North Central College student Alex Moerer speaks at TEDx about value of improvisation

Feb 27, 2015

North Central College student Alex Moerer ’17 spoke at a TEDx event about how improvisation can be applied to improve life’s daily interactions.

Moerer was one of six student speakers selected to make three-minute presentations Feb. 13 at the inaugural TEDxNorthCentralCollege event. Topics were inspired by the theme “Changing the World for Good.” His talk was titled “Improvisation: Overcoming the Stage Fear of Life.”

Moerer, a theatre major from Waverly, Iowa, quoted German playwright Bertolt Brecht, who said, “All art forms are in the service of the greatest of all arts, the art of living.”

“Living is an art,” Moerer said. “It’s not just something that happens to us. It is something we have to do every day.”

People who use improvisational techniques of theatre can create a better human environment, Moerer said.

“I feel I do improvisation every day,” he said. “Every day I’m trying to jump into scenes with people and create something special with them.”

Moerer said he’s observed nontraditional performers effectively use improvisation, such as teachers who inspire students to get a better grade or coaches who rally their teams. He said people who use improvisational techniques tend to think more about others.

“An actor or a person should never watch themselves in the moment,” he said. “It creates this self-awareness and it hinders creativity. If you’re going to watch yourself you might as well just sit out in the audience.”

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers topics ranging from science to business to global issues. Independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.