Every once in a while when you are improvising, you should do something on stage that surprises you. Start telling a story in the middle of a scene without knowing why. Just start speaking. Make it about something that hasn’t come up yet. The first few sentences should feel like a non-sequitur….
Love this post.
My favorite moments in improv are where I surprise myself. Some shows I am really good at that, and others I am bad. It’s not always easy. But I believe when I learned to surprise myself I took a big step forward as an improviser. And I still don’t think I do it well enough.
Sometimes it means making a move towards an idea that you are still processing hoping you can land it when you get there. Sometimes it’s following a fun gift or moment from a scene partner knowing you’ll be able to draw that digression back into the scene. Sometimes it’s just embracing a mistake. Sometimes its just following an impulse that can’t trace.
But it’s always about being fearless. Taking a step and not knowing where you are going to land is scary. It’s certainly helped by trusting your teammates who take whatever you throw and use it and put it back into the scene. And then you return the favor.
To surprise yourself you must evolve from writing a scene on your feet to just feeling the scene on your feet.