Described as ‘the king of improv’, in reality Neil Mullarkey is more than that. The middle of three brothers, Neil is the one with the least conventional career choice. Perhaps you could say it all started at Cambridge where Neil was President of the now-famous Footlights Club. Or perhaps it started in a more public arena when he and Mike Myers founded the original Comedy Store in London. Perhaps it is starting now as Neil Mullarkey takes the lessons he’s learned in the genre of Improv and introduces them to the wider worlds of business and business schools.
Neil Mullarkey is a curious combination of the searching academic and the pragmatic comic. He is at pains to tell us that the origins of Improv are not in Comedy but in mental welfare. He is happy to talk about Skinner, Pavlov and Herminia Ibarra. He is happy to use terms like ‘operant conditioning’, ‘provocative therapy’ and ‘affiliative humour.’ And at the same time, he is happiest eating meals with his wife and children, ahead of on-song running an Improv Workshop or eating Sushi on his own.
In the next breath, he will tell you he would be happy with a note in the history books which simply said “He made some people laugh.” His words to live by are ‘Say yes to everything and work out how to do it afterwards.’ Why else would he leave London and travel to the Ustinov Studio in Bath to appear Live on stage, totally unscripted, streamed as it happened - whatever happened! - on both Facebook and YouTube? In fact it was a great success - two lovers of Improv working together to delight an interested audience. Two table tennis enthusiasts keeping a fascinating rally going spectacularly well for a good hour.
“The only real mistake is to stop trying.” So says Neil Mullarkey, performer, thinker, writer. Fascinating stuff! Very generous, very authentic and occasionally very emotional.
A treat in store!
Neil's episode is a treasure trove of insights - not just on comedy, but on authenticity, leadership, and the importance of embracing failure. Drawing wisdom from esteemed individuals such as Herminia Ibarra and B.F. Skinner, we explore facets of life that transcend the boundaries of showbiz. Neil's candid anecdotes on how he applies these life lessons to his personal journeys - like his unexpected stint as an umpire for the English Open Table Tennis Championships - are sure to leave you inspired.
As we navigate through Neil's experiences, we also discuss his intriguing thoughts on provocative therapy and his unending love for improv. Get ready for a heartfelt tribute to Neil's late friend Andy Smart, a celebration of his upcoming charity event, and a deep dive into the stories and inspirations behind his book, 'In the Moment.' This episode, filled to the brim with humor, wisdom, and engaging anecdotes, is designed to leave you entertained and enlightened. So sit back, relax, and let the tales of Neil Mullarkey lead you through a journey of laughter and
Tune in next week for more stories of 'Distinction & Genius' from The Good Listening To Show 'Clearing'. If you would like to be my Guest too then you can find out HOW via the different 'series strands' at 'The Good Listening To Show' website.
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Thanks for listening!