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5 Rules of Improv

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Russell Stoll

on 18 September 2015

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Transcript of 5 Rules of Improv

5 Good Habits of Improv
1. YES, AND...!
In any scene, you always want to affirm any choice
that your scene partner makes. In order to keep the
scene going, we have to affirm their choice (say "Yes"),
AND we have to go along with it.

The quickest way to kill a scene is to negate somebody
else's idea.
If my partner says that a duck just flew in the room?
Then a duck just flew in the room.
If I thought I was driving a truck but my partner just
called it a mini-van? Then it is a mini-van.
2. Add Information
Add new information to a scene whenever possible!

Adding new information can mean:
Revealing something new about your character
Commenting on the setting
Establishing a new element of your relationship with your scene partner
Raising the stakes
Getting emotional / having a break through or a break down
Make a confession!
Have a meltdown and then tell us why!
Find that weird detail and exploit it!
3. Be in the Moment / No Planning!
When you're in the middle of a scene, whether for scripted acting or
for Improv, your first job as an actor is to be present.

If you are worried about what you are going to say or what is coming
instead of what is going on around you, you could miss vital
It is a proven fact in Improv, in comedy,
and in life in general that 99% of funny things
that happen are not planned!

PROOF: When was the last time you ACTUALLY
laughed at a knock joke?
When the last time you ACTUALLY laughed at
somebody for tripping over something they
did not see there?
4. Have Knowledge
Do NOT ask questions
Play to your knowledge:
If your character is a doctor, use all the medical jargon you can!
If your character is a pro wrestler, walk/talk/move like a pro wrestler!
If your character is a duck, don't be a pigeon!
5. Give and Take
Remember, you are not the only person on stage.
If your partner makes a suggestion, take it and
add something new!
If your partner is struggling, help them out!
Your scene will be funniest as a group effort!
Full transcript