Episode 16: Coffee with Claire Show with Michelle Bardwell

About the Show


Do you know the difference between improv , stand up and sketch comedy?   Improv is much different from stand-up comedy since nothing is scripted. Stand-up comedians get the chance to rehearse their performance before they go on stage. And it’s not sketch comedy, like you see on “Saturday Night Live,” which is tightly scripted.True improv is totally made-up-on-the-spot entertainment, based on suggestions the director gets from the crowd.Performers do share a common vision, like any good team or organization does. The mission is to make people laugh.

This could be called “high-risk creative work.” Not only do the performers have to keep their egos in check to be openly collaborative, performers must also remember they are there for the audience, to please them consistently. They are on stage, writing the script “one line at a time” in front of a live audience, where there is no opportunity for rewrites. They follow rules that are learned “stone cold” through  extensive, regular rehearsal so they are like muscle memory in their minds.

Since they don’t know what the suggestion is going to be until they hear it, it is imperative that the improv performers all trust each other and have each others’ backs.

As in business, improv performers have two concurrent things on their minds:

  • Actively listening to enable collaboration.
  • Paying attention to the exchange and adaptation to the constant change of the direction of the scene so we can create together.

So, in this next series of Coffee with Claire, we are going to be exploring how some improv skills can actually help us in our lives – both personally and professionally. And, remembering that we ALL need to PLAY and laugh everyday.

As you know, each week we invite people who are entrepreneurs, people who give back to the community, and people who like to have fun. This week, please meet Michelle Bardwell.  Trained as a dancer, choreographer and teacher, Michelle made the “high-risk creative work” leap into the world of health and wellness in the 1990s and has grown significantly in the field since then. Michelle is a natural medicine practitioner, the owner of Flower Road, an alternative health institute, and the developer of The 13 Botanical Formulas.  These formulas are a system of premium grade essential oils designed to specifically address physical and emotional issues.  Currently she is working on a book to help us Muggles learn how to use her revolutionary system.