Emotional Scene exercises

Emotional Scenes: “How we feel about who we are, where we are and what we’re doing,” and “How we feel about who our scene is, where they are and what they’re doing” should be our focus in improv scenes. Let “How we feel” trump all else, especially plot and “sense.”

Suggested Exercises:

“I [FEELING] YOU.” “I KNOW.” – Players form two “lay-up” style lines on either side of the stage. Players at the front of each line decide on an emotion inside their heads. Player from the stage left line comes out and says “I [blank] you” (i.e. “I love you”). Player from the stage right line comes out and says “I know” filtered through the emotion they chose ahead of time (i.e. they chose “sad” so they say “I know” very depressed). Have both player repeat their lines 3 or 4 times, heightening their emotions each time.
Variations:
• Linguistically “I ____ You” can get a little weird (i.e. “I happy you”), so feel free to change it to make it fit. Like “you make me happy,” actually “You make me _____” will probably fit better for most things.
Lessons:
• Feel a certain way, direct that feeling at the person with you, assume things about your relationship, heighten
• As they go, there’ll be a few that seem really natural. If you see it happen, some cool points to make are “didn’t you start making a story in your head about who they are? Our audience does the same thing, they see all kinds of connections” or “when we talk about relationship this is all it is, how people relate to each other, how they feel about each other.”

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.
Lessons:
• 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

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