Prioritizing Character Over Plot exercises

“I love opium.”

It’s a fine line between a character evoking a plot and a character reacting to their reality. A very fine line. But I believe that attention to that line can mean the difference between a scene where improvisers force a sequence of events dependent on an audience’s satisfaction with a resolution and a scene where characters are engaged in the moment of their reality with an audience reacting to – and investing in – a character’s consistency regardless of “sense.”

The following is a series of exercises geared toward prioritizing characters in-the-moment over improvisers setting-up-situations-to-be-negotiated. Continue reading

Be Dynamic: Sharpen Your Vectors

There’s more than one way to draw a straight line.

Keep Them Separated

Both scenes work in an improv context. No doubt. But I prefer the second iteration.

The second scene is more dynamic. Yes, both Bobs are altered by scene’s end and both scenes progress, but in the second scene Bob’s change is clearly delineated to establish a rhythm and to set expectations for heightening repetition with the audience.

It’s one of many improv lessons we can learn from The Clown.  Let’s learn more.
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From Conscious Incompetence to Unconscious Competence

If you’re on my site, you are interested in learning.  Bravo!  It is way too easy to coast in a hobby (and unless you’re one of the few that actually improvises for a living it’s a hobby for you).  But if we really care about this art of ours, and we care about the audience and the quality of shows we present, we must commit to continual improvement.

In the management consulting world, we talk about the path from Unconscious Incompetence to Conscious Incompetence to Conscious Competence to Unconscious Competence. Continue reading