Repetition of relationship mechanics (“This” then “That”) establishes expectations for the audience. These expectations can be played to and against for fun effect.
Looking for a warm-up to practice playing with expectations? Try Foreign Dubbing!
Performers are: David Adams, Guy Chapman, Patrice Deveaux, Micah Head, Alan Hopkinson, Nick Lawton, Megan Lemay, Jillian MacDougall, Tim Magier, Curtis Nunnally Continue reading
Be careful changing a scene’s reality.
In improv we’re building something out of nothing. So if improvisers make a choice on stage they’re moving forward and to negate that choice threatens to stall that forward motion as they scramble to justify the contradiction. Not only do contradictory choices disrupt the scene for the improvisers, it erodes the audience’s willingness to engage in the scene – if the players aren’t seeing eye to eye, what hope does the audience have to understand what’s going on?
Admittedly, a contradictory choice can get a laugh – but if in the aftermath of that choice the scene is compromised you have to ask yourself whether that laugh was worth it?
Now, if you’re on stage and a scene’s reality is changed on you, here’s what you do: Don’t justify or explain away the contradiction; Embrace it. Commit to heightening both sides of the contradiction, allowing them to coexist. If we confidently accept both realities the audience can relax and buy in as well.
Check out this example –