Joe Bill’s an improv luminary with a brilliant mind that careens joyfully between gutter-level explicitness and spiritual truth—oh wait, are they different? When Joe came to San Francisco to teach and perform, Ted and Lisa cranked up the podcast for a two-part conversation that runs the gamut.

Part 1 of the conversation starts with the story of Joe and Lisa meeting in Germany (2:34) before digging into Joe’s psychological and spiritual approach to improv, including his atheism, Buddhism, Catholic upbringing, and drug exploration inspired by early improv great Del Close (5:55). The three discuss the roles of love and fear in improvisation (21:31) and wonder whether mindfulness is an inherently loving practice (25:36). Joe outlines his understanding of the differences between “engineer brain” and “artist brain” and Ted draws parallels to the “Thinking mind” and “sensing mind” from the world of mindfulness (32:43). After Joe explains his “emergency room coping mechanism” in the face of trauma (43:13), the three together articulate how a taking a wait-and-see approach with emotions makes for better improv scenes (49:13). Lisa and Joe differ on confidence levels with performing and teaching and then wonder “What if we don’t actually need to take care of our scene partner?” (51:47) before Part 1 concludes with a distinction between decision and discovery (55:18). Make sure to listen in for Part 2 where all three dive more into how all this applies to therapy and regular life!

Joe Bill (@mrjoebill on Twitter, Joe Bill Teaches on Facebook) is widely regarded as one of the great scenic and comedic improvisation teachers in the world. Co-founder of the The Annoyance Theater in Chicago and Duo format performer with Mark Sutton (BASSPROV), Patti Stiles, Jill Bernard and many others, Joe warms hearts and inspires deeper, better improv wherever he goes.

As always, Lisa and Ted would be delighted to hear from you. Please send a note, question, or comment to join in the fun of this curious romp:

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San Francisco improvisors Ted DesMaisons and Lisa Rowland explore the beautiful, surprising and unruly intersections between mindfulness and improvisation as they seek to befriend that oft-hidden and sometimes scary part of all of us that can lead to a life well-lived.

The post Monster Baby #50 A Buddhist Atheist: A Conversation with Joe Bill, Part 1 appeared first on Anima Learning.