This blog is the journey of Lorenc Consulting and Entertainment as we continue to encourage creativity and innovation by using the concepts of improv comedy in everyday life. Any kind of group or organization can benefit from our improv-based corporate training, focusing on team-building, hyper listening and communication skills, and thinking on your feet.

Dear Cell Phone Please Remember This Moment

by Toby Lorenc
 

Our cell phones provide us with a quick connection to others, give us access to a world of information and bring conveniences to life we couldn't have even imagined just a decade ago. But what are we losing with this ever-changing technology? 

Are avid picture takers filtering their lives? 
Some good friends of mine are avid photo snappers no matter what we're doing: a lunch in the park, a concert at our favorite local venue, beers at a brewery...it doesn't matter. They love taking pictures with their cell phones. Lots of pictures. After they capture a multitude of random shots, it's now a project of doctoring up the photos with filters and color options, deciding the best social networks to post them on, figuring out the absolutely best captions to peak the interest of their friends and get the most "Likes". I often get frustrated and I finally figured out why it bothers me so much: I just want to experience the moment.   

Experience the moment, it's right in front of you
There is constantly a beautiful world in front of me and all around me! Why would i want to cram it into a small window when I have a 360 degree view to take it all in, tap into all my senses and form amazing memories that are strongly connected to emotions and feelings which I can carry with me as a life experience. Don't get me wrong, I do take pictures but I don't need to my phone to remember it for me. Rather I want to be in the moment and never miss a detail because I'm trying to decide on the best caption or tag my friends in a photo of the experience directly in front of me. I'll often take a few photos and post them later when I'm back home or not in the moment I want to enjoy. The same is true with improv comedy. Being in the moment is a crucial skill when you're on stage, and it's true for all of us in everyday life. If we are distracted by something that is directly pulling us away from the here and now, we're missing important details. These may be comments from others, changes in our environment, or subtleties that can easily and quickly be missed. Not to mention the barriers you're putting up by stubbornly doing your own thing and capitalizing the moment with your own agenda.  Sure, that may sound strong, but for my sake, take the opportunity to enjoy and engage in the moment in front of you. And I promise, you don't need your phone to do it.



Generate your own fresh ideas on the spot

by Toby Lorenc

As improv actors, we're frequently having to come up with fresh ideas based on the suggestions given to us by the audience. So how do we quickly think of stories and scenes using these suggestions? There are really 3 simple categories from which you get information:


1) Experience - you've been through something personally. It could be a situation with an annoying neighbor, or a probing from an alien.  Either way, you know first hand what it feels like, tastes like, looks like, smells like, sounds like, etc. 


2) Knowledge - you heard it, read it, saw it, and know it for some reason. It's book knowledge over real-life experience.  Although it is possible to gain knowledge from an experience, the two don't always go hand-in-hand.


3) Creation - you have nothing to base it on and you're truly making it up on the spot


So, which do you think is the most powerful source to use when creating a story? And which is the quickest way to inspire a fresh idea?  


Our answer: whenever you can tap into your emotions and personal experiences, you're going to access much richer and long-lasting content.




Fully committing to your daily interactions

by Toby Lorenc

I watched The Voice tonight on NBC and a few singers were having a difficult time at their auditions before their head-to-head competition with another singer. Time and time again, the coaches talked to them about committing to the part, committing to the song and committing to themselves that they had the talent to sing some very difficult songs.

 

When training for the improv stage, we talk about commitment.  It's a crucial element in everything we do in a scene.  If we are not fully committed to our characters, our reason for being on stage, or the story we're telling, the audience can tell.

 

Typically, we are not fully committed because of a lack of confidence. Of course, there are many reasons we may not be confident in something, but this hesitation shows and magnifies to the audience as we struggle through the scene we've set up, but haven't committed ourselves to the moment.

 

Sound familiar? Often times in life, people are seen (and probably rightly so) as lacking confidence when they don't commit to what they've "set up" or what they have to accomplish. Whether it's your beliefs, your physical presence, or who you are as a person, if you're not fully in it, you're audience (everyone around you) notices your hesitation and it can be a train wreck.  They start feeling your uncomfortableness and nervousness as you focus on the wrong things.

 

So, what are the wrong things? The negative.  The unknown.  As soon as we start focusing on what we don't know, our minds wander and we begin to picture "worst case scenarios" which distract us from the task at hand. We're suddenly not in the moment and it's obvious.

 

So what does this look like for you in everyday life? It means being present in the moment and doing everything intentionally to accomplish your goals. It means focusing on what you know, not what you don't know. Learning to speak positive thoughts to yourself and putting it all on the line, so that when you walk away you know you couldn't have done it any better.

 

Give yourself the opportunity to succeed instead of the excuses to fail. 

 



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