Why I keep on coming back to Role Play

Ilse Klink

Role Play has become a part of who I am…I’m not talking about acting…I’m talking about my real life. It’s changed the way I view and handle my life completely. It’s the most invaluable tool I’ve been gifted in my adulthood.

This year I had the absolute privilege of living my dream….to see the world and do what I love! I was cast in my favorite musical Chicago… and had the unpleasant task to inform all my wonderful family, friends and business associates. It meant leaving Role Play to pursue my other passion, acting.  The company, PRPT and my family were sad to see me go, but happy to live vicariously through me!

But the reality is that I actually never left Role Play behind. It travelled all the way around the world, with me. The beauty of it, is that I was able to use it on the 9-month tour I was a part of, that took us to places that inspired much negotiation, conflict resolution and courage. Mostly, I was elected as spokesperson for the cast. On tour, you are travelling, living and working closely with the same group of people 24/7, which can be both exhilarating but also challenging.  Lots of opinions, lots of personalities, but also the need to keep everyone happy, and working together for the benefit of the show.   Of course, Role Play skills were my go-to…and yes, conflicts were resolved, negotiations were positive for all parties, and I was able to sit in the “hot seat” and handle the job at hand. I’m so grateful for having the opportunity to put into practice the skills of active listening, reading body language, choosing good words, being empathetic and all that makes for positive outcomes. Role Play has also given me the greatest gift of self-awareness and the ability to understand my impact. I had to be aware that my actions had consequences that I had to own.

What I missed most about Role Play is seeing delegates at the end of an exhausting day, feedback on how the light bulb went on for them….or not knowing that it happened for them at all, and me seeing it happening in the moment! Life changing for both of us.I did my first Role Play session last week, and it is so good to back in business again.