where there's this kind of like best practice solution, you kind of have to make it up until you get to that. Or you have to think where is that solution in my brain, I did that three years ago at this other job that was not t...
his job, and we did it a completely different way, we have a smaller team here, but this is how we, you have to think through all of that all in a very short amount of time. So a lot of these exercises are really about helping you kind of speed up that process of finding, I like to call accessing folders in your brain's computer, and also, kind of improving and optimizing your mental agility. How many different things can you do mentally at the same time? So this exercise called first letter last letter is gonna play into that, and because of the way this is gonna work with us all being miked. I'm going to do it in a very particular way, and this is something for the people at home. You can do it this way too, or you can basically just follow along with these gestures I'm gonna make first. First you're gonna slap your legs, and I think I'm just gonna do it for now, just because of sound, so just watch me. I would slap, then I would clap, then I would snap, then I would snap. Not unlike what you just did with the one, two, three game. But what we're going to do is kind of create a rhythm.
So I'm just doing this, a few little rotations, and then with the second snap I'm just going to say a word, live. And then on the second snap the next time, which obviously I'm going through the description in the middle of this, I would take the last letter of that word, which I said live, make it the first letter of a new word. Egg. Grove. Eagle. Element. And so on and so forth. So I'm going to do that with you, but I don't want you to actually in the studio to do the physical part of it, I'm just basically going to come to you and I want you to give me another word, but on my snap. I'm going to be the person doing this. So it's kind of allowing you to really find comfort in the rhythm. The rhythm, as Gloria Stephan taught us years ago, (laughing)
Is gonna get you.
Is gonna get you. And if you, if you, get the word wrong, it doesn't matter.
Right there's no consequences to almost anything that we're doing except for the fact that it's being filmed
We want you to get it right, but if you spell like I do you may get it wrong right? So we can let go of that pressure.
Yeah, a big part of these games, as I continue to do this while I speak, (laughing) is just keep going, just keep the game going. And so what I just did a second ago, is the best way for people at home to do it, is just basically do it by yourself. Just say a word, get around to the second snap, try to do the first letter of that last letter and make it a new word, and this is actually an exercise that's a part of our upcoming experiment with Dr. Lin. This is something that really he found great interest in, in terms of someone being able to use their verbal and spelling skills, while also kind of having a physical component, and a rhythm component because he loves just the way that music affects the brain.
But now we're going to do this together, and what I'm going to do, is on the second snap, I'm gonna point at somebody. I'm going to say a word. You're going to take the last letter of that word, and make it the first letter of a new word, and throw it back to me or anyone I guess. What do you think?
I don't know, we'll see what happens, we'll improvise it.
Yeah, we're kinda making this up as we go. As we usually do. Alright, here we go. Ocean.
I like it.
So fast. (laughter) I feel intimidated.
That was great, can we applaud? (applause)
The way we're doing it right now, is I'm doing it. You know the gestures.
But in a group setting, a lot of times we would do this with everyone doing that. But because I think we have about a minute or two, let's have one person who wants to come up and try this part and see how that kind of changes the experience for you. To kind of have to do both at the same time. So just one person. You'll basically take the role that I was doing. So who would like to do that? Maybe someone that hasn't gotten up today so far.
And you're allowed to not be great at it.
You're trying it.
You're demoing it for us and for the audience at home. There's peer pressure happening right now. (laughter) Yeah, peer pressure, peer pressure.
Yeah! (clapping and cheering)
Otherwise, they were just going to put up the technical difficulties. (laughter)
That's so brave.
Okay, so one, two.
As I've been telling people. Yeah, take this opportunity. Maybe tell the audience your name.
Hi, I'm Michelle.
Michelle, you are going to be doing this, then this, and then the snaps. It doesn't matter which hand it is, it's just both hands. On the second snap, just kind of make eye contact and direct the word towards someone and say that word and they're going to play with you just the way I was doing it with you guys.
Okay, here we go. Tonight.
Yes. (laughter and clapping)
That was awesome.
Take a seat, very good.
That was good.
Let's talk about that really quickly. For the most part, you were all just listening to someone up here throw a word at you but you still had to do the verbal part. You still had to spell it in your head. You knew you had a time box. Little restrictive, little frame of time that you had to throw the word back out. Which is a big part of a lot of our work. Is time boxing and putting very simple restrictions around your creativity and your mental faculties, if you will. But what was your experience, kind of playing this from your seat?
The rhythm was very helpful.
The rhythm was helpful?
Yes, like I know how much time I have to figure out to come up with the word and yeah.
Awesome, there's some safety in that or something right?
Yeah, predictability. Oh, great.
What else, anything?
Well, I mean being up there. There's just a lot of vulnerability. So, do I know how to spell? Am I going to come up with something clever? So I appreciated it and the audience is really nice and smiling and encouraging, so thank you for that.
Yeah, how did it change when you had to get up and do the physical component of it?
I think I was distracted in sort of a good way so it helped me focus. I had to keep a cadence, I tried to keep that rhythm. So yeah, it worked I think to my advantage.
Fantastic, I like distracted in a good way. Because I think that's what a lot of these exercises are doing. Is basically saying, you don't have to focus so much about how you're doing. You're doing just fine, but you are exaggerating what you think other people are perceiving. If we can kind of get our minds off that a little bit, we can be a little bit more authentic and little bit more comfortable and playful and all the stuff that we want to be in front of people. Wonderful.
We're actually coming to the end of our first class you guys. Wooo! We want to go through our tangible takeaways. We want to just review quickly what we went through, some of the things that we feel like we didn't get, some feedback from you generally. We went over these ideas of how to think like an improvisor, warm up, yes and, take creative risks, multitask. We want to get from you, what are some of the things that you are feeling? Now, what are you feeling? What are you thinking? What's sort of lighting up for you?
We've thrown some up on the board. Those might jog your memory for some of the other things. Yeah, just some of the things that you're kind of gonna take away from this particular class.
I think the power of connecting with your partners and with the whole group. That really makes a huge difference.
To make the other person look good as well. So connecting with the person and ensuring that they are able to portray what they're thinking.
Yeah, so really supporting them and encouraging them? That is one of the things that we find really powerful. Especially for people that might have stage fright or might be more introverted as well. There's something about once you kind of, leave here and move to here, where you are worried about the other person. Some of that tendency to be maybe more shy, is maybe a better word than being introverted, some of that starts to melt away because you are taking care of people. So you're a little less worried about what's kind of happening for you internally.
The release of being able to take risks.
Yeah, can you talk more about that?
When you're allowed to take risks and allowed to make mistakes. It's almost releasing your thoughts because you've already done that. You've already messed up. So now, it just seems to flow easier.
Yeah, great. There is something about giving ourselves space to mess up. Right? Awesome, thanks you guys. This was so much fun for our first class.
Yeah, you'll have plenty more opportunities to tell us the things that you think about each class. But that's it for this class, so thank you.
Yeah, well thanks so much.
Thank you. Give yourselves a round of applause.