What am I in for?

I’m feeling eagerness and trepidation over the upcoming Applied Improv Conference. Eagerness because I find improv has enormous potential for creativity and collaboration (and even connections to ethnography) and discussions of improv can be provocative and intellectually invigorating.

And trepidation over whether this event will be filled with earnest, clowny, extroverted, unprofessional flakes where I’ve just got no common ground.

We have an exciting Plenary Session planned for Wednesday evening with Nika Quirk of InterPlay.
InterPlay means “interaction” and what could be better to kick off a conference? InterPlay is easy, fun, and life changing. It is based in a series of incremental “forms” that lead participants to movement and stories, silence and song, ease and amusement. In the process, we unlock the innate wisdom of our bodies and in our relationships.

Nika Quirk is a lifelong mover and student of dance, starting with her interest in wiggling to TV jingles at age 3. She founded and directed a Dance Choir using authentic movement and a collaborative choreography process she developed. Completing the yearlong InterPlay Leadership Program in 1997, she earned certification in the methodology and has focused her application of InterPlay in small groups, individual coaching, and “labs” exploring business partnership. Nika’s career spans law, business management, non-profit program development, academic teaching and professional coaching. In August, she began a doctoral program at California Institute of Integral Studies and is following her curiosity about the connections between improvisational ability and social creativity.

I guess it’s up to me to bring some open-mindedness back and cover up my cynicism (which I oh-so enjoy). The conference is local, so no travel costs, and is relatively inexpensive, and is an experiment for me. I’m passing on some of the typical conferences my peers are attending this year (and that I have been regulars at in the past) in order to branch out, but I can feel the tension inside me over that decision.


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