You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato

Right though? I mean, I know he’s Plato and everything but DANG. He’s right on.

On my Second City Tour, I tell people that if you have any kind of trouble with your social life, take an improv class. Your social issues will be gone by the end of that first class.

Why?

Because you discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

The friends I made in my first improv class are absolutely my best friends today.¬†You see so much of each other. We’re so vulnerable when we’re playing together. You’re up there, alone with someone else. You have nothing to fall back on, no script, no costumes, no props. It’s scary and then you and your scene partner figure it out together and there’s so much trust there.

To see your friends and fellow persons improvising, it’s intimate. That’s why it’s so wonderful for docents and guides – we’re desperately individualistic. And with improv we get to watch each other, build together, laugh together. So many times after a workshop, when we’re talking about what we learned, docents talk about how much they enjoyed watching each other play. They didn’t know, they had no idea Suzy was so funny or Tom was so expressive.

I just recently improvised with a young stranger (it wasn’t nearly as sexy as it sounds) at a workshop. We were told to tell each other a truth and then go deeper into that truth with each statement. It was REALLY hard. It was hard not to cry (even little truths can be hard to talk about without weeping) and to keep eye contact and tell those truths.

And then my scene partner did too and it was so touching. So touching and by the end of our five minutes together? We hugged. We wished each other luck with our “truths.” At the end of class I went and said goodbye to him specifically. I think about him still and his truths. And it was a five minute exercise.

It’s the power of play.

Imagine that power of play now in your docent training. Imagine that power of play when your docent is talking to the high school kids. Imagine that power of play when YOU are working on training your tour guides.

Let me show you just how powerful play can really be.

Hint: You have to call me or write me first….