Pop quiz, hotshot. What do you take as inspiration in initiating subsequent beats of a scene during a long-form show?
A. This makes me think of that
B. If this then what
C. If first beat is “a day in the life,” then second beat is “the day when X happens”
D. If a character was at work, show her at home. If a character was at home, show him at work.
E. If that makes him feel that emotion, this should make him feel this emotion.
F. If that makes her feel that emotion, more of that should make her feel more of that emotion.
G. A place/event/time was mentioned – let’s go there.
H. That same character dynamic would be funny mapped over these new characters
I. That same theme would be heightened through this context
J. The theme of this whole piece would be sharpened if I callback that scene with this focus
The answer, if you know your 3D.1, is, of course, serve the show. And we serve the scenes of our show, and the show of our scenes, by heightening the emotionally derived games at play. Continue reading
In pursuing improv as improv does best, we seek to establish patterns of emotional behavior, leveraging them in developing sustainable scenes and subsequent beats.
To aid in that pursuit, focus on following a character’s “How.” Continue reading
Subsequent beats leverage an aspect of an originating scene in setting up a new scene. But… As our goal in any scene is establishing and heightening patterns of emotional behavior, initiations of subsequent beats that clearly focus attention on emotional reaction get us to our meat faster and leverage the power of pacing and pattern in building a show.
The green improvisers’ tendency is to follow plot, to rehash the originating scene and/or to simply introduce an old character to a new character and/or situation and hope for the best. While none of these moves are bad on their own, failure to focus subsequent beats on originating patterns of emotional behavior puts these follow-up scenes at risk of getting lost, growing stale and/or losing the momentum built earlier exactly when the form needs to be getting faster and tighter.
If this Weakness is identified, the following posts may prove helpful in coaching to the Opportunity:
* Subsequent Beats
* Subsequent Beats Class
* Heightening with Tag-Outs
* Subsequent Beat Exercises
* Pattern Mechanics