Monday, May 21, 2007

Mantras for the Improviser – Part I

How do I get out of this one?

Nick Byrne of ACT Impro Theatre has given his students of the Stage 1 Workshop a list of mantras and jargon terms for improvisers that will I put here for easy reference.

It's best to think of these mantras as though you're standing on stage and you have to respond to whatever is going on around you - and you have no idea what's coming next.

It's one thing to think you understand these mantras when you read them, but it's quite another to remember to practice them while in the middle of performing. The only way to really appreciate these mantras is to practice them over and over again with other improvisers.

I'm currently doing the Stage 2 workshop and no matter how complex the games and scenes are getting, I seem to be OK if I stay focused on the moment, with these rules blaring in the back of my mind.

Ask me, I’ll say “Yes”! I accept what you’re saying. I love what you’re doing. I yield to your wishes. Ask me, I’ll say “Yes”!

What is it you need? I’m ready and listening and I’m coming to save you. What is it you need? I look good when you look good. What is it you need?

I might say it. I do do it! I act first and ask questions later. I do do it!

I have something to offer. All offers are good. My first thought is my best offer. Here it is, now!

It's hard to beat that advice. This open and fast attitude is helpful too for comedy writing. You have to kill that left-brain critical editor and give your ideas a chance to live...

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