ˈvər-chə-wəlˈdā-vəs Serial storyteller, poetry pusher, digital doodler, flâneur.

Monday Blues? Mini-Golf!

There are days and there are dazed days, Mondays and weeks full of Mondays.

For times like these, when the burly blues blot out the best, I turn to Improv Everywhere for an emergency dose of sunshine. This morning’s synchronized swimming flashback was just what the doctor ordered!

Improv Everywhere performs a 16-person synchronized swimming routine in the fountain in Washington Square Park. Posing as the official New York City synchronized swimming team, the Olympic-hopefuls compete in three inches of dirty water in this unauthorized event. Will the judges reward their effort? (Improv Everywhere)

Although this is a digitally snazzified rerun from 2004, the London Olympics timing is perfect. And as good things often lead onto more good things, I couldn’t resist the temptation to wander from synchronized swimming to the Mini-Golf Open which smeared a grin across my mug so wide sunrise mistook it for the horizon. And I don’t even like golf! Well, not like golf anyway…

Thank you, Improv Everywhere.


No Pants Subway Ride

On Sunday, January 8th, 2012 tens of thousands of people took off their pants on subways in 59 cities in 27 countries around the world. In New York, our 11th Annual No Pants Subway Ride had nearly 4,000 participants, spread out over six meeting points and ten subway lines… If you’re unfamiliar with this event, you might want to first read our history of The No Pants Subway Ride. Since this is the 11th year we’ve done this, there’s not too much to report other than it was another awesome time. (Improv Everywhere)

You’ve gotta love Improv Everywhere and their annual No Pants Subway Ride. Unless you’re too stiff to drop your trousers in public without blinking an eye. Unless you’re too uptight to smile and laugh when the fellow next to you drops his trousers in public without blinking and eye. Spontaneous acts of generosity and hilarity resuscitate levity which is darned near as important as nourishment, respiration and sleep. So say I.

Can you recommend another upbeat improv video or post?

If you’re in need of a wee bit more shake-of-the-blues improv happiness, check out “Black Tie Beach“, “Worst Ice Skater or Best Entertainer? and/or “Welcome To Heathrow Airport“. Bet your day’s going better already!

Worst Ice Skater or Best Entertainer?

Does your Monday morning need a booster shot? The latest public improv mission by Improv Everywhere will smear a grin across your mug. I promise.

Produced in collaboration with Ice Theatre of New York, “Worst ice skater ever?” opens with an apparently novice ice skater stranded alone on the rink at New York’s Bryant Park. His transformation from clutz to expert is funny, yes, but also beautiful in that way you’ll find hard to explain to your colleagues at work…

Welcome to Heathrow Airport

“Life’s for sharing” (T-Mobile advertisement)

Powerful, poignant and totally innovative storytelling! And a bit of a tear-jerker (of the happy variety) too… Long live the flashmob! Echoes of Improv Everywhere, don’t you think? Tell me you didn’t find yourself longing for this emotional welcome the next time you land at an airport?!?! Kudos to T-Mobile for super innovative storytelling.

Aside from the emotionally charged experience and story, the underlying idea that life is for sharing is compelling, timely and powerful. We live in the digital age when it is easier than ever before to share an event like this “spontaneous” welcome home concert in Heathrow airport. Indeed the video cuts repeatedly to travelers recording the event on their mobiles. Photos, videos, phone calls… this is the age of immediate, virtually universal sharing. And the powerful message underlying this advertisement for T-Mobile is that connecting with others to share beauty, to share happiness is magical and humanizing. It’s a universal desire. Too often we all fall into ruts of isolation passing through each others’ lives like ghosts, like passengers in an airport. But moments when our isolated, insulated bubbles pop and we are connected, even temporarily to others is what makes life worth living. We are inherently social creatures, but we’ve been socialized to wear blinders, to limit connection with those around us. Storytelling — and, in this case, T-Mobiles communication tools and network — bridge the divide between us. Okay, time to lay off! I’ve become gushy and repetitive. (The sign of an effective advertisement!)

Black Tie Beach


Black Tie Beach improv theatre mission (via Improv Everywhere)

“I saw people looking and old people laughing… You move… make spirit… people… It’s good fun. I tell what I am feeling. Everybody’s happy!” The old fellow at the end of the video nailed it. Improv Everywhere moves people. Make people laugh. Makes people happy. Another you’re-making-the-world-a-better-place mission. Thanks!

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