Friday, January 31, 2014

Just Say Yes

A general rule of thumb, in improv, as in life, is that saying yes to things brings more fun, excitement, and happiness than saying no:
The first rule of improvisation is AGREE. Always agree and SAY YES. When you're improvising, this means you are required to agree with whatever your partner has created. So if we're improvising and I say, "Freeze, I have a gun," and you say, "That's not a gun. It's your finger. You're pointing your finger at me," our improvised scene has ground to a halt. But if I say, "Freeze, I have a gun!" and you say, "The gun I gave you for Christmas! You bastard!" then we have started a scene because we have AGREED that my finger is in fact a Christmas gun.

Now, obviously in real life you're not always going to agree with everything everyone says. But the Rule of Agreement reminds you to "respect what your partner has created" and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.

As an improviser, I always find it jarring when I meet someone in real life whose first answer is no. "No, we can't do that." "No, that's not in the budget." "No, I will not hold your hand for a dollar." What kind of way is that to live?

37 comments:

  1. So when you get home from work and find a nerf gun with a note from your wife that says: I'm hiding and you'll NEVER find me...

    You...?

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  2. ...Slip into my camo, paint my face, grab my Nerf gun, and go a-huntin'...

    First place I look is the pantry...

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  3. Nah. She'd never hide anyplace THAT easy...keep looking...

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  4. ...basement... behind the washer... gotta move fast... stealth ain't gonna work... she's gonna hear me coming... come in low around the corner, firing blind...

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  5. I'm sure she's armed with this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Nerf-Rebelle-Sweet-Revenge-Dart/dp/B00CXLQG0M/ref=pd_sim_t_3
    as she bursts out of the dryer peppering your camouflaged body with cruel pink darts...

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  6. I'm hit!

    Medic!

    http://www.amazon.com/Barbie-Doctor-Kit-Keeping-Healthy/dp/B003IDGK28/

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  7. Poor baby!

    I have the cutest pink Barbie tricorder...or ...um.. maybe fancy doctor phone? I'm totally set up here...

    Anyhow, where does it hurt?

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  8. Well, I have all these nerf-bruises.

    Also, my pride...

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  9. Awwww.....

    Let me take your blood pressure. Yep. Still alive. Barely. I got here just in time.

    Gotta check your ears. Hmm. Still there...

    And you need definitely need a pink shot for that pride deficiency... Now be a brave boy... *OWWWWW!!*

    Now where's my stethoscope? Ah.

    Why is your heart pounding so madly?

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  10. Because, apparently, you kept that stethoscope in the freezer...Yikes!

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  11. Nah. That's just room temperature here in Wisconsin.

    Come to think of it, you do feel a bit chilled. How shall we warm you up?

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  12. I'd ask for a cozy comforter, but you'd probably drag out one of these:

    http://www.target.com/p/barbie-comforter-twin/-/A-14601935

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  13. Not a big Barbie fan.

    But I do like pink:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pink-White-Green-Polka-Dot-Girls-Twin-Single-Comforter-Set-6-Piece-Bed-N-Bag-/390747027002?pt=Kids_Teens_Bedding&hash=item5afa56763a

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  14. *sigh*

    Fine... as long as it's warm...

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  15. And blue: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Blue-White-Polka-Dot-Reversible-Girls-Queen-Comforter-Set-7-Piece-Bed-In-A-Bag-/370975843375?pt=Kids_Teens_Bedding&hash=item565fe2242f

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  16. And no cat hair. :P

    Would you like some hot cocoa?

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  17. No cat hair?

    But I'm allergic to no cat hair!

    And... does it have marshmallows?

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  18. Well, you're just gonna have to take pills, then.

    And yes. It's not "cocoa" UNLESS it has marshmallows. I have little pink peppermint ones. Want those?

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  19. Yes.

    And cookies. I'll need cookies, too

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  20. I don't have any. Should I leave and go make some?

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  21. Sure, it'll give me a chance to reload...

    Uh... I mean, I'll wait here and not do anything!

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  22. I'm taking your ammo with me, oh wounded one.

    Rest. Doctor's orders.

    How are your shoulders? You look tense.

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  23. Kinda stiff.

    When you return, you should walk on my back for a while.

    Mind the Nerf-bruises, though

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  24. Well I made 10 dozen Chocolate Crinkles. That enough?

    A little tired. You want me to walk all over you?

    I can do that...

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  25. So... what's a Chocolate CrinkOW! - I meant *barefoot*, not in heels!

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  26. Silly.

    Those are just my slippers. I don't wear heels in the house.

    Fine. Barefoot it is...

    Chocolate Crinkles are yummy fudgy cookies rolled in powdered sugar. Do you like?

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  27. Apparently I don't speak Chocolate Crinkle. ..

    Huh?

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  28. *swallows*

    Yes. I like them very much :-)

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  29. You guys are just plain weird.

    Back on topic, my favorite line in that snippet is "No I won't hold your hand for a dollar. What kind of way is that to live?". I can just imagine someone with way more self confidence actually trying that and it coming out cute and funny, not really creepy.

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  30. Me? I'm a "say yes" kinda guy. I would gladly hold someone's hand for a dollar.

    As long as it's not sweaty.

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  31. You... get the "cookie girl" discount, so 50 cents for you :-)

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  32. Wait wait wait.

    I thought *YOU* were doing the paying here...

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  33. You've never held hands with me.

    I am *awesome* at it.

    Well worth the 50 cents...

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  34. No thanks.

    I want some bubblegum.

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  35. Ok.

    That's still 50 cents, though :-D

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