Improvisation immediately challenges our automatic behaviors, which makes it a powerful and accessible way to become more self-aware. Self-awareness is linked to greater emotional intelligence. A Harvard Business Review article titled “For A More Flexible Workforce Hire Self-Aware People” higher self-awareness to the capacity to be flexible and shift in response to changing situations.
When given a space to let go and be silly, kids and adults learn to move through blocks in communication and balance the pressures they face. By fostering trust, focus, and confidence, the Gaining Perspective team positively transforms not only the individual, but also the group dynamic.
WHERE THIS ALL BEGAN
In 2006, Kerstin Caldwell was asked to come to teach improvisation for two weeks at William Smith High School, formerly an alternative high school, in Aurora, CO. Kerstin wanted to show the so-called “bad” kids how to use their persuasive skills in more positive ways. She worked to harness their playful nature using exercises and games to freeing students from their self-destructive patterns to practice positive communication and choices in a safe and supportive space. Those two weeks at William Smith turned into a month. Then a semester. Then a year… In the end, Kerstin became an Artist In Residency at William Smith where her approach to teaching improvisation evolved to a complete and successful curriculum on self-awareness.
Kerstin left William Smith in 2014 to focus on providing a solid foundation for her own small children while also teaching adults improvisation through her former company The YES! Lab. Allowing her strategies for teaching teens to inform her approach with individual adults and corporate clients, she had an epiphany. Teaching improvisation as a mindfully-centered approach to creating a deeper, more engaged existence, can help every group.
Kerstin created the Gaining Perspective team of highly trained Improvisational Actors and Therapists from the mental health field. Their mission—healing beliefs, behaviors and communication among youth and adults in a fun, supportive, non-judgmental environment.