A couple of week’s ago I featured Frozen Grand Central because I loved how it used the power of the mob to create something joyous. This was the work of improveverywhere, whose mission in life is to create chaos and joy. That video has now had over 6.8 million views and they’ve garnered the attention of the media worldwide. They created Improv Everywhere Global and put out the call to agents everywhere to create their own scenes of chaos and joy. Since Frozen Grand Central was posted on YouTube there have been 26 freeze missions conducted in 11 countries. What follows is the mission in Trafalgar Square, London, where over 1000 people (recruited via Facebook) assembled to freeze for 5 mins. No music accompanies this video, and you can feel the eerie quiet that descends.
Have an inspirational weekend – it’s my son’s birthday – turning 9 – party tomorrow!
End of another working week and I’m tired. I work in a wonderful environment with fantastic students, many of whom shared with me their delight over ImprovEverywhere‘s mission at Grand Central Station. So why not enjoy another of their efforts so that we can revel in the chaos and joy they create over our weekend – share it with a friend and double the enjoyment factor! This time they’re at a Home Improvement shop – it was done in August 2006 and you can see how their filming has become more sophisticated when you compare it to Frozen Grand Central.
I just love this! It’s the work of Improv Everywhere. This is what they have to say about themselves on their blog;
Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 70 missions involving thousands of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City.
I love watching and hearing the reactions of bystanders unknowingly experiencing the event. My favourite part is the end, and the spontaneous reaction of the crowd. Ain’t humanity grand.
I can’t wait to find an opportunity to use this with a group of students and see their reactions. You could use it for drama, psychology, or as a writing prompt for a creative writing piece. Watching it reminded me of the Orson Welles radio play of Jules Vernes ‘War of the Worlds’ in the 1930’s, when unsuspecting listeners who tuned in after the broadcast had begun thought that the Martians had landed and were invading Earth.
The video is posted on YouTube, but you can also find it on their improveverywhere site. It’s worth going there, because they provide background detail about how they set the improvisation up and how it was filmed and recorded. Now they’re going global – they’ve set up a ning – Improv Everywhere Global – where they are encouraging others to join with them around the world to create scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Can’t wait to see where they show up next!