The clip embedded below shows the 1A, 2A and 3A scenes from a Harold in succession. It shows how, instead of just following plot through the beats, one character’s emotional behavior – in this case, Matt Newman’s reaction to learning that people close to him are sleeping together – can be heightened through scenarios beyond the initial scene’s. It also shows how the responsibility for initiating subsequent beats is not on Matt, but on his fellow players who’ve been watching from the wings – this helps avoid rehashing the initial scene.
To learn more about the who, what and how behind heightening a scene with subsequent beats, READ THIS.
We play with the three core elements of improvisation – The Details, Emotional Reactions and Patterns – in balance. We don’t over-rely on being clever, which works as long as we are clever and fails us the moment we aren’t. We don’t over-play our emotional range with erratic characters that, at best, the audience just can’t follow and, at worst, annoys or drains the audience. We don’t overload on games, finding “the funny” and then riding it to death.
We establish patterns of emotional behavior that define how we interact with our world and our scene partners. And we develop a rhythm between those patterns of emotional behavior. We don’t run from one idea to another desperate to find something the audience will like, or audaciously assaulting the audience with randomness, or caught so far up in your own brilliance that you don’t care what the audience thinks.
We lead by following. We know that if we’re ever lost that we can always go back to something we’ve done before. We embrace improv’s inherent chaos, working to direct the flow without controlling it. We focus on supporting the scene moment by moment, and not pushing the scene to an envisioned end. To ensure our scenes a robust life, we raise them right and trust them to explore their freedom.
If this Weakness is identified, the following posts may help you coach to the Opportunity:
* Trajectory theory
* Trigger and Cap Mechanics
* Situational Stakes
* Behavioral Stakes
* Relationship Stakes
Objective: The most powerful reactions are emotional reactions. Choosing to feel strongly about something made-up-in-the-moment is, well, insane. But it’s fun to watch. Surprise! Continue reading