Three steps to improve your scenes, and your life

By Randall | Improv in Life
6 Mar 2012

I recently came across an article entitled “How to listen to the nudges of your heart” on a blog I follow. The author provides the following three steps, which I thought applied to improv as well.

1) Stop. Slow down.

Starting out improvisers feel a lot of pressure to say as many words and find as many jokes as they can. They often speak loudly and talk over each other in an effort to be heard. Don’t. Take a moment. Take a breath. Allow the silence to exist, and break it only when you are ready for it to be broken. It takes time to build an improv scene and the funny will come out if you give it room to grow.

2) Listen.

If you’re speaking, you can’t hear what your scene partner is saying. The most important part of any scene is what your partner just said. Once you learn to slow down, you can begin to really listen and react honestly, and your reactions make your partner’s offers important. If you react authentically in a scene, because you are taking in your partner and understand what his or her character is really saying, the audience will be drawn in.

3) Trust.

Trust is the foundation of improv. You must trust your scene partners, and consistently demonstrate to them that they can trust you. Never bring judgement to the stage. Give unwavering support, even if you disagree with the choices they are making. Once you trust each other, you can begin to push the boundaries of what you think is possible. That is where great scenes come from, scenes that leave audiences speechless with the word “Wow” written on their faces but unable to escape their lips.

If you can learn to apply these principles in your improv work, not only will your scenes improve, but you will also get better at listening to the nudges of your own heart. With practice, hopefully this will help you find and follow your passion.

You can read the original article at Goodlife Zen, or more by the same author at The Happy Seeker.


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