Playing to the Top of Your Intelligence

Introduction Last month I wrote about how the advice "be more boring" / "be more obvious" / "be less original" makes sense to me - be it after playing improv for 20+ years.  Here's another widely used piece of advice: "play to the top of your intelligence" - and that sounds kind of contradictory to … Continue reading Playing to the Top of Your Intelligence

Obviousness

Introduction "Be more obvious" (or "be less original") and "be more boring" are 2 famous phrases by Keith Johnstone - I picked up these phrases almost 20 years ago.  Back then I had trouble understanding them:  I would be seeing great improv, and marvel at the "originality" of what the performers pulled out of their … Continue reading Obviousness

Improv Sandpaper

Introduction In this post I’d like to talk about a term I often use when I teach workshops: “sandpaper”. It’s a metaphor, and it refers to the following: if you rub sandpaper over your skin, you’ll get a painful, burning sensation. It is impossible not to feel the ache of a sandpaper burn. I would … Continue reading Improv Sandpaper

The Dark Side: Can & Should Improv Go There?

  Introduction At a recent international festival I happened to stumble into several discussions, with different groups of people, about taboos in improv, on whether e.g. minorities should (or should not) be portrayed on stage, and if so, how, or whether & how touchy or dark subjects should be addressed in improv. It so happens … Continue reading The Dark Side: Can & Should Improv Go There?

Protagonists & Antagonists – Part II

Introduction In a previous post ( Protagonists & Antagonists - Part I ) I outlined the use in impro of storytelling concepts like protagonists, antagonist and sidekicks, from a theoretical point of view.  In this post I explain how I use these in an improv workshop setting. In workshopping I tend to let the players discover … Continue reading Protagonists & Antagonists – Part II