Last night, Alligator Mouth Improv worked with Corning East High School students to teach them some fundamentals of improvisation. The students, who all had some stage performance background, worked hard, paid attention, and honed their skills in the short time we shared. Ideally, some of those students will return for a month-long workshop in the summer.
After we gave a brief performance-demo and said our good-byes, I went backstage and powered up my Blackberry. I had received an email from a publication editor I recently started working with (I contribute a free column and receive some exposure in return). In the blurb at the end of my column, I wrote that I am an "Agent for Creativity." The editor thought he'd do me a favor and edit that part out, mentioning that it's a "bit too much for the target audience," and that it would be "best to play it safe."
It was an interesting contrast. Thanks to technology, I went from the open-minded high school stage to the play-it-safe corporate world in a matter of seconds. I never thought I'd say this: it felt much better to be back in high school at that moment. And not to be harsh on the editor (he's may actually be right about being a "bit too much" for the audience), but that mentality makes it increasingly difficult to dig our economy out of the hole it's in.
I'm not too interested in playing it safe. I'm interested in being an Agent for the Arts and for creativity - and I'm looking forward to working with businesses who are ready to try something new.