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

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

Protagonists & Antagonists – Part I

Introduction Here is a little model. Think of it as a storytelling model, applied to improv. It’s a bit theoretic, but it can really be applied; see the last section for how this material came about and why it is useful. While explaining the model I will use plenty of examples for scripted stories. In … Continue reading Protagonists & Antagonists – Part I

Trains & Tracks

Here is another metaphor I like to use in many of the workshops  I teach.  It originated from a statement by a fellow improv player and it’s the title of the first section of this post below. “Long form is Fragile” A great friend of mine, Dimitri Desmyter, saw one of our RIOT tryouts in … Continue reading Trains & Tracks

Character-Driven Narrative

Introduction As improvisers we invent stories; by training we are good at that.  Admittedly, narrative is not equally important in every style of improv.  One might argue that narrative is less important in short form than in long form (I have no particular opinion about that argument and am not particularly endorsing it).  Some formats … Continue reading Character-Driven Narrative

Martha Stewart Improv

Introduction I have warned the readers of this blog that I’m a pretty opinionated guy when it comes to improv. Here’s a topic I feel strongly about. In workshops  with established groups (that is, not with absolute beginners), I’ll often ask the participants to name the stories, books, plays, movies & TV-shows they like best. … Continue reading Martha Stewart Improv