Collective WE

An excerpt from the book Meet Your Playful Self

A Collective We

I have enjoyed working with so many people who have opened themselves to discoveries of the playful and hold each one as a true blood, sweat, and tears contributor to what you are reading. It wasn’t a drive to make money that bought them together or even a promise of success, but a passionate curiosity to learn how to laugh and play. I hail and honor their presence and contribution and think of them as an organism spanning time and place or a collective we. This collective we embodies hundreds of people who worked for hours, weeks, months, and years to break through resistances to become the best actor, improviser or performer they could. I am the fisherman whose net was filled with their contributions. It is through the catch of their collective work that the forty-seven paths to Meet Your Playful Self evolved.

You know the names and have seen the work of a few of the collective we. The late Chris Farley was present twenty-five years ago at his very first improvisation in front of an audience in Madison, Wisconsin. Joan Cusack is here as she was before SNL and a still a student at the University of Wisconsin. Today, Brian Stack has enjoyed a career as a writer for the The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien show, Ron Beganski is the Artistic Director of Free Street Theatre in Chicago, and Todd Hanson is an originator of The Onion newspaper and “The Onion Movie”. Some of their blood, sweat and tears are all included in this collective we.

Many other members of this collective did not become well known actors, writers, or teachers. They moved out into the world with their passion for playfulness to become husbands, wives, mothers and fathers in a world a little lighter by their presence.

All of the voices of the collective we speak with strength and purpose of searching for something beyond themselves they could not even understand at the time. Each voice, each person, every moment shared by hundreds of people all blend and mingle in this conversation to lead you to the discoveries you can make to become a more playful person – to meet your playful self.

Meet Your Playful Self


4 thoughts on “Collective WE

  1. Thanks Dennis,
    You can feel very proud that so many great people have the honor to call you teacher. That includes me…even I’m not in that same great club. Thanks again for being such an inspiration to so many.


    • There is no more or less important member of the “collective we”. This includes myself. Some are more “well known” than others to be sure, but no one’s contribution is greater or less than any other.


  2. Pingback: Can you come out and play? « playful

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