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Saturday, August 10 • 11:45am - 12:30pm
AINx talks

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  • Brains, Bodies and Becoming: There's More to the Science of Improv Than You Think - Cathy Salit
Part of the journey for us as Applied Improvisers is to explore the breadth of scientific thinking and research that both informs and is informed by our collective practice. Brain research is part of that exciting exploration; as well as a developing science in psychology, sometimes called the psychology of becoming and performative psychology. This talk (or workshop) will discuss the significance (and imperative) of our emerging field of Applied Improvisation to expand our current understanding of what play, improv and performance means/is for the human sciences, and therefore give us new ways/paradigms to think about, understand, and practice our collective humanity.

  • A(pplied) I(mprov) With A(rtifical) I(ntelligence) - Andrew Tarvin
Through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, computers are becoming increasingly more "creative." What role will humans play when machines can edit videos, bots can write scripts, and the best jokes are written not by comedians, but by computers? The reality is that many of these skills are already here. This presentation will explore creativity in the future and will be co-created by machines, delivered by a human.

  • A New V.U.C.A.: Be Positive, Be PreparedWhat is V.U.C.A? - Victoria Hogg
The recently-popular business acronym, V.U.C.A., invites all manner of organisations to be mindful of specific business-world pinch points. Coined by the US army in the 1980s, V.U.C.A. this sensible term stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. This is so negative, however, that it can stop people from using such a scaffolding to their advantage. So what happens when we put the term through a more positive, improvisational filter? I’ve created: Versatility, Uniqueness, Clarity and Commitment and Accept and Build, as a similarly robust yet more positive template. When used through an improv comedy prism, can this acronym help navigate contemporary cultural issues, such as anxiety and depression, to create a more fully-formed, long-lasting resilience?

  • Just Let Go' - Improvisation, Platitudes, and Burnout - Angelina Castellini
‘Be present’, ‘follow the fear’, ‘just let go’ — these are some of the most common phrases you will hear spoken in an Applied Improvisation workshop. But are they actually having the effect of freeing our participants’ minds and helping them become happier and healthier humans?

As Applied Improvisation facilitators, we strive to make sure that we are giving our students helpful tools and a safe environment to practice with them. However, this is easier said than done. Especially when we try to distill decades of wisdom into a half-day long workshop. Despite our best intentions, we sometimes miss the contextual mark and end up transferring perceived coffee mug wisdom and fridge magnet mantras. This miscommunication can make some people feel disengaged, frustrated, and unable to connect with our practices.
Through the lens of her own Burnout and recovery experience, Angelina explores how we can listen, acknowledge, and effectively build on our students’ complex needs rather than trying to make them fit into the mold of an idealised improviser.
Bottom line, in the words of Alan Alda: “Words can introduce you to an idea, but we think it takes an experience to transform you.”


Andrew Tarvin

Andrew Tarvin is the world’s first Humor Engineer teaching people how to get better results while having more fun. He has worked with 35,000+ people at 250+ organizations, including Microsoft, the FBI, and the International Association of Canine Professionals. He is a best-selling... Read More →

Victoria Hogg

Vic Hogg is a London-based applied improvisation MA (Goldsmiths College, UoL). She works in various realms, including corporate, socially engaged and plain comedy improvisation. The twin principles of safe space and permission to play create the bedrock of Victoria’s improv pra... Read More →

Cathy Salit

Cathy Salit is an author, speaker, CEO, executive coach, actress, singer, and comic improv performer. She began her career asan upstart and risk-taker at age 13, when she dropped out of eighth grade and started an alternative school in an abandoned storefront in New York City. Since... Read More →

Angelina Castellini

Angelina Castellini began teaching improvisation in 2010 at the London School of Economics (LSE), where she obtained her BSc International Relations. In 2012, she co-founded the LSE Language Centre’s English through Improv course and now co-authors a guide on Improvisation for Language... Read More →

Saturday August 10, 2019 11:45am - 12:30pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater