Posted on March 25, 2017
1) It’s my first video, so be gentle.
2) That’s the point of this video. Be okay failing and love yourself afterwards. There are times where we want to do something, but we think “What if I fail?” But we don’t take the time to answer. Yeah, what if? Get out there and find out the answer! Fail it up.
Here’s the vid.
Posted on January 25, 2017
Couldn’t do a list of ways to play without checking in with the experts. They make it look so natural.
51) You otter learn how to play!
You throw a couple of rocks on the ground and this otter’s like, “Whoa, are you done with those?!” then schools you on how to have fun.
52) Start horsing around!
You’re like, “Ugh, it snowed last night,” and this horse is like “Imma roll around in that shit right now!”
53) No business like crow business!
I’d go tobogganing, but ah man, it’s so tiring to climb back up the hill. What? Just fly!
54) Greatest Of All Times!
What the hell is that? I have no idea… let’s play on it!
55) Sorry about the animal puns. Bear with me!
Hay ain’t just for horses.
56) Only fox news I watch!
Oh man, would you look at that? Hey, I’ve got an idea for a commercial.
57) Care for some play, my deer!
It not about the ball, it’s the idea of the ball maaan.
58) I’m dolphin if you’re dolphin!
“Surfing’s the source man.” – The dolphin from Point Break.
59) Rhino, rhino, you don’t need to keep telling me to play!
Find a friend that you really just click with. Have fun.
60) Giraffe pun!
The most beautiful thing they’ve ever filmed. – the bag from American Beauty, still going strong.
Thanks for reading. See you next 10!
Posted on December 19, 2016
Ho, ho, hope these help make this time of year a little more fun. This post is a bit different in that it’s not exactly ways to play, but how to play in those somewhat stressful holiday situations where you might not be playing.
Spending time with family can suck. I can say that knowing my family reads this. Which I appreciate. Love youuuuu. But when it comes down to it, they have the same faults as me, and flaunt them around. So instead of thinking, “How am I going to deal with my family?” think “How am I going to play with my family?” Get them to play an improv game, a board game, a card game, whatever kinda game Charades is, even a video game. When you’re having fun with your family, you stop focusing on past grievances and irritations, like the way Cousin Ted always chews with his mouth open. (Sorry, Teddy.) And bring booze. Lots of booze. And drugs. Jokes! Jokes?
Be your own personal fun committee. Do a Secret Santa with coworkers. Over-decorate your cubicle. Maybe get some of those crazy coloured lights that make your house strobe. Set up mistletoe around the office and watch the weirdness. Put some Baileys by the coffee machine. You know, force work people to be fun people!
43) Work party!
It’s sold as lots of fun, but it often feels like a social nightmare. Some of us aren’t that great in regular social situations. Add our co-workers and boss(es) to the mix and hell, you might as well invite some high school bullies to pants me, or worse yet, my family. Jokes! Jokes? So how do you play at the company party? Talk to someone you’ve never met. Ask them about their favourite show (if they don’t say Breaking Bad, feel free to walk away. Jokes! Not jokes.) If you’re in charge of organizing the party, why not break with tradition and make it a costume party? Or an Ugly Holiday Sweater party. Wear a Santa hat with a bell on it. Have sex with a coworker. Too far? Maybe just some heavy petting. Okay, moving on.
Oh man, those line ups are craaaazy. People running about looking for anything to give to anyone. Here’s a tip: while you’re there, shop for yourself. Try things on. Try things out. Try every sample those sample people have to offer. Or here’s a fun challenge: try and get something for everyone on your list all at one place. Then get to that toy store and play!
They say getting there is half the fun. I say make it all the fun! You don’t need to save it up or build a reserve, there’ll be more fun waiting wherever you’re going. Especially if you’re going to a beach without my family. That sounds fun. Oh man, I could go for a beach right now. Warm sand. Anyway, make the travel part the warm sand part by playing travel games.
Planes? Play on those movator rides. Is “rides” the right word? Yes, yes it is.
Trains? Go to the communal car and set up a card game with strangers. Automobiles? Play “I spy” or pretend you’re in a race with other drivers and check in with where they are every 20 minutes or so.
“They” also say life’s a journey, so enjoy that ride!
If you’re alone this holiday season, don’t focus on the fact that you don’t have family to visit, celebrate that fact that you don’t have to visit family. Jokes? I’m probably uninvited to my family’s place at the point, so if you wanna hang, I’ll be around. Make yourself a fancy meal with all your favourite stuff. Make videos of how to Xmas or Hannukah or Qwanza alone, for all the other people who are Xmassing or Hannukahing or Qwanzaing alone. Or just use this time to write the next Hamilton.
47) More Work Stuff!
Some companies give you a bonus at the end of the year. If you get one, use it for what it is, a bonus! Have fun with it. That’s pure play money right there. Buy a game to play with the family, or a drum kit, or a haircut. Fun!
Then again, some companies do their layoffs at this time. If you get let go, first, that sucks. And second, take a deep breath and enjoy the forced time off. Chances are you’ve been working hard for months, maybe years at the same place. Enjoy some down time and pamper yourself. Go to the movies and enjoy the theatre to yourself while everyone else has their nose to the grindstone. Get the big popcorn with extra butter. Or rent Horrible Bosses and vent your frustration on whichever one reminds you of yours.
Okay, temptations are gonna come. It’s the holidays, we’re supposed to celebrate. So I say do it. Gorge yourself on those treats. Dieting is what New Year’s resolutions are for. Nog up your drinks. Cookie up your ice cream. Ice cream up your bananas. Banana up your hammock? Instead of judging how many calories or how much fat’s in it, just enjoy that food, fully and completely. Yum.
I’ve talked in the past about how doing nothing makes my brain start noising. If it’s got nothing to do, it’ll try and invent stuff to do. I’ve also noticed that when there’s nothing to do, my body likes to get sick. Like it was running on adrenaline, then you let up for a second and… barf. So when your job or body says “Enjoy the break!” they’re assuming you can enjoy a break. You can! You just gotta book in some play. Schedule play the way work schedules your work. Take a class and learn something fun, visit friends you haven’t visited in months, make time for the previous 40 things on this list. Book so much fun you’ll wanna take a break. If you’re sick, read. Read everything. And watch Gags, obvs.
50) New Year’s Resolutions!
1) Make time for play.
2) Write down 100 things you enjoy doing.
3) Schedule time to do some of them.
4) Keep it going beyond January.
5) Message me with your play stories, I’d love to hear them.
Remember, play is a mindset. Whatever you’re doing, try and see it through those eyes. Turn “How am I going to do this?” into “How am I going to enjoy this?”
Happy holidays. And thank you for reading.
(And here’s 10 more if you’re interested.)
Posted on December 7, 2016
Am I just going to keep going with my silly play list, and not acknowledge the joke-goes-here in the White House? Turns out yes. Not ’cause I’m ignoring it, or turning a blind eye, but because I genuinely think positivity is still really important to put out into the world.
So despite how little many of us feel like playing right now, here’s the next instalment of ways to play. Enjoy!…?
Go to a craft store, buy some foam balls, pipe cleaners, puffy fluff, and sparkle stuff, then slam it all together. Crafts! Here’s a video on how to put pictures on wood. Neat! Knit a cat sweater, add flare to your protest sign, personalize a mug. It’s fun, it’s art, it’s creative, what more could you want? Here’s a photo of my friend Sean’s first felt. Cute as hell.
I don’t understand why all meals aren’t potluck. It’s like free food with friends. (Mental note, form a potluck group on Facebook.) Are you tired of reading your newsfeed and thinking about how terrible the world is and don’t want to be alone? Also can’t be bothered making food? Well now there’s Potluck! Simply invite some foods over…er, friends over and enjoy some time together. Share a laugh, share a smile, share some food. Also, booze. Bring booze.
Don’t you hate sidewalks and walls with nothing on them? Ugh, like, what am I going to read while I walk with my head down to avoid eye contact?! Well, now’s your chance to make your mark. Chalk mark. Get it? Yep, you got it. Write a message of hope on the sidewalk. Or a joke. Or the world “love.” Or a joke with the word love in it that will bring people hope. Or draw a penis, those look funny. You get the point.
34) Secret clothes!
I remember hearing the story about Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s mismatched socks. His was an homage to his brother, but you can just do it for fun. People won’t necessarily see your unconventional attire, but you’ll know it’s there. Like wearing scandalous underwear. You know you have it on and it gives you that “I know something you don’t know” feeling. Here’s a video we did years ago. Notice my fancy socks. Unseen is that I’m also wearing very lacy undies. Shhhhh.
This is gonna be my second JFL Gags reference in the list, and hopefully not my last, amirite? Beyond the great music, there’s the gags. I love a good ole goof. I remember someone went away from the office for vacation, or sick (okay I don’t remember the details), and we gift-wrapped everything in their cubicle: computer, chair, stapler, pens, paperclip. What a joy to return to. Everything’s a present! Surprise a friend with a bucket of water over the door, call someone and tell them their fridge has run away, or turn yourself into a car seat. Looking for fun? Check your bracelet and ask, What Would George Clooney Do?
If you live in a place that has snow, play with it. Pee your name into it. Make people out of it. Ball it up in your hands and throw it at a tree, or hit the “O” in a Stop sign, or recreate that moment where Bill Murray tries to recreate that moment in Groundhog Day. Slide on it. Ski on it. Listen to the crunching under your feet on it. I guess what I’m saying is, snow’s fun.
Run down an escalator going up, or run up a downscalator. It’s harder than it looks, and when you see people doing it, it looks hard. But it’s fun. There’s the challenge of being able to do it physically matched with the joy of “doing something wrong.” See if you can get all the way up before the next person needs to come down.
What fun are these non-moving escalators? Just race Rocky-style up every single one of them. Even if there’s only three. All steps are Rocky steps if you’re sprinting! Run up stairs, alone or in pairs. Like Slinky! Though, like Slinky, I guess you can also do it in groups. Weird that never came up in the Slinky song as an option. Running down stairs is also fun. I can get from the 8th floor to catch the bus across the street if the app says less than 2 mins. I have long legs, though. And reckless abandon.
39) Make T-shirts!
You know those funny things you think would be funny on a funny T-shirt? Actually follow through on it. Make a funny T-shirt of your own. Then walk into a shirt store and say, “Do you have any more of these?” and they’ll say “Let me check in the back” and with a proud smile you’ll say, “Don’t bother, you don’t.” But then they’ll say, “It’ll just make sure, really it’s no bother” and you’ll be like “No, it’s a joke” and they’ll be like “And a funny one, so maybe we just sold out” and you’ll be like “No, you don’t get it” and they’ll be like “The joke? I get the joke. It’s very funny.” And you’ll be super flattered.
How have I never said “Dance” yet? This is number 40?! This should be number one, baby. Or top 10 at least. Dance alone or in pairs. Like Slinky! Dance with your potluck friends. Dance in the snow. Dance on the stairs in your new t-shirt. Like Lady Gaga said, just dance! Dance to celebrate stopping someone who was harassing a woman or a minority. Dance to celebrate that you’re alive. Take this moment to focus on something good. Like the fact that dancing exists.
Thanks for reading. Share the love, share the play. Here’s the next 10 (aka the Holiday Special).
Before you go, if that chalk drawing was messing with your mind as much as it was mine, here’s how they did it.
Posted on November 6, 2016
Hey, you’re back! Sweet. Okay, stop juggling your new pets, you show-off. Let’s find some more fun for you to have. Luckily, I work at a place where people are silly all the time, so there’s no shortage of ideas. (If you work at an accounting firm or something, you can be the one bringing the fun.) So let’s keep playing! With lists!
Invent a handshake with a friend. Do you remember DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince used to have that greeting? Haha oh man… what, you don’t? Okay, how about the Blue Jays with the door knocking? Yeah, like that.
Find someone you know, and celebrate seeing each other with your very own handshake. Get the legs involved, maybe a spin, some fancy handwork. I had a complicated fish-dancing one with somebody and when we’d see each other there was the joy of anticipation, followed by the pride of getting it right, or the laughs of messing it up. Have a different one for everyone you know. Non-stop fun (especially if you run into a big group).
I just remembered I said I’d do this one this round. Can reading be fun? Hell yeah. Just find something that makes you smile – or even laugh out loud – when you read it. I’m usually reading non-fiction, ‘cause if I’m going to read I might as well learn some shit. But every once in a while it’s nice to just read something silly. Pure Drivel, My Custom Van, Scaredy Squirrel (might not count, ‘cause I learned some shit) are some of my faves. Oh! Also this blog. Thanks for reading!
Write on your bananas. (If you aren’t already.) Take a toothpick and draw or write something on your banana. About an hour later, it’ll go black and your artwork or message will appear. Write a secret message and leave it in someone else’s fruit bowl to surprise them. Amazing!
Oh man, how could I have left TV this far into it? I grin ear to ear when I’m watching Just For Laughs Gags. Not a quality show per se, but it makes me giggle every time. Also I can’t recommend Breaking Bad enough. Again, for giggles.
Different than TV in that I mean, go out to the movies. I remember skipping off work to wait in line for tickets to an advanced screening of Fight Club. Lemme tell you, you haven’t really seen Fight Club until you’ve watched it with the kinds of people who were willing to wait in a line at Dundas Square for hours in the middle of a work day. The energy in that theatre was, um, intense? So much fun.
26) Comedy Shows!
While I’ve got you going out to see stuff, why not go see some improv? Here’s the reason a friend recently gave me of why not: “I’m scared it’ll suck.” Fair enough. And I’m not going to say there aren’t sucky shows out there. But even going to see crappy comedy can have its fun moments. You get to make fun of how crappy it is. And if it’s great, well then you get to enjoy how much you laugh. Definitely worth the risk!
Speaking of shows, you can have one at home any time you want. Something funny happen at work today? Act it out for someone else. Why just tell a story, when you can show them? (I’m sure there are probably occasions when you should just tell someone, like if you’re a doctor delivering bad news, but hey, give it a try and lemme know how it goes.) Play each of the characters, take on their physicality and do their voices. How was work today? Oh man, let me show you!
28) Invent a game!
This painting has over 80 different games. Most of them took just some imagination to create, because they’re all basically just using bodies, or maybe a stick and a ball at most. Or you take an existing game and change it. Even boring Monopoly can be fun if you change it, or turn it into a drinking game. (Please, play irresponsibly.)
29) TV Dub!
Going back to TV. If there’s nothing on and you just can’t turn the TV off, put it on mute and dub the voices of the characters you see. Interactive television. It’s the way of the future! Wave of the future? For advanced players, don’t even mute it. (Don’t ever mute JFL Gags, that music is gold.) Do a running commentary. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 built a whole franchise around it.
30) Sidewalk Boogie!
That. Try to do that on purpose! Oh man, I’m sending people out to create chaos. I love it!
Want more? There’s 70 more! Here’s the next 10!! Exclamation marks!!!
Posted on October 20, 2016
I guess you knew more of these were coming, cause, well, I said a hundred, then only posted ten. So yep, here’s more.
Main thing to keep in mind as you read the list, and do the list, is that just trying them will put you in a feeling of play. Play is a mindset. Anxiety is a mindset. Generally the two don’t get along, and it’s hard to do both. So if you’re feeling anxious, give one of these a try. You play enough, and that’ll become your natural mindset. Then, if you miss it, you’ll have to find a list of 100 ways to make yourself anxious again.
But that’s future talk. For now, this…
I avoided juggling because I don’t like the learning process part of things where you look like an idiot. (That damn guitar is still haunting me from the corner.) But it’s pretty simple to learn, (here’s a link to a tutorial vid) and the neighbours can’t hear how crappy you are, except for constant thumping as the balls hit the ground. Or chainsaws, or flaming chainsaws, or whatever you’re using.
If you get really good, juggle with a friend. I haven’t done it, but I’ve seen it on TV. You can form a group and call yourselves Juggalos. What? It’s taken? Oh. Some other name then.
So many things you can do with playing cards. I mean, they’re playing cards. You can flick them into bins. You can stack them into houses. You can do magic tricks with them. Actually, I think that’s about it.
Oh! Card games. Play Euchre, or Solitaire, or Asshole, or Cribbage, or Hearts, or Poker, or War, or Banana Jams, or Go Fish, or… you get the point. Pull out a deck of cards during lunch break and your coworkers will say, “I can’t, I’ve got a whole bunch of shit to catch up on…” but they’ll follow that up with, “…ah okay, one game.” (I made up Banana Jams, so feel free to invent that one.)
13) Throw things!
If someone asks you to pass something, throw it. That’s it. Enjoy the thrill as it’s in the air and neither or you know if it’s going to be caught. “Hand me the keys?” Throw ‘em! “Can I have one of those candies?” Throw it! “Can I hold your baby?” Throw it! Wait, scratch that one. Unless… nope, scratch that one.
14) Video games!
Oh man, I was a Rock Band god. I mean, I wouldn’t get perfect scores or anything, but on Easy I was good enough to unlock the next song and do an okay version of that one too. And while I didn’t really do any of the “missions,” I was quite the bad ass on Grand Theft Auto. Driving around listening to aggressive music, doing rolling stops, never indicating a turn. Also Wii. I played Wii.
Now I’m into whatever the current games are that people are into. Warcraft?
Anyway, find a game you find fun and play it. Remember, the person who laughs the most wins! Unless of course the game has some sort of alternative scoring system.
Is it weird that I didn’t talk about this until now? Probably. But hey, that’s improv. Weird. But fun. So fun. If I could just take a moment to talk about how much it changed my life, this is the moment. It changed my life. Take a class or go see a show and be inspired to take a class. Look up some games here and play them, and check out People & Chairs to learn everything improv. Don’t wait, play now!
Play with yourself. Literally. Hey, if it’s fun and enjoyable, do it. This totally counts as play.
I don’t want to get all downer here, but I’ll just say be careful of porn. Remember, play is about enjoying what you’re doing and having fun. If you find yourself watching porn and not enjoying it, but needing it, or being numb to it, shut that shit off. Make sure it stays fun. Not sure what photo to put with this one.
Dance like nobody’s watching. How do you do that? Dance when nobody is watching. In your home. Alone. Blinds drawn. Away from all mirrors. In front of a camera doing a live feed to the internets. (Last part optional.)
Put on some music (some positive mood-boosting song you love) and just see what happens. If what happens is a head bob, enjoy that. If what happens is terrible dancing, great! In fact, dance terribly on purpose. That way if you naturally dance terribly you can tell yourself you’re doing it on purpose and laugh and laugh and dance and respond to the live comments streaming in. (Last part optional.)
I know most of us hesitate to draw because we suck at it. But this is drawing for fun! One thing I do to break that scary blank page moment of “What should I draw?” is stamp a bunch of dots down on the page. Then I play connect the dots with those random dots and fill in what it is. This also works with scribbling. Scribble randomly, then start to turn it into something. That way, if it looks “bad” it’s not my fault, if anything I should be impressed that I made something so good out of what I had to start with. Here’s an example. Not bad for a scribble, huh?
Think of this as the writing version of scribbling. Just grab a piece of paper and a pen and write something. Anything. Do some stream of consciousness shit without stopping. If a judgement comes, write that down too. Get it all down, and some will be crap or some will be less crap. And who cares? Just enjoy the process of writing. Is that possible? I mean, I’m having fun writing this. Mostly I liked writing Masturbating as a form of play. Still happy with that.
20) Clap last!
You know when you’re in a meeting and you have to clap for something? The next time that happens, try to be the last clap heard. And if someone else is doing it too, then throw in a random one, well after clap time is over. It’s a way to make the office tolerable! And even if it’s just you playing with yourself (not literally in this instance), it’s still fun to do.
Thanks for reading! Oh man, reading. That would’ve been a good one. Next time. Hey look, more playful plays to play!
Posted on October 10, 2016
Students often ask me, “Cam, this class is all great and fun, playing zombies and passing around imaginary balls, but how do you apply this in the real world? The world outside this class that seems to hate when people have fun and just wants everyone to ‘Get back to work!’”
And I say, “If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked that, and I do, because I charge a nickel every time, so I know how much…before I forget, you owe me a nickel.”
“Yes, now. Anyway, what was I saying?”
Then I ramble on about how to bring the concept of being in the moment, and allowing yourself to make mistakes, and taking care of others into their lives. And then they stop me and say, “That’s all great, but how do I play?”
And then it sinks in: How do you play?
So for my sake and yours, I’ve come up with a hundred ways to play. Simple things you can do to have fun in the “real” world. K, let’s do this!
I’ve set the task of thinking of a hundred ways to play, and I’m going to lump all sports together in one?! Yes.
Mainly because it’s obvious, and while I do want to cover all the bases (haha solid baseball reference, though I’ve never heard it used during a game), I want this list to be about stretching my mind and yours into new and less thought about ways to play.
So yes, get out there and throw a Frisbee, play softball, tennis, nerf stuff, Aussie rules football…whatever. I made a group called Funemployed just to find people to play with.
If you find yourself getting competitive and efforting, try holding a beer in one hand. That usually classes any sport down by a peg. Oh man, now I wanna play tennis while holding a beer. Here I come country club! “Oh, I’m sorry, is it the beer and belligerent yelling? It’s not? My shoes are the wrong colour? That is bad.”
Am I about to call living things a toy for human amusement? Ummm, sort of. I know pets are also about love and companionship and connection, but let’s not forget how stupid they are. We don’t watch cat videos because they’re being loving companions. I mean, some of them are. Especially when it’s a cat loving a dog, or a goat. The point is, I’m going to go watch cat videos!
3) Cat videos!
Is this deserving of its own number on the list? Hell yeah. If you’re ever feeling down, go watch some cat videos. Those little guys are hilarious. And if you’re not ready for the responsibility and upkeep of an actual living thing, you get to enjoy the fun without all the litter box stuff. If you’re laughing, I’ll count that as play.
I’m talking sitting down with a pile of Lego and just having a field day with it. Yep, sit in a field with Lego. Or at home. They also work at home. Yo! Yo! You tried yo-yos? Ah man, walk that dog. (Literally walking a dog, also a form of play.) Or build a dog out of Play-Doh and walk that. If you don’t have any toys, walk yourself to a toy store and try stuff out and wreck that place. A toy store needs to know you’ve been there. Find something fun and fun it all the way home.
I know exercise is not a “fun” word, but I’m talking about skipping, mini-trampoline, swimming, cartwheels, anything you find fun. I know we’re supposed to exercise to stay healthy, but if that exercise is boring, you’re less likely to do it.
Walk somewhere beautiful and scenic, dance badly in the park, put a full-size trampoline in your backyard and do some Olympic shit on it. If you’re gonna work out, you might as well play out. (Drops skip rope like a microphone.)
6) Colouring books!
Colouring books, they’re so hot right now, colouring books. I’ve even heard the term “adult” colouring books. Which either means there’s sexy stuff in it, or that’s how much permission adults need to allow themselves to play like kids. “Are you colouring?! “Yes, but as you can see, it’s a colouring book for adults, so you can’t judge me for being too childlike and fun.” Bonus points if you colour outside the lines. Gauntlet thrown!
Some of us naturally enjoy cooking. Others do it just for sustenance, and so don’t want to put too much effort into it. So how do you cook without it feeling like effort? Cook for fun! Try new ingredients, try new recipes, basically do the show Chopped in your own kitchen. Get four ingredients that don’t seem to go together, then create one dish that combines them all. In conclusion, watch Chopped. Great show.
8) Board games!
Back when I was too scared to leave the house, I’d play Monopoly by myself. I didn’t play the actual game, I’d roll the dice and just race the pieces around the track. Car and boot were my faves. Couldn’t wrap my head around how cannon would win. Turns out board games can also be played with others. So try that, too.
Invite a friend to a board game cafe, or bust out Cards Against Humanity at your next family function. Maybe. You know what, lemme think on that one.
9) Fart sounds!
Try out different forms of fart sounds. Blow on your forearm, or into the bottoms of your hands, or the side of one hand, or with your armpits, or just with your mouth, or hell, fart for real on cue. Nothing gets a laugh like a good braaaaafffpppt.
Make paper airplanes. Always crumple it up and basketball shoot it into the recycle bin. Origami that shit! I can make a dove. I tried a frog once, too.