My friends and students are already used to this; I’m always talking about my niece! Defne is almost two years old now,
and the pace of her learning amazes me! Every other day there’s a new song she’s singing in half gibberish half Turkish, or a new game, a new how-to… We skype couple times a week, and her mother feeds me with videos and photos, “feed” is the only correct term to describe it really, because I devour those images. And God bless Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger !
Anyway, my new year’s resolution is not to have a baby of my own, not yet. But the resolution is coming from Defne; her hunger to learn, discover and PLAY and have FUN! She starts the day at 7.30am, and the first thing she says is “Down”, she means let’s get out of the bed and start the day! From that moment on game playing starts, with her dolls, toys, with anything she finds, we paint and draw (her recent discovery is “Murals are cool”:), till she takes a nap, with her aunt’s words “She’s charging herself” . After the nap, the game is on!
This makes me think, I’m a thinker but you already know that, a human being in relatively “normal” conditions, spends her/his whole time “playing”, till the age of 10, even older.
At least 10 years spent with the hunger to discover and play. Then, usually the things we are “supposed to do” ruin all the fun and most of us become uninterested in learning something new.
Most of us lose the sense of game playing, or we need some alcohol to loosen up first before starting a fun evening… How can we lose something that is so deeply in our core since the day we’re born? Because that’s something built in our system; we are curious and playful creatures! Where does it hide?
I met with Spolin improvisation as an actor in 2007. I was lucky enough to go the acting school founded by Mike Nichols, George Morrison and Viola Spolin’s son Paul Sills.
I was amazed by this technique. It was simple and deep at the same time, and most definitely it was lots of fun! All of the classes were like parties in which we got to be silly, and free as if we were kids. I found this so important because most of my acting training till then was very “serious”. In 2009, I decided to bring this work to my home country and founded SPOLIN-IST. Now we have an expanding group of Spolin players, who constantly ask me when will be our next workshop:)
Viola Spolin, the grandmother of improvisation, touches us deep inside. She takes us to a place that’s so familiar to us that it is incredibly scary. Because it is scary to be your true self. But once you get there, you get addicted to it!
Here’s my new year’s resolution – finally!- I decided to increase the number of Theater Games addicts in New York City! A very affordable weekly workshop is gathering a diverse group of players. Join us, let’s go back to beginning!