Fall Quarter 2017 Magazine Publication students are once again reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, but this time they’ll be reporting on the “Big Magic” day they led in class. Students, divided into groups based on each chapter, will facilitate a discussion and lead activities that integrate the ideas from Gilbert’s book. Here, Cascadia students Keara and Skyler share their experience of exploring TRUST.
by Keara Capetti and Skyler Nelson
“Be careful of your dignity…it is not always your friend.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
When walking into a classroom on a cold December day the week before finals, you would expect to find most students stressed out, doing whatever they can last minute to get their best grade possible. Last week was “dead week” and for most of us, the work has been piling up and tensions getting high. The last thing you would expect to find is a group of college students trying to moo like a cow in unison, but that’s what we were doing on December 4th in HUMAN 210 class.
For the Big Magic chapter “Trust” we wanted to do something different. What caught our inspiration most in the chapter was Gilbert’s remarks on “embracing your inner trickster,” trusting your work to give back to you as you give to it, and we knew exactly what to do… improv. Instead of discussing how we trust ourselves, others, and our passions with the class, we wanted to demonstrate trust with action. Trust me when I say it’s no easy feat to go up in front of a group of non-theater people and pretend to be a cat, but the kind of open, welcoming, and trusting environment we have built in the classroom let us play and explore.
We had the idea to incorporate some beginner improvisational theatre games. The standard definition of improvisation is “the art or act of improvising, or of composing, uttering, executing, or arranging anything without previous preparation” (Dictionary.com). Not only is improv a form of theatre but it’s something that we do in our lives as a response to a certain situation. For example, if you’re in a stressful situation, you may find yourself making something up on the spot and improvising your way out of the debacle. Improvisational theatre has so many levels we thought starting small would be a great way to get people out of their shells and having SO much fun.
The games played in the class were “Bibbity Bibbity Bop,” “Rumors,” “Freeze,” and “Alien Tiger Cow.” In case anyone is looking to embrace their inner trickster, we will leave video links down below that will explain exactly how to play these games yourself. Get tricky with it!
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