Emotional Initiations: The sooner we identify how a player feels the better – because that feeling can be heightened by the player and played to by the player’s teammates. The sooner we can identify how a player feels about a something the better – because that something can be heightened by the player to heighten the player’s emotion and that something can be referenced/heightened by the player’s teammates to force the player into a reaction.
SELF CONTAINED EMOTIONAL STATEMENT CIRCLE – Around a circle, everyone makes a Self Contained Emotional Statement. It can be as simple as “I love it here,” “I hate the arts,” or “I’m uncomfortable.”
• It’s a statement. Not a question shifting the responsibility of providing information to your partner. There’s a period. It’s definitive.
• It’s an emotional statement. Emotional reaction is one of our three key tools; let’s get to it. You need to feel and, for the reaction, you need to give that feeling a direction. Give X the power to make you feel Y.
• Being self-contained, the statement places you on solid ground without dictating the scene to your partners – Mick Napier urges us each to “take care of yourself” without confining the scene. Allow your partner the choice of whether to mirror you in some fashion or to take on something entirely their own. Being self-contained is increasingly an imperative the larger a group you have on stage.
ANNOYANCE-STYLE SCENE STARTS – Have the class form a line across the back of the stage. Call out one name. That person should immediately take the stage and “take care of themselves” with a choice about their emotion, posture, environment, activity, etc. The moment you call that name, another improviser should be coming out on stage as well. That person must also “take care of themselves” with a choice. Players expand on their choices, most importantly establishing and heightening their emotional perspective. Run through this several times until you are confident everyone will take care of themselves right out of the gate and, eventually if not immediately, get to emotion.
• If I’m picking my nose, what does that say about my age? If I’m forty-five and picking my nose, where am I? If I’m forty-five and picking my nose in a restaurant, am I embarrassed?
• A scene needs information. But expand on what you’ve already got. Commit to it.
You don’t need motivation to have a feeling