Remove the fear

I love this video for so many reasons.

I love the fact that this guy was just doing his deal.  He was in a moment, doing what inspired him and brought him joy. Regardless of the ever present public scrutiny he was in his moment.

I love the fact that his moment, his obvious, inspired someone else to jump.  I love that the first person welcomed the second.  I love that they both dance more freely with more courage.  They give each other permission to follow inspiration  by saying Yes to each other in their shared actions.

I love this Yes inspired someone else to join and the play increases.  I love that naturally the routine breaks and it is no longer one person at a time but a swarm of people running, leaping bounding to play.

The spirit of play and positive acceptance is infectious.  From one obvious offer we now have a joyous mob all in the moment, having an amazing experiencing, that came out of a honest impulse, greeted by a Yes and allowed to grow. 

The spirit of this video is symbolic of the spirit of the core, the heart, the foundation of improvisation work. 

I shared this video on my Facebook page and in the spirit of sharing this video was suggested to me.  In this Derek Sivers uses the same video as above but within the context of his speech.

After watching his video I was sad.  Sad that an organic moment has been formed into a strategy.  Sad that this lone dancer is labelled as ‘a lone nut’.  Why?  Why belittle this guy in such a public forum for just dancing.  Mr. Sivers, in my opinion, did this to fill his objective.  As a trained speaker he knows laughter relaxes an audience and helps them like the speaker more.  So, he sold out the brave lone dancer for a laugh, for his own need.  Sold out the person who gave him this offer in the first place.  He also refers to the mob joining in as “the fence sitters” and “they will be part of the in crowd if they hurry”.  There is truth to this of course.  But why must we always focus on the judgemental and the negative?  Why not look at this action as ‘the crowd being freed of the risk and judgement are inspired to join’.  Why not look at the playful abandon, the delight in peoples faces, the sheer enthusiasm that one offer followed by positive acceptance can lead to. 

In his speech about leadership I think he misses the point.  Leaders need to inspire and motivate.  They need to create an environment where it is safe to explore, and share ideas without ridicule.  All new ideas were once odd ideas because they were simply new. 

We have lessons to learn here in improvisation as well.  How the simplicity of the heart, of what we do, can be turned into fancy workshop topics for the benefit of the instructor / speaker.  How beautiful message of ‘accept positively’ can so quickly be turned into strategy for achievement. How an idea can be misinterpreted by an individual on the outside looking in.

As Keith Johnstone said “the stage is a scary place we either remove the fear or improve the armour.”

In my opinion the first video removes fear, the second improves the armour.

I prefer to remove the fear.

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Comments moved from old site

Johnson, B. (2012, 05 16)


It’s refreshing hearing such a fresh and real take on Johnstone’s ideas in an improv blog. (Using ‘the obvious’/taking an honest impulse, deliberately increasing the safety/acceptance so that more play is encouraged)

Versus Siver’s take on the video as you say, Removing the need to feel defensive (versus Building up defenses) is a hugely more freeing ‘escape’ from the everyday pressure of life/the social experience.

Cheers and look forward to more.

Monday, September 6, 2010 – 05:41 AM

Reply from original post Stiles, P

Hey Brett,

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.


Thursday, September 23, 2010 – 03:32 PM