Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Leaving Clues

Sometimes in improv, it feels like you're lost in the scene, just exploring and discovering new things. That can feel amazing because it provides organic interactions and discoveries while feeling somewhat grounded.

First off, I would never say not to do that. But, as improvisers grow more seasoned, there is a split in how you view things. The getting lost in a characters fades and people start making moves, whether it be to play a game, move a plot, or get a reaction out of people.

If you have a teams thats been together a while, you'll know what they jump on. You'll know what prompts a walk on, tag out, or just a deviation from the scene itself to explore something else.


Instead of throwing huge curveballs that people HAVE to deal with. Toss out little crumbs of ideas and see what happens. If they don't jump, no biggie, if they do then everything is coming from a sense of curiosity or fun.

Here are some examples:

The Call Out and the Jump On guy. He always calls out the weird thing.

Start out the scene grounded, nothing out of the ordinary. Notice small seemingly insignificant weird things, "My sister called, apparently she's gluten intolerant", "I just can't seem to paint since my surgery" "I picked cashews for breakfast"

The call out guy will yes and and give back story to all those things. The jump on guy with just AND it or emotionally lock on to that.

The Oscar Winner and the Straight man.

Throwing small pieces of information to an Oscar winner is like feeding a shark blood. The more insignificant and detailed the gift, the more fun it will be to lock on to. The Oscar Winner might react with tears to a gluten free sister or insane anger.

The straight man will take everything to grounding. So, you're giving bits and bits of weirdness, they will logically conclude why it is happening and that in itself will grow into something fun. "I gotta tend to the cashew fields before winter comes."

A lot of people have a tendency to pick and choose what they want to play with. If you dish something small and it doesn't get hooked, throw something else. If detail after detail falls on def ears, then you now have a game with yourself. Either way, it's found organically.

Most importantly, you'll have fun and your team will have fun!

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