SWOT #1 – Vulnerable Confidence

When we show Vulnerable Confidence we share ourselves without hesitation, comfortable whether we are accepted or not, committed to accepting others whether we are accepted or not.  If we are afraid to show the depth of our personality and/or our emotional core, we deny the scene, our fellow players and the audience the power inherent our Details, our Reactions and our Selves.

Vulnerable Confidence

If this Weakness is identified, the following posts may prove helpful in coaching to the Opportunity:
* Get confident, stupid
* Confident acceptance
* Cafe Scenes
* I Am Superman
* Here’s What I Know
* The Path to Unconscious Competence

SWOT #5 – Emotional Perspective

When we spontaneously emit an emotion toward something imagined on a blank stage, that’s crazy – and the audience loves it.  Society’s path to “maturity” often overlaps with a push to subdue your emotions; the upside is that people like watching other people share their emotions on stage – it’s a cathartic surprise.  A scripted actor’s whole job is to make an audience believe that the emotional reaction they’re rehearsed is real in-the-moment. In improvisation, we have a leg up; we are all experiencing what’s happening for the first time.  And as improvisers we don’t have to understand our motivation to emote; we just have to emote – feel!  If you don’t have feelings, get off the stage.  An improviser without access to their emotions has to be a very “clever” improviser.  Relying on cleverness alone works for very few people, let alone improvisers.  Not engaging your emotions is improvising without one of the core elements of improvisation that can evoke a response from the audience beyond the capabilities of any other performance medium.

Emotional Perspective

If this Weakness is identified, the following posts may prove helpful in coaching to the Opportunity:
* Acting is believing in your emotions
* Emotional Reaction Circle
* Yes, Yes I Am
* Acting vs. Indicating
* Just Act Natural
* Mirror, Action, Object
* Tyler Durdan sez, “How’s that working out for you?”

SWOT #7 – Agreement to What IS

Agreement is a cornerstone of improvisation. We’re on stage creating something out of nothing. If I create one thing out of the ether then we have something. We want to build that something up and out; we don’t debate the validity of something made up.  Inquisition, opposition, negotiation and transaction are counterproductive on stage to our doing what the audience came to see: Improvisers exploring an invented reality.

Agrement to What IS

If this Weakness is identified, the following posts may prove helpful in coaching to the Opportunity:
* Collaboration
* Heightening Emotional Agreement
* Yes, Yes I Am
* Kick The Duck Red, Rover

SWOT #18 – Confident Vulnerability

Don’t let becoming a good improviser keep you from becoming a great improviser.  Believing in your ability is good; being open to your weakness in committing to constant betterment is great.  Finding a personal understanding of what works for you on stage is good; staying receptive to the ideas of even the greenest improviser is great.

Confidence is not bulletproof.  Confidence is not brash, is not loud, is not immovable.  Confidence is a personal calm.

Vulnerability is not weakness.  Vulnerability is not meek, is not afraid to speak, is not constantly acquiescing.  Vulnerability is accessibility.

Practice makes perfect it’s said.  Through experience in improv a player grows to bring calm into the chaos and remain open to the moment’s possibilities.  The greatest players exude this accessible calm; they expose themselves on stage without fear.  It makes the audience root for them before they’ve said a word. Seek to emulate the classic Dead Head: Accepting who they are without shame and accepting who you are without judgment.

Yes, with practice confident vulnerability will come.  It also doesn’t hurt to practice confident vulnerability until what you fake you feel.

Confident Vulnerability

If this Weakness is identified, the following posts may prove helpful in coaching to the Opportunity:
* Get confident, stupid
* The Path to Unconscious Competence

Cafe Scenes channeling self exercises

Without scripts, improvisers are dependent on what’s in their head – details from their lives and their personal ability to access emotion in-the-moment.  The audience loves seeing us on tom-waits-ccstage.  Let the audience see you to give them the ability to connect with you and ultimately root for you.

CAFÉ SCENES – Two players sit in chairs facing each other. They are to have a conversation as their authentic selves, trying not to worry about people watching them. Continue reading

I Am Superman exercise

Having Group Mind is about immediate, enthusiastic acceptance. You need to show your fellow players that you respect and love their ideas, and trust that you can make a bold move and have your group respect and love it. “I trust you – I’m going to follow your ideas whatever they are, wherever they go, and I’m going to launch into my ideas and trust that you’ll follow me.” It is, however, not up to the group to earn this trust. You must surrender to the group. Give it your trust. Only then will the group get anywhere.

I AM SUPERMAN – Everyone stands in a circle. One at a time, each player will enter the circle, say “I am [NAME] and for the next 30 seconds, I am Superman” at which point the teacher will start a timer and the player does whatever they want until the time is up at which point everyone claps and the next player takes the circle. Players around the circle are NOT to interact with the player in the center. The player in the center should be encouraged to do something they’ve been told they need to do more of on stage. Do mime. Be emotional. Stand still. Doesn’t matter.
Lessons:
• Surrender to your group – let go of ego, let your team know that you’re ready and willing to commit to being awkward in front of them.
You don’t need anyone – you can be on stage alone for 30 seconds or for five minutes. Commit to yourself. Don’t rely on meeting your scene partner center stage before the scene starts. You can be alone.
It sucks to be alone – don’t let your fellow players suffer on stage alone. Get out there and support each other.