IMPROV’d Care Partners

Smiling, remembering my startled glee at finding a surprising number of sources the first time – many months ago – I did an online search of “improv & aging” & it was gone into at length at last week’s International Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics (IAGG) World Congress, so I was not taken aback at seeing it was a presentation some weeks ago at the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival.

What left me flabbergasted were two of the names associated with it – Adam Grant & Ai-Jen Poo, both revered book mentors of mine!  And a new name, now dear to my heart – KELLY LEONARD.

Kelly Leonard started his career at Chicago’s 2nd City improv troupe the way – he says – everyone does: as a dishwasher.  He worked his way up to key behind-the-scenes positions, including President of 2nd City Theatricals.  Today, he is the Executive Director of the company’s spanking new Insights & Applied Improvisation division.  It was in that position that his friend, Adam, connected Kelly with his friend, Ai-Jen. And the world shifted for the better.

“Three caregivers walk into a bar…”   is a must-listen podcast of the presentation Kelly, Ai-Jen & others gave less that six weeks ago as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival’s “Not Your Ordinary Health Conference” Spotlight.

Listening to it, realized for the first time that Mom’s final years went so remarkably well because the three of us – John, Mom, moi – worked together as an improv ensemble, with guest appearances by her best health care partners & my other sibs.  It’s how Anne Hyatt & her children interacted – an unaware yet inspired repertoire group.  We/they rolled with presenting circumstances, focused (without knowing it) on our “and, but” repartee, and always always always had each other’s backs.

Great listen, great things ahead!


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Author: auntdeev

playfulness coach, life enthusiast & general instigator, ENTJ, cat lover

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