"The Tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name."
When I was a teenager I first read through the Tao Te Ching, and even though this eighty-one page book was written by a most-likely-fictional-man named Lao Tzu, it spoke to me. It rang true. It made more sense than any bible or religious text I'd ever read, because it was about living life in the moment; living life for the here and now. The Tao Te Ching: The Book of the Way and its Virtue.
The more I studied and learned about improvisation, the more I realized that the same thing that rang true about this little book, I also found while improvising: Living in the here and now, allowing things to happen, withholding judgement, simply being and accepting. So I started talking about it in workshops and with improvisers. Even though most agreed with the idea, it still sounded a little strange when I told people that improvisation has become my life philosophy. But strange or not, I would still state it as my religious belief on census forms.
Two years ago I was given an opportunity to speak at a Pecha Kucha night. I thought, "here's my chance to tell the world what I believe... or at least a room full of smart, classy people." So I wrote out 7 steps of improv that also apply to life, made some silly slides, and gave it a simple name: The Way of Improvisation. The talk went well. People came up after and told me that what I said rang true with them too. So, I spoke again, and again, I made better and better slides, until I eventually ended up at TEDx Victoria, and that's when things took off.
My talk spread to over 40,000 people in a matter of weeks. The feedback I got was incredible. I heard from teachers from around the world who showed the video to their students, and not only theatre teachers: engineering professors, elementary school teachers, even swimming instructors! It was amazing. My talk was helping people. I heard from many improvisers that I respect and admire, and they too liked it. They agreed with what I said. It was overwhelming.
This is the next step for me. This site is meant to be a resource for improvisers who believe that improv isn't just a tool, but a philosophy.
It isn't a news site. It isn't a blog. It's a periodical for thoughtful improvisers who like to ponder the deeper meaning behind improvisation. This site is an extension of my belief that improvisation is not just a thing, but a way of thinking, a way of living, a way of being.
Welcome to the Tao Te Improv: The Way and Virtue of Improvisation.