Even though Viola Spolin’s improvisational techniques changed the very nature and practice of theatre, her work is so highly relevant to those outside the theatre – in life and in business.
In the words of Viola Spolin: “The intuitive way of knowing is neglected in our education in favor of reason – intellect. And yet what we prize – love, faith, art and insightful knowledge – all reach beyond the intellect and depend upon intuitive knowing and its great attribute, certainty.
With intuitive awareness comes certainty.”
Viola tells us that it is not a simple matter of switching off from intellectual, logic knowing to this other way of knowing. She says, ” we must be thrown off-balance and must blank out the intellectual (the known) and breakthrough the walls that keep us from the unknown, ourselves and each other.” Our vehicle is Focus. “Focus is a fresh start.”
It is focus that rests the mind and overcomes the distractions of intellect. It is a form of “meditation in action” and acts as the springboard into the intuitive. (Excerpt from Improvisation for the Theater by Viola Spolin and Paul Sills’ forward)
Here is a perfect example of Focus – and meditation in action in this video. This is achieved by breath and movement with the brain out of the way and the intuitive in full play. Watch in its entirety. It will astound you.