Tag Archives: training

Jim Ansaldo – Teaching improvisation to teenagers with autism

Applied improvisation is where we use improv as a tool to teach and learn. The Bring a Brick podcast interviews professionals from all over the world who use applied improvisation in their work to discover how they use the ‘how’ of improvisation.  I take the role of curious student, to learn how people teach and benefit from the unique values of applying improv.  Teaching improvisation.

Teaching improvisation to teenagers with autismJim Ansaldo is a Research Scholar at Indiana University Bloomington, a member of Comedysportz Indianapolis and an instructor at Camp Yes And, which teaches improv Teenager on the Autism Spectrum.

“Improv gives us a means for everyone to bring their life experience to the table”

I had the chance to catch up with Jim earlier this year in San Jose, California. We talked about his approach to teaching, and his work bringing improvisation to with children and teenagers with autism, and how it can be used to highlight and aid communication and interaction. We also touched on the broader aspects of improvisation as a tool in therapy, Jill Bernard mindfullness in improv workshop that we both attended and the legacy of Keith Johnstone.

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Direct Link

Bullet Points

  • Creating a safe space for improvisation without the pressures of ‘performing’.
  • Working with educators at Camp Yes And.
  • Improv Camps and Classes for Teens on the Autism Spectrum and Educators
  • Using improv to facilitate discussion on how to improve teaching methods and generate new ideas.
  • The core values of CSZ worldwide – Collaboration, Inspiration, Values, fun.
  • Musical improvisation – The Yes And band.

Links

The host John Cooper is a professional stand-up comedian, improviser, tutor & illustrator based in Manchester, UK.

Click here to listen to previous podcast interviews  with other experts who use improvisation. 

 

Training the trainer. Growing with the business growth hub.

Back in October I joined a programme called ‘Spark 2 Scale’. A series of workshops run by The Business Growth Hub designed to boost businesses and help me grow the success of my own training sessions.

I’m at the halfway point and already seeing benefits. From practical networking to personal effectiveness and growth hacking.   Here are a handful of thoughts on what I’ve taken so it so far.


A timely kick in the pants.

Naturally, being self employed means I have to  be proactive, and speculative. With all the goodwill in the world, bad habits can creep into work patterns over time, my work patterns. The very nature of opting to go on a course to grow my business, creating a new ‘business model canvas’ is healthy. Being asked questions that poke at the corners of where I want to go with my niche ‘ stand up comedy techniques for presenting and public speaking‘  training is a very welcome and invited kick in the pants.

Better networking.
Delivering training on presenting and public speaking skills using techniques from my experience in stand up comedy, is a bit niche and a bit of a mouthful to explain concisely. I’ve always found networking a challenge not because of a lack of confidence, actually the opposite. I’m happy to talk and listen, but always found follow ups quite low. Learning that potential clients are more likely to look online for the kind of training I provide took the impetus off attending live events where I wasn’t speaking.
The advantage of the focused nature of the Spark 2 Scale programme is, I find,  that I’m in the room with other business minds eager to grow. That common goal really helps.  Like me they’re looking to pick up skills, and of course the best business offers are made when you’re not looking for them.

Thinking big.
The anticipation of having a growth strategist look over my new business plan with a fine tooth comb and a big red pen was a bit daunting. Despite recent successes, it was outside of my comfort zone, and some of my hidden worries (impostor syndrome or feeling like an amateur) were threatening t show themselves.
Wonderful then to sit down and have all that negative thinking evaporate as my adviser shared my enthusiasm for what I was doing and it’s growth potential. Helping open doors, look at big goals and point out flaws in a way that was practical and constructive.

Prep for the next step.
I’ve three new projects lined up, and as I’m writing this blog. Both leads came from the preparation I put in before starting the programme. I don’t want it to sound like bragging. ( I’m currently reading the book ‘How to toot your own horn without blowing it’ – Peggy Klaus). However once I’d signed up to the course I wanted to have clarity about my outcomes. Updating the website, re-writing  marketing content and polishing my elevator pitch, the little jobs that get pushed back received the extra attention they deserved and got results.

Supportive and sharing.
I’m aware through the many books I’ve read that business is people. Whatever the size. I’m influenced by my environment and the people I choose to work with. I shouldn’t have been surprised when the second masterclass was on personal effectiveness.  Clapping my hands under the table when the handouts touched on the ‘the map is not the territory’ one of my favourite phrases about planning and adapting to change.
Spark 2 Scale has provided an inspiring environment for my business goals and I’m glad to be part of it.

Links:
The Business Growth Hub