Do you know what a prop is? It is an object used on stage by actors to emphasize something, catch attention or just increase the entertainment experience. The first time I became aware of props and their potential use, was many years ago during a course in public speaking when our trainer showed us how simple objects can put more spice in your presentation.
The interesting thing that I found was that the same principle can be used to create more fun and flow in your life.
Life is like a stage
I often have discussions with people how life resembles a stage on which we are playing a number of “roles”. For example, one such stage is our workplace. On this stage most of us play for eight hours each day with a number of other actors, i.e. your colleagues. The director is of course your boss.
Another stage is your home. Generally, it has fewer actors but they seem to be more passionate about the roles they play. And the director, your spouse for example, generally tends to be much more critical than the director at work about how you play your part… 🙂
I guess by now you can easily identify various other stages in your life: the sports club, school, church or ashram and yes, even the local supermarket is a stage.
BTW, has it ever occurred to you how much you tend to stick to the script for each role and meticulously follow the instructions of the director (spouse, boss, instructor)? Why not start improvising some more, like all great actors do when they know their role inside out, like you should by now? Why not improvise, spice up your part and have more fun by simply introducing some new props?
Examples of props you can use
In the office I am currently working in, almost everyone has dropped their tie and many dress very casually. Just for fun I started to use a pochette, better known as a pocket square, in my jacket. The impact was incredible as nobody else was using this “prop”. Everybody started to comment on this little piece of cloth as it apparently has such strong and different associations for people. It created laughter, fun and it even changed the atmosphere in meetings. And guess what, when I am not wearing it people also talk about it. In the meantime one other senior manager started using it for fun and we always smile when we meet, admiring each other’s pocket squares.
Another prop that I started to use are glasses. Normally I wear contact lenses but since a couple of months I started to wear glasses occasionally. The effect was interesting. People were confused, commenting and laughing, especially when I explained that I only wear my glasses in case I have serious meetings or wanted to look more intelligent.
A more expensive prop I use is my car. Some time ago I wrote about what happened when I had to sell my car and replaced it with an old Peugeot, which triggered a lot of comments. In the meantime, I changed this prop again and bought myself a BMW 7 series, an old one but still. Man, you should hear the remarks that people made! Everybody was talking about it and of course everyone had an opinion. I just had a lot of fun.
Just three simple examples illustrating how props can be used to create more fun.
So my invitation to you is, why not start using props yourself and create more fun in your life as well? Why not dress totally different tomorrow when you go to the office and see what happens? Or, why not change your hair style for a while or use a wig? Were fake or sun glasses when it is least expected?
Be creative and then observe not only the reactions of your fellow actors and the audience, but especially how easy or difficult you find it to leave the safety of your script. What you will find is that in some strange way the use of props enhances your improvisation skills and creates much more ease and flow in your life…
I am looking forward to hear about your experiences.