I love improv and believe (when my heart and head are in it) that I’m good at it, too. Here are some other things I love and believe myself to be good at. They share some skills with improvisation. Am I good at improv because I am good at these things, or am I good at these things because I’m good at improv? Doesn’t matter; who cares.
What’s fun is thinking about how the skills involved in these activities translate into being good at improv. Enjoy!
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CONVERSATION PARTY – Players stand on stage in multiple groups of two or three people. Players are “at a party” as themselves, speaking as themselves to other who are also themselves. The teacher conducts focus from one conversation to the next.
• Be specific – You don’t have to try so hard to be funny. You just have to be specific. The surprise inherent to improvisation is made even more satisfying when we’re specific in-the-moment.
• React – The audience reaction of “I would have said that,” or “I know a woman who would have said that,” is such a satisfying response for any performance medium. In improvisation, that power is compounded as the audience knows that your reaction was “your” reaction in-the-moment.
• Connect – don’t just sit in your head waiting for your next turn to speak, listen to what’s going on around you, let it seep in and affect you.
• Juxtapose – we don’t have to discuss our differences or negotiate out one “truth.” A party group who loves cats standing next to a group that loves dogs doesn’t need to engage in a fight. The audience sees both groups and wants both heightened next to each other.