Tobias von Schulthess: Improvisation as a way of life

Improvisation means that there is something, which we can’t see because we are so occupied with our plans. To improvise means be aware of the moment and its resources. The resources are mainly nonverbal. The room, our body, the sound of the voices, the rhythm of our dialog and our environment and our imagination are the sources to listen to. They are always there and they feed our play on stage or in real life. So improvisation means to listen to life and then let it unfold. This principle is so similar to Focusing!

Improvised theatre is a wonderful practice for life. On stage and in life we want to carry forward our stories. We listen and add what seams useful and matching. Improvisation and its principles might be seen as a different way to get in touch with the powerful and also magical process of Focusing.

In Focusing and in improvisation, we know these magic moments when we get surprised by something unexpected, that is beyond our intellectual imagination. This is something that is out of our control. We receive it as a gift. So improvisation is the invitation to develop the courage to let life make us more present, and to control it less, because there is a natural structure which we can trust.

Here, improvisation touches spirituality. The unexpected character of improvisation is also a natural expression of our creativity. Creativity just happens. Suddenly something new is there. It’s new and that means it is unfamiliar and we have to get in touch with it. That’s also the nature of an improvised life, which means that our life is full of creative moments.

See also: illustrated quote about improvisation & life.

Tobias von Schulthess is a Playback Theatre practitioner and trainer, a mediator and a Focusing trainer, and founder and director of the Playback Theatre in St. Gallen, Switzerland. He uses and explores the art of improvisation as a creative, challenging and playful practice to deal with our complex and unpredictable lives. He discovered that the practice and principles of improvisation together with the unfolding Focusing process are very effective and sustainable when solving conflicts, leading and coaching teams, or supporting learning processes. The working life of Tobias began in a travel agency as a consultant and travel guide. Then he changed into the field of human resources in the industrial and banking business, before he started his own business as a trainer, mediator and coach. See website.

Published February 2017