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The Silly Nature of Social Status – Improv Games
April 24, 2021 at 7:30 pm EDT
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Interintellect Maybe Gray leads a workshop demonstrating the flexibility of the perceptions of social status through improvisational games.
Social status is often framed as a negative thing – it’s fixed, it creates barriers, it fosters exclusions, it hurts feelings, and it frustrates attempts to communicate ideas. It can be seen through such a stark, black and white lens – you are either high status or low status, ingroup or outgroup, genius or dimwit, with no variability or in-between.
Through improvisation, social status can be transformed by the power of play. It can be reframed as positive, flexible, something that opens doors, creates opportunities for inclusion, inspires connection, and provides clues as to how to present our perspectives in persuasive ways.
When we play in the shades of gray that are so often obscured in conversations of signalling and social status it becomes clear that the perception of status is in many ways a game, even outside of the context of improvisation. Status is a game that we play to understand each other and to understand ourselves. It is a game we play to orient ourselves toward our goals, our relationships, and the world. It is a game we can learn to play in a limitless number of ways within a limitless number of frames.
In this workshop we will explore questions like:
- How do I perceive my own status in social situations?
- How do I perceive the status of others in social situations?
- How can I play with the concept of status?
- How can I communicate different levels of status to others?
- How can status become a flexible tool I can use to accomplish social goals?
- How can playing with status in an improvisational context impact my understanding of the status games I see myself and others playing in the world around me?
Some things to read before the salon…
- Tina Fey’s Rules for Improvisation
- Summary of Keith Johnstone’s “Impro” by James Clear
- Status in Improvisation
- Robin Hanson’s “Actors See Status”
- That Other Kind of Status by Scott Alexander
New York – 7:30 pm
San Francisco – 4:30 pm
Sydney – 10:30 am
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