It's no secret that I've become infatuated with tantra theater. And when I'm not directing the sacred sexual stories of my friends and lovers in our weekly rehearsals, I'm spending my spare time playing with a new comedy improvisation troupe. What's this obsession about? At first I thought it was just the sultry hot endorphin rush that I got from doing it. Then I realized it is the most ego-confronting practice I've ever engaged in. And now I'm starting to see how this art form is no different from tantra. Infact, famed masters of modern improv, Charna Halpern and Del Close even said:
"Improv is like sex, even when it's bad, its still pretty good."
-- Truth in Comedy.
But they had no idea that many of the basic principles they teach can be cross-applied directly to Sacred Sex. (This is distinctly NOT the case with acting.) Infact, the more someone 'acts' in bed, the less sacred the sex is.
Here are some of the basic tenants of good improv that I could just as easily say about tantra :
- You can not learn it from books, it is a whole body experience that must be practice with devotion.
- The first and most important rule that must not be broken is agreement (Also known as YES...AND) Agreement forwards the action. If there is no agreement in the scene it falls apart. The improvisation dies. It becomes rape!
- A true practitioner must gives up all control without any attachment to how they think the scene should go.
- If you adore and admire your playmates their expression becomes brilliant and by making them look good, you will look better and have more fun!
- Get out of your ego and let a larger story be told.
- Surrender to the spontaneous co-creation in the moment.
- Mistakes are all part of the play.
- No matter how much laughter and play is involved, you must have deep reverence for the craft and the scene must be taken seriously.
- Unlearn your stock responses. Let go of whatever you planning to say. Jokes, like witty pick-up lines will make your audience groan. Don't try to create an effect in your audience, but be true to the deepest impulse that arises in you.
- Trust is essential. Be willing to follow your partners lead.
- Listen deeply to what your partner is saying, not only in their words but in their body language. Take notice and be responsive. Try to recall what they are saying or doing and reflect it back to them later in the scene when it will illuminate new meaning.
- Initate physical movement. Reveal yourself through your actions.
- Interact with your environment
- Don't be afraid of the silence, pausing at the right place can be dramatic.
- Go for group mind...where possible perform as if one player with multiple heads.
- Remember the wise words of Del Close "Listen to your inner voice" and "Take the unusual choice"
- All rules are just suggestions. There is an exception to every rule.
Whether we're in the bedroom or on stage, the spontaneous flow continues. Tantra and Improv continue through everything you do. Practicing either craft can improve your performance in all other aspects of life, from your technical expertise to your sales. I hope to see you at one of our upcoming Tantra theater shows!
Kamala Devi is the Director of Tantra Theater. Next Show Friday, July 10th. For tickets write Kamala@blisscoach.com. Or go to: http://www.partnerplayshop.com/Tantra_Theater.html