Thanks to Zen to Zany!
When I was little, I didn’t want to grow up.
It was very clear I didn’t want to become an adult. It seemed a whole lot less fun. I wasn’t too far off!
Well, despite my resistance, I did “grow up” or at least I got bigger. I still fight the notion of being an adult, and now have as a mission to keep adults playing (Buffoonery Workshops). In my mind, it’s all about balancing the overwhelming seriousness of life with some playfulness.
Is it possible?
Here is an article by the Vancouver Sun published July 2012 on this topic. Would love to know your thoughts!
Adults relearn benefits of play
For anyone who’s stared longingly at a swing-set or quietly cursed the height restriction at McDonald’s Playland, the International Council on Active Aging brings a ball-pit full of good news.
At the organization’s latest annual conference, “older-adult playgrounds” were endorsed as a way of getting baby boomers and seniors to embrace healthier, active lifestyles. Like an Amber Alert for your inner child, the idea is to help grown-ups recover their sense of play and trick them into exercising at the same time.
Today I was interviewed on Radio-Canada Colombie-Britannique-Yukon, “Boulevard du Pacifique” on Buffoonery. It’s always fun to speak in my second language, especially when the Bouffon comes from the French. We chatted about the origin of the Le Bouffon and how I came to it, and how people react when they do my workshop. As you can see by my photos, most reactions are pretty positive!
Thank you to Stéphane Gasc, and animatrice, Marie Villeneuve for this opportunity.
Vive le bouffon!
This photo comes from a two day buffoonery intensive for actors/improvisors/performers. Buffoonery Workshops is available to do a 3 hour workshop for Team-building, or staff development days (no costumes).
If you ever wondered about the education system, or if you or anyone you know has been diagnosed with ADHD, have a watch and a listen to this video – speech by Sir Ken Robinson, animate by RSA (brilliantly done).
First of all, congratulations to the small but mighty group of keen explorers of the “Think Referrals Business Networking” group who embraced a Buffoonery Teambuilding Workshop recently. Rainer Shmoll, CEO of Think Referrals; Rhiannon Foster, Realtor extraordinaire for Royal LePage; Jason Scott, of Fitness Town & the fabulous Power Plate; Margarete Vinke , Independent Associate of Legal Shield; Marlise Mellett, Marketing, Sales & Promotions Manager for Doolin’s Pub & properties; Dr. Dilyana Nestorova, Acupuncturist & Herbologist with Vista Wellness and Gary Chomyn, The SalesMD.
These people recognize that play is just as important as a fitness workout, eating correctly, and any self-development educating learning. I commend them for getting curious about what a Buffoonery Workshop could offer them.
The word “buffoonery”, the English definition of the tricky technique for this team-building process based on the French “Bouffon”…
…can startle people and give an impression of “not serious”, “silly”, “un-productive playing”, and cause them either to laugh, and want to know more, or smile while thinking “this is not for me, and much too foolish”.
Some of that is true. Yes, it’s silly. Yes, it’s not serious. Yes, it’s foolish. But, according to many studies, play proves to be a crucial element for effectively maneuvering in this world and most definitely NOT unproductive! Acclaimed writers Daniel H. Pink, Stuart Brown M.D., and Jonah Lehrer all address the importance of play.
I asked some of the group if they had any impressions after the workshop they would like to share.
“What I took away as a precious gift from you, Trilby, as you led us in a safe and trustworthy environment, was that I became aware of letting my energy (emotions) flow; then I started to feel and connect with what is really important to me on my journey in life. The biggest reflection from the workshop in my mind is “connecting with me through the eyes of others”.
We enjoyed your unbridled laughing, Margarete!
“Brilliant experience: for self-growth, for therapy, for discovering yourself and of course for FUN!!! Truly honoured and happy to have the chance to be a Buffoon! Thank you sincerely, Trilby!” Dr. Dilyana Nestorova
Knowing your trepidation for “performing”, Dilyana, it was fun to see you dive in!
“I loved doing the buffoonery session so if I were to say something about it – I would have to say how much I enjoyed getting out of my shell. It really loosened me up around a group of people that I try to be more business-like around and realized that it’s more fun to relax and be yourself.” Marlise Mellett
You work in a playful environment, Marlise. I appreciate that you wanted to explore that further!
“I gained personal insight and awareness.” Rhiannon Foster
As an already wonderfully expressive person, Rhiannon, it was great to see you play more, and also aid in giving permission to the others to play. Thank you!
“Taking the time to search deep into my Buffoon was a truly amazing experience. You took control, you knew exactly how to make me open up, perform, and relax, but most of all have FUN!!!
I’d never felt, or seen myself through other people’s behaviour, mimicking me, not in a bad way, but to see myself through other people in the group, from their movement.
I really am a confident individual, and through your workshop, I feel even more confident in a different way. My business is of a serious nature, and my personality can reflect that. However, with just a few little tweaks from you, getting me out of my comfort zone was really a huge achievement.”
As someone in the Fitness business, Jason, you realize how important it is to connect with our bodies. When we are in tuned with what are bodies are doing, it can be enlightening, and helpful to our every day. Thank you, for boldly taking it a step further.
It is always a joy for me to witness each individual’s personality pop out in a safe, free environment. I can’t think of a better mission in life.
Is play a priority in your life?
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Team-Building at it’s worst… but, fun to watch!
(at least there might be some wine at the end?)
We had some grape picking, wine making fun recently in the Okanagan! (no feet!)
To read more: Bouffon Droppings